Climate and Energy

UNFCCC SB42 Side Event:

Enhancing ambition for Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)


The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) held a side event for the 42th Subsidiary Body sessions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC  SB42) entitled "Enhancing ambition for Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) " on 4  June 2015 in Bonn, Germany.

This side event, co-organised with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), presented an early review of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) submitted by ten nations to UNFCCC as of May 2015 and discussed the importance of: (1) setting a regular reviewing-cycle of INDCs to achieve long-term climate goals; (2) utilising market mechanisms such as the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) to bolster the level of ambitions in INDCs; and (3) strengthening the cooperation among research institutes in formulating ambitious yet achievable INDCs. Moreover, this side event introduced Japan’s tentative INDC and its new reduction target and discussed the importance of technology transfer in strengthening the actions for emissions reduction worldwide. Three climate policy experts were invited as commentators and presenters: Manish Kumar Shrivastava (Fellow at TERI), Taryn Fransen (Director of Open Climate Network, World Resources Institute), and Jakkanit Kananurak (Director at Thailand Greenhouse  Gas Management Orgnization: TGO). There were around 50 participants including government officials, representatives from research institutes and NGOs. This event proved to be an excellent opportunity to share a variety of ideas.

Date / Time 4 June 2015, 16:45 – 18:15
Venue Bonn III (72) at SB42, World Conference Center in Bonn Germany
Organiser Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)

Manish Shrivastava (TERI) introduced the important elements of INDC and presented an early review of the INDCs already submitted by ten nations as of May 2015. Mr. Shrivastava pointed out there are several INDCs that have been assessed as inadequate, and argued that if the current level of effort continues,  we will likely to go over the carbon budget which is to limit the temperature increase to 2 degrees.  In addition, Mr.  Shrivastava explained the current status of the still unpublished Indian INDC and suggested that it is not very likely to contain information on the peak-out of emissions, unlike China. Furthermore, Mr. Shrivastava emphasised that it is possible for India to aim for more ambitious reduction targets if additional policies are implemented such as introducing more renewable energy.

Kentaro Tamura (Deputy Director at Kansai Research Centre, IGES) explained the importance of setting up a continuous improvement cycle of INDCs. Dr. Tamura pointed out that the INDCs currently under discussion represent just one point in a timeframe to achieve long-term climate goals, and emphasised the need of a regular cycle of assessment and re-submission of INDCs in order to encourage nations to take more ambitious climate actions. Moreover, Dr. Tamura argued that in order to enable the improvement cycle to work effectively, it is important to strike a balance between the strength and flexibility in the legal enforcement of INDCs in the Paris Agreement and introduced several options to consider. Dr. Tamura also argued the importance of organising a consortium of researchers and research institutes focusing on those countries whose targets and actions are evaluated in order to appropriately assess their INDCs from both the perspective of reduction potential and of a fair allocation of reduction targets.

Kazuhisa Koakutsu (Area Leader, Climate and Energy Area, IGES) presented Japan’s INDC (the government’s draft proposal ) which aims at a 26% reduction of emissions in 2030 compared to 2013 levels (or 25.4% compared to 2005), and explained the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), Japan’s initiative to contribute to the reduction of GHGs worldwide. Mr. Koakutsu emphasised that there is an increasing number of approved JCM methodologies and registered projects. While pointing to the potential for further reductions - up to 5,000-10,000 ton of GHGs -  through market mechanisms such as the JCM, he added that this is not included in the current 26% reduction target yet, so the actual reduction contribution from Japan may increase. Furthermore, Mr. Koakutsu mentioned that there are several INDCs already submitted which also aim to utilise international market mechanisms. One similar example is the mention of utilisation of JCM is in Viet Nam’s Biennial Update Reports (BUR). 

Panel discussion
During the panel discussion moderated by Takahiko Hiraishi (Counsellor and Senior Consultant, IGES), Dr. Tamura emphasised the importance of initiating actions towards low-carbon society through referring to the existing research and action initiative named the “Decade of Accelerating Transformative Action to Low Carbon Society (DATALoCS) (276KB)". In addition, Jakkanit Kananurak (CICT) pointed out the importance of capacity building in realising a low-carbon society and introduced his works at CICT such as advising policymakers on concrete policy measures for the transition. Moreover, Taryn Fransen (Director of Open Climate Network, WRI) re-affirmed the importance of reviewing INDCs on a regular basis, and further pointed out the necessity of an effective assessment methodology and an option to set a longer timeframe than the current single fiscal year to meet the reduction targets of INDCs in order to urge nations to submit even more ambitious INDCs.

Presentation materials
INDCs so far: Prospects for Paris Agreement
Manish Shrivastava, Fellow, The Energy and Resources Institute
PDF (539KB)
Cycle of Reviewing and Updating INDCs
Kentaro Tamura, Deputy Director of Kansai Research Centre, IGES
PDF (461KB)
Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) in Japan’s INDC
Kazuhisa Koakutsu, Area Leader, Climate and Energy Area, IGES
PDF (371KB)
Panel Discussion Points
Takahiko Hiraishi, Counsellor and Senior Consultant, IGES
PDF (116KB)

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