Climate and Energy

UNFCCC SB44 Side Event:

Asia’s ambition for Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): Key Elements and Actions towards the Implementation of the Paris Agreement

UNFCCC SB44 The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) held a side event for the 44th Subsidiary Body sessions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC SB44) entitled "Asia’s ambition for Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): Key Elements and Actions towards the Implementation of the Paris Agreement " on 24 May 2016 in Bonn, Germany.

This side event, co-organised with Overseas Environmental Cooperation Center, Japan (OECC), presented the potential roles of the transparency framework of actions and support, as well as cooperative approaches such as the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) can play in supporting Asian countries to enhance the implementation of their NDCs under the Paris Agreement. Key institutional and technical elements and actions for support were discussed with respect to national circumstances and plans in Asia. The side event consisted of three parts: (1) introductory presentation on the ratchet-up mechanism under the Paris Agreement to raise climate ambition; (2) presentations from researchers and country representatives on cooperative approaches, transparency, and related capacity building; and (3) discussion and Q&A session. The side event also received active participation and feedback from participants on the relevant issues.

Date / Time 24 May 2016, 15:00-16:30
Venue Bonn III (72) at SB44, World Conference Center in Bonn, Germany
Organisers Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES),
Overseas Environmental Cooperation Center, Japan (OECC)

This side event called for a timely provision of international guidance for transparency and effective capacity building to support implementation of NDCs by developing countries. A transparency framework with certain flexibility is anticipated by the Philippines, which is revisiting its INDCs and improving its national MRV framework towards communicating its first NDC in 2020. Capacity building is still needed by Viet Nam in constructing its national and sectoral MRV systems. IGES highlighted that these national MRV systems will not only be required to oversee domestically formulated programmes, but also new schemes established with other countries. It was argued, for example, that the proper use of Internationally Transferrable Mitigation Outcomes, generated through cooperative approaches under the Paris Agreement Article 6.2, between Parties with different types of NDCs is important to ensure the comparability of Parties’ efforts. Going towards 2020, there is an urgent need for coordinated, country-driven, and scalable capacity building programmes, as targeted by the Coalition on Paris Agreement Capacity Building.

Kentaro Tamura (Area Leader of Climate and Energy Area, IGES) explained the importance of raising ambition of the Parties through the ratcheting-up mechanism to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Dr. Tamura pointed out that there is a gap between the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the collective efforts of the Parties’ INDCs. He emphasised the potential role of the ratcheting-up mechanism to fill this gap by creating a cycle of progressive updates of NDCs. He also argued that while transparency is a key element of such a ratcheting-up mechanism, developing nations are still facing challenges in improving transparency such as through regular reporting.

Yuriko Koyanagi (Researcher, OECC) presented the recent development of the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) in Asia. Ms. Koyanagi explained the role of JCM in reducing emissions by showing an example of an energy efficiency project in Viet Nam. She emphasised that the JCM credits have recently been issued for the first time from two projects in Indonesia. According to her, the JCM will continue as a cooperative approach under the Paris Agreement and it aims to enhance the transparency of the mechanism, for example, by sharing project related information on its dedicated website.

Aryanie Amellina (Policy Researcher, IGES) presented the need for synergy between MRV systems for transparency in implementing the NDCs. She highlighted that the level of support and experiences in MRV systems have encouraged Asian countries to have a high ambition as shown in their INDCs. The current MRV systems taking place in country levels will soon be joined by new initiatives such as cooperative approaches, which should ensure environmental integrity, transparency, and avoidance of double counting, as mentioned in the Paris Agreement. Learning from the JCM capacity building, she highlighted the need for simple but sound MRV system at the scheme-level, national oversight in ensuring the avoidance of double counting within a country, and the flexibility in accommodating different types of NDCs under the Paris Agreement. In this regard, an international guidance is necessary.

Albert Altarejos Magalang (Head of Climate Change Office, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Philippines) presented the progress towards implementing the NDC in the Philippines. Mr. Magalang shared that the Philippines is currently revising its INDC through revisiting the assumption and parameters of the INDC and MRV system and reconstructing the systematic and institutional arrangements towards the first NDC. He emphasised that the enhanced transparency framework should leave room for flexibility to address the different capacities of the Parties.

Huynh Thi Lan Huong (Deputy Director General, Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Climate Change(IMHEN), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment) presented progress towards transparency in implementing the NDC in Viet Nam. Dr. Huong shared the ongoing effort of developing MRV and transparency systems in Viet Nam, which includes national and sectoral MRV systems. She also mentioned the importance of incorporating bottom-up reporting approach for National Communication into implementation of NDCs and experience-sharing between countries. She also pointed out the need to improve capacity, especially of private sectors, to apply for international project funding for implementing NDCs.

Michael Gillenwater (Executive Director & Dean of greenhouse gas management institute) presented the importance of international coordination for capacity building. Dr. Gillenwater pointed out that, although it took 20 years for developed countries to develop MRV systems to their current forms, developing countries are now pressured to do the same in five years. He then emphasised the need for coordinating existing capacity building efforts for MRV systems in developing countries. His initiative to develop a global coalition for capacity building was introduced, and the important elements for better capacity building such as pedagogy, country-driven-country-owned programmes, scalability and cost effectiveness were shared.

Discussion and Q&A session

UNFCCC SB44 During the discussion and Q&A session, a question was made from the floor about the prioritized area for enhancing capacity building in Asia to implement NDCs. Mr. Magalang and Dr. Huong answered that priorities will be to meet the future guidelines under the transparency framework, and to build a framework to track and evaluate adaptation efforts, among others. Another question was about the development process and how the JCM projects are chosen. Ms. Koyanagi answered that projects are being chosen from the submitted project proposals and it is expected that more projects can be developed with less resources in the future. She also showed her expectation that voluntary projects will emerge from host countries. Another question was raised about the need for capacity building coordination between countries. Dr. Gillenwater answered that beyond ICA processes, country peer-review and regular feedback to Parties may improve the process of developing country report. Another question was raised on the recommended priorities of developing countries in building their MRV system. Ms. Amellina recommended streamlining national reporting requirements, to reduce overlapping with scheme requirements as much as possible, as well as establishing technical rules for third party verification.


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