NAMA Update: Slow but Steady Growth in NAMAs, Enhanced Knowledge Exchange
Photo by IISD/ENB | Angeles Estrada Vigil
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During the period from October 2016 to January 2017, only two new requests for support were registered in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) NAMA Registry.

The Marrakech Climate Change Conference provided a platform for sharing knowledge and experiences.

A large number of information resources and analyses were published during this period, which will undoubtedly help improve the NAMA process going forward, but which also reflect a growing understanding of how NAMAs relate to the Paris Agreement’s nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

February 2017: This update focuses on individual nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) by developing countries, and related support, events and activities, for the period from October 2016 to January 2017.

During this period, only two new requests for support were registered in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) NAMA Registry. The Marrakesh Climate Change Conference provided a platform for sharing knowledge and experiences. A large number of information resources and analyses were published over this period, which will undoubtedly help improve the NAMA process going forward. These publications also reflect a growing understanding of how NAMAs relate to the Paris Agreement’s nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

NAMAs, first introduced in the (UNFCCC) Cancun Agreements, are actions that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relative to business-as-usual (BAU) emissions in developing countries. They are prepared under a governmental initiative, aligned with the country’s national development goals, and supported by finance, technology and capacity building.

NAMAs support the implementation of the Paris Agreement and can have significant co-benefits for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development due to their alignment with national development strategies. Attention is being paid to bridging the existing gap between support requested by developing countries and that received. The NAMA-related activities reported in this Update contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts), SDG 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all) and/or SDG 11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable), among others.

October 2016-January 2017 Registry Update: Two NAMAs Seek Support, No Growth in Financing

On 31 January 2017, the UNFCCC NAMA Registry displayed a total of: 67 NAMAs seeking support for preparation (no increase from September 2016 when IISD RS published its previous NAMA Update); 65 NAMAs seeking support for implementation (up by two); nine NAMAs for recognition; 18 entries on support for NAMAs; and 16 supported NAMAs. The registry is aimed at facilitating the matching of NAMAs seeking international support with finance, technology and capacity-building support, and at recognizing other NAMAs. [UNFCCC NAMA Registry]

Based on the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) DTU Partnership’s monthly pipeline, as of 1 February 2017, the total number of NAMAs stood at 141. The total support offered for NAMAs remained at similar levels compared to September 2016, at USD$176 million, equalling to 2% of the total support requested. [UNEP DTU NAMA Pipeline]

Mongolia, Viet Nam Register Requests for Implementation Support

A transportation NAMA by Mongolia that would double the share of public urban passenger transport compared to BAU in Ulaanbaatar is seeking USD$582 million in implementation support. The NAMA comprises four mitigation actions – a bus rapid transit (BRT) system, low-carbon buses, a metro line and retrofit of taxis to liquid petroleum gas (LPG). It will contribute by 20% towards achieving Mongolia’s emissions reduction target of 14% lower GHG emissions compared by BAU in 2030, set out in its intended NDC (INDC). [UNFCCC NAMA Registry] [UNEP DTU NAMA Pipeline]

A NAMA by Viet Nam seeking USD$34 million in implementation support would promote wind energy deployment in the country by removing policy, capacity and technology barriers by enhancing inter-ministerial collaboration and improving investment support. [UNFCCC NAMA Registry] [UNEP DTU NAMA Pipeline]

Energy NAMAs Advance in Implementation, NAMA Facility Updates on Fourth Call

In NAMA financing news, Australia and Vanuatu signed a funding agreement for USD$1 million that will go towards implementing a rural electrification NAMA in Vanuatu, specifically grid extensions, a micro-grid and capacity building. The NAMA had previously received preparation support from the Australian-funded UN Development Programme (UNDP) MDG Carbon programme. [NAMA News Article] [IISD RS December 2015-February 2016 NAMA Update]

The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) launched a call among its members for the provision of technical services in developing a pilot energy service company (ESCO) for Viet Nam’s cement industry as part of a related NAMA. [NAMA News Article]

The NAMA Facility’s fourth Call, which closed on 31 October 2016, received 75 Support Project Outlines, of which only eight were found ineligible. According to the Facility, the high level of interest “reflects the impetus deriving from the Paris Agreement.” On 8 December 2016, the Facility shortlisted 12 projects, which will be further evaluated in February 2017. The selection of the projects that will receive funding for a Detailed Preparation Phase (DPP) will take place in April-May 2017. [NAMA Facility Update] [NAMA Facility List of 4th Call Submissions] [NAMA News Article on Shortlisted NAMA from Uganda]

Workshops, Information Resources Launched for Enhanced Understanding, Capacity

Capacity-building events held and information resources released in the period from October 2016 to January 2017 include:

Progress Updates on Supported NAMAs and NAMA Support

Donors and several NAMA news portals reported on projects and programmes under implementation in Latin America, Asia and North Africa. In addition, the NAMA Facility published the results of its Mid-Term Evaluation.

Costa Rica’s Coffee NAMA, the world’s first agricultural NAMA supported by GIZ and the NAMA Facility since October 2016, was showcased at two industry events taking place in Costa Rica. According to non-profit organization SINTERCAFE, coffee mills participating in the NAMA, which will be implemented through February 2019, have so far processed more than 700 kilogram (kg) of green coffee with a carbon footprint of less than 1 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent per kg of coffee. [NAMA Facility Press Release on NAMA Launch] [NAMA Facility Press Release on ECW] [NAMA Facility Press Release on SINTERCAFE]

A NAMA Support Project for the implementation of Mexico’s New Housing NAMA aimed at promoting cost-effective and energy efficient building concepts in the low-income housing sector has generated outcomes, which include: mobilization of international co-financing; exploration of new financing schemes; training of more than 1,200 people; and the construction of close to 60,000 housing units. [NAMA News Article]

Other implementation updates include:

The NAMA Facility’s Mid-Term Evaluation, which focused on the Facility’s governance and management, and project portfolio from its first three calls for proposals, was released in January 2017. It concludes that the Facility: provides valuable flexibility to climate finance donors and recipients; can provide opportunities for learning and replication; should continue ensuring transparency and clear communication on the project selection; and is limited in attractiveness to competitors by the strength of its existing delivery organizations. Also, it notes that the existence of NDCs has expanded the number of countries looking into sector-wide approaches, which could provide the Facility with new target groups. [NAMA Facility Press Release]

UNFCCC NAMA Registry, Completed NAMAs Evaluated

The UNFCCC Secretariat reported on the NAMA Registry at the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) in Marrakech, Morocca, in November 2016, based on the Registry’s status as at 1 September 2016 (FCCC/CP/2016/INF.1). Findings include that: compared with 2015, the recorded number of NAMAs seeking support or recognition increased by 35% (to 136); the registry recorded a total of 16 supported NAMAs; only 35% of the 102 developing countries with access rights as NAMA approvers recorded their NAMAs; and, despite its usefulness in exchanging information, the registry continues to face a number of challenges with regard to effectiveness. [UNFCCC Document: Operation of the Registry of NAMAs] [NAMA News Article]

A number of reports on NAMA evaluations were also released in the period from October 2016 to January 2017.

The results of a pilot programme aimed at supporting Viet Nam’s cement sector NAMA, which was completed in June 2016, were presented at the UN Marrakech Climate Change Conference. The programme delivered: 26 technical working papers; 33 consultation meetings and training workshops; 28 site visits for consultations and assessments; and a Readiness Plan, which recommends activities for developing the capacity and enhancing cooperation between the stakeholders for an effective implementation of the NAMA. [NDF Press Release]

The German Government’s International Climate Initiative (IKI) reported on three capacity building projects, with a total cost of approximately €10.5 million, completed in 2016: a project to support knowledge exchange and capacities among the members of the International Partnership for Mitigation and MRV, implemented by GIZ; an assessment of existing GHG emission monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) systems and capacities in Colombia, Ethiopia, India, South Africa and Thailand, implemented by the World Resources Institute (WRI); and a project to enhance the Mitigation Action Implementation Network (MAIN) that supports developing countries in Latin America and Asia in designing “ambitious NAMAs and other impactful climate actions,” implemented by the Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP). [IKI Project Data Update for Mitigation Partnership Project] [IKI Project Data Update on MRV Project] [IKI Project Data Update on Implementation Project]

IKI also reported on two completed NAMA support projects, with a total cost of €8 million: a project supporting Asian countries in developing building sector energy efficiency NAMAs, implemented by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP); and the setting up of a NAMA coordination office (NAMA-cell) in India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, implemented by GIZ. [IKI Project Data Update on Asia Project] [IKI Project Data Update on India Project]

Must Reads on NAMAs

Over the Northern winter months, NAMA support initiatives and specialist non-governmental organizations released numerous technical guidance documents, analyses and information resources, including:

  • An authoritative guidance document, titled ‘Guidance for NAMA Design in the Context of Nationally Determined Contributions,’ prepared by the UNDP, UNEP DTU Partnership (UDP) and the UNFCCC Secretariat. [UDP Publication]
  • A guide by Ecofys on available multilateral funding options for NAMAs. [Mitigation Momentum Publication]
  • The Annual Status Report on NAMAs by the ECN and Ecofys, which documents an 23% increase in NAMAs over the past year, cautions that a “large gap remains between the number of NAMAs under development (184) and those under implementation (19),” and concludes that “NAMAs can continue to play an important role in reaching common climate goals.” [Mitigation Momentum Publication] [NAMA News Article]
  • An assessment of the impact of INDCs, NAMAs and Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) on the World Bank Carbon Initiative for Development’s (Ci-Dev) operations and programmes. [Ci-Dev Publication]
  • A policy brief by CCAP, UDP and NewClimate Institute that identifies the conditions for NAMAs to drive private investment, namely improving policy and institutional frameworks, addressing financial risks and returns, and identifying projects and demonstrating feasibility. [Mitigation Partnership Press Release]
  • A policy brief by the Carbon Market Watch on lessons from NAMAs for NDCs. [Carbon Watch Publication]
  • An academic assessment of NAMAs’ potential for spurring transformational change. [Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions Article]
  • Infographics on: food security and climate benefits of NAMAs by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) [FAO Infographic] [FAO Publication]; and the NAMA Facility’s intervention logic, based on the theory of change [NAMA Facility Infographic].
  • Transportation NAMA updates from GIZ: Transport NAMA Monitor 2016 [Transport NAMA Monitor]; and TRANSfer News July-September 2016 [TRANSfer News].

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