April 2016 NAMA Update20 June 2016: This periodic update focuses on individual nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) by developing countries, and related support, events and activities, for the period from mid-April 2016 to mid-June 2016. During this period, a number of workshops were organized on capacity building for NAMA design and implementation. The linkages among NAMAs, nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and finance also received attention.

NAMAs, first introduced in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Cancun Agreements, are actions that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relative to business-as-usual (BAU) emissions in 2020 in developing countries. They are prepared under the umbrella of a governmental initiative, aligned with the country’s national development goals, and supported by finance, technology and capacity building.

NAMAs are becoming an increasingly important vehicle supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement, with significant co-benefits for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development due to their alignment with national development strategies. Increasing attention is also 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), 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all), 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls), 11 (Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable), 15 (Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss), among others.

Five New NAMAs Requesting Support for Preparation

On 17 June 2016, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) NAMA Registry, which serves as a public depository of individual NAMAs and related support, displayed a total of: 66 NAMAs seeking support for preparation (up by five from 15 April 2016); 60 NAMAs seeking support for implementation; nine NAMAs for recognition; 18 entries on support for NAMAs; and 16 supported NAMAs. The registry is aimed at facilitating the matching of finance, technology and capacity-building support with NAMAs seeking international support, and at recognizing other NAMAs. [UNFCCC NAMA Registry]

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) DTU Partnership’s monthly NAMA Pipeline, which compiles a broader range of actions, displayed a total of 133 NAMAs (1 June 2016 update). Compared to April 2016, the total support offered for NAMAs rose from US$158 million to US$176 million. This still equaled to only 2.2% of the total support requested, US$8 billion. [UNEP DTU NAMA Pipeline]

NAMA Preparation: Zimbabwe and Mongolia Seek for Support

Individual NAMAs can receive support for both their preparation and implementation. Zimbabwe submitted four NAMAs requesting support for preparation. The NAMAs focus on: optimizing the country’s lighting systems, including through the adoption of light-emitting diode (LED) lights; scaling-up solar water heating under the National Solar Water Heating Programme launched in September 2015; promoting the use of biogas digesters in smallholder farms; and promoting the use of efficient biomass cookstoves to mitigate fuel wood shortages and loss of woodlands. [UNFCCC NAMA Registry Entry on Lighting] [UNFCCC NAMA Registry Entry on Water Heating] [UNFCCC NAMA Registry Entry on Biogas] [UNFCCC NAMA Registry Entry on Biomass]

Also, Mongolia requested support for the preparation of an energy efficiency NAMA in the country’s construction sector. The project will seek to remove barriers to the adoption of energy efficiency technologies through technical and capacity-building interventions, resulting in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions and air quality benefits. [UNFCCC Registry Entry]

NAMA Implementation: Gender-sensitive NAMA Receives Attention; Workshops Focus on Links with National Policies, Dialogue Between Developers and Donors

A transformational rural renewable energy NAMA developed by Georgia received attention for its gender-sensitive approach: the NAMA was presented during an in-session workshop during the May UNFCCC Bonn Climate Change Conference, which focused on gender-responsive climate policy. The NAMA is being developed in collaboration between Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) and sustainable energy cooperatives in five Georgian regions, and will see the installation of 11,500 energy efficient stoves, house insulation and solar water heaters. Georgia is looking for €5 million in support for the implementation of this NAMA, which is expected to reduce 36 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide (ktCO2) per year. The support will cover financial and technical support, including initial investment support for the private sector. [WECF Press Release] [NAMA News Press Release] [IISD RS December 2015-February 2016 NAMA Update]

In Colombia, the Ministry of Transport published the country’s first bicycle infrastructure design guidelines for cities. The guidelines, which aim to “facilitate a fair secure and efficient infrastructure for this mode of transportation,” were developed as part of the implementation of Colombia’s Road-based Freight NAMA and Active Transport and Travel Demand Management (NAMA TAnDEM). [TRANSfer Press Release] [TRANSfer Colombia]

In Kenya, an energy access NAMA that is being supported by a combination of international grants and loans, and host country contributions, is using an innovative market-based approach, based on 28 ‘productivity zones,’ to support the manufacturing and distribution of one million units of solar PV-based lanterns and improved cookstoves. [NAMA News Press Release]

In addition, several capacity-building events were held over the period from mid-April to mid-June, focusing on NAMA preparation and implementation. The UNFCCC Secretariat organized two workshops, for Francophone and Anglophone African countries (in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, respectively), on the role of NAMAs in the implementation of intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs). The workshops highlighted that NAMAs are expected be a key instrument for developing countries in the achievement of their (I)NDCs. INDCs, in turn, provide the context for the design and implementation of NAMAs. The workshop in Abidjan also explored the main steps of the development of a NAMA, including related difficulties encountered and solutions applied by countries. [UNFCCC Regional NAMA Workshops Webpage] [International Partnership on Mitigation and MRV Press Release]

The NAMAcademy, a capacity building initiative by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)-DTU Partnership, organized a training session in Denmark on ‘how to create an effective NAMA,’ which included a focus on related barriers and enabling frameworks. The event also convened representatives of donors and support institutions, and examined the question of ‘what to look for as a donor to fund a NAMA.’ Thus, the workshop provided important support to enhancing understanding between NAMA developers and support institutions. [UNEP DTU Partnership Press Release]

The pulp and paper industry was the focus of a sectoral NAMA workshop organized in Jakarta, Indonesia, with support from PAKLIM, an Indonesian-German cooperation programme. The event focused on the selection of suitable mitigation actions and brought together representatives from the Indonesian public sector and private companies. [PAKLIM Press Release]

Two workshops focusing on NAMA implementation in Morocco’s domestic waste management sector attracted participants from local government, the private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Morocco’s waste sector NAMA will see the introduction of alternatives to landfills that help reduce GHG emissions and create green jobs. [NAMA News Press Release]

Financing: Energy Efficiency Projects Pre-approved; Focus on Barriers to Funding in Host Countries and Links with Financial Mechanisms

In April, the NAMA Facility, funded by Germany, the UK, Denmark and the European Commission, announced the pre-approval of funding for two new NAMA Support Projects: a project in South Africa to improve energy efficiency in public sector buildings through the provision of private sector energy efficiency services; and a project in Guatemala to enhance energy efficiency in households in rural, indigenous communities through the decreased use of firewood. [NAMA Facility Press Release]

Financing is a key enabler of NAMAs and current demand for financing outstrips supply. Shortage of financing is partly responsible for the financing gap. However, a working paper by the Climate & Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), an advisory platform funded by the UK Department for International Development and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, notes that “certain barriers to the mobilisation of NAMA funding are also evident on the part of host countries.” Focusing on these barriers, the working paper identifies, inter alia: a narrow funding focus; unoptimal bankability; lack of alignment with the investment logic of multilateral development banks (MDBs); and lack of private sector engagement. The paper calls for countries to diversify the sources of NAMA financing, including through the Green Climate Fund (GCF). [CDKN Working Paper]

NAMA financing was also the topic of a meeting organized in Helsinki, Finland, by the UNFCCC Secretariat and the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO), which focused on financing for implementation. According to some estimates, in the energy sector alone NAMAs have the potential to direct US$48 trillion in investments into low-carbon infrastructure by 2035. In addition to exploring the linkages between NDCs and NAMAs, the Helsinki meeting identified opportunities for further engaging private sector finance, including through concessional loans blended with international technical assistance. Participants included multi- and bilateral development banks, UNFCCC Financial Mechanism entities, bilateral development and UN agencies, and international organizations providing technical support. [NAMA News Press Release]

The links between NAMAs and financial mechanisms were also the focus of two NAMA Facility events organized in the period from mid-April to mid-June 2016. An in-session workshop, organized during the May UNFCCC Bonn Climate Change Conference, examined the potential of financial mechanisms to trigger transformational change towards low-carbon development based on the three calls issued by the NAMA Facility. A webinar, held on 20 June, focused on the linkages among NAMA development, transformational change and financial mechanisms, with a particular emphasis on the NAMA Facility’s views and experience on these matters. [NAMA Facility Workshop Presentation 1] [NAMA Facility Workshop Presentation 2] [NAMA Facility Webinar Invitation]

Measurement Reporting and Verification Results Displayed

Measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) is an integral part of both NAMA implementation, including calculating the mitigation contribution of NAMAs, and related support.

The first outputs of an initiative by the NAMA Partnership, a group of multilateral organizations, bilateral cooperation agencies and think tanks, to “develop a compendium of methodologies and tools to establish baselines for a wide range of mitigation actions in all IPCC sectors and to monitor the resulting emissions reductions” were presented at a side event at the May UNFCCC Bonn Climate Change Conference. Once completed, countries can use the compendium to develop NAMA proposals, attract financing and monitor progress in mitigation. [NAMA News Press Release]

Peru released the results of the first phase of its waste sector NAMA programme, implemented from 2013-2015, which was supported by NECFO and included the preparation of a detailed waste inventory, the identification and selection of relevant GHG mitigation options, and the design of a MRV system for these technologies. The second phase will include wider stakeholder engagement and an implementation programme for the sector. [NAMA News Press Release]

In Ecuador, the Ministry of Environment announced it had developed and implemented the country’s first MRV system for a mitigation action. Set out as a digital platform, the system was created for Ecuador’s Efficient Cooking Programme NAMA, which will aim to replace of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) cookstoves with induction cookstoves that function on hydropower-based electricity. [International Partnership on Mitigation and MRV Press Release]

Taking Stock of the Status and Impact of NAMAs

In their Status Report on NAMAs mid-year update 2016, prepared for MitigationMomentum, the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) and Ecofys find that while development of NAMAs has continued post-Paris, their implementation still lags behind. The authors note that the Paris Agreement does not explicitly refer to NAMAs but requires all countries to implement mitigation actions. They note that the clear expressions of political commitment expressed in countries’ NDCs give a “sense of urgency” that “has in some cases been lacking in the NAMA development process.” The report also highlights that some country representatives have expressed concern about the absence of references to NAMAs in the Paris Agreement and the lack of a clear signal regarding the continuation of NAMAs post-2020, while others see the need for enhanced NAMA activities resulting from their now more ambitious national climate targets. [MitigationMomentum Publication] [MitigationMomentum Infograph]

The UNEP-DTU Partnership published the first version of a methodological framework it is developing for assessing transformational change in NAMAs, or a ‘Transformational Change Taxonomy,’ based on 48 indicators. [NAMA News Press Release] [UNEP-DTU Publication]

MDG Carbon, a UN Development Programme (UNDP) initiative to promote carbon finance solutions in underrepresented developing countries and sectors, published a report that examines the projects the initiative supported in 2013-2015, including related capacity development activities. The support under the initiative focused in three areas: enhancing accessibility to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM); providing assistance in registering CDM projects; and supporting NAMA implementation. [NAMA News Press Release] [UNDP Publication]