The Asia LEDS Partnership, in collaboration with the LEDS GP Sub-national Integration (SNI) Working Group (WG) and with support from National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), conducted a workshop on ‘Multi-level Governance and the NDCs In Asia: Accelerating Sub-National Implementation and Raising National Ambitions’ on 23rd of June, 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Successful public investment requires co-ordination between national and sub-national governments. Effective multi-level governance (MLG) and intersectoral collaborations are key components of successful low emission, climate-resilient development strategies.
Today, cities and towns account for an estimated 75-80% of global energy use and associated CO2 emissions. If current trends in urban expansion continue, urban energy use may increase more than threefold by 2050. This growth will impact our collective ability to maintain global average temperature change below 2.0ºC. Especially when, as noted by the IPCC, the majority of cities in the developing world lack the institutional, financial and technical capacities needed to transition to low emission development pathways.
Since 1990, the majority of countries have been rapidly urbanising without delivering emission reductions. In fact, CO2 emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels and cement production are rising faster than the rate of urban population growth; which again is increasing faster than the rate of national population growth. Regionally, this trend is especially divergent in South Eastern Asia, South America, and Middle Africa, among others. This has important implications for shifting governance dynamics.
Despite urbanisation being a key factor shaping countries’ abilities to achieve and increase ambition on their Nationally Determined Contributions to global climate targets (NDCs) under the UNFCCC Paris Agreement, multi-level governance and vertical integration towards low carbon urbanisation is nascent in most countries. To date, the climate policy, financing, implementation and monitoring frameworks in developing countries have been characterised by an uncoordinated, top down approach. The NDCs from the majority of developing countries do not yet represent a vision of the country that integrates national and local policies and planning. There is a lack of coherence between countries’ energy sector plans and their NDCs.
Workshop Summary and Outcomes
The workshop brought together teams of sub-national and national officials from four ALP countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Philippines and Vietnam, for peer-learning in accelerating implementation of NDCs through improving sub-national integration. Participants discussed the status of their NDC and LEDS implementation and the challenges in multi-level governance in their countries.
Bhutan is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2030 by maintaining their 60% forest cover as a carbon sink which has been integrated in the country’s five year plan, but lacks coordination with the sub-national and local governments. Consultations happen only at the National level. The main challenge for the local governments in Bhutan is to implement the plan without requisite capacity and training, and with no proper background on the how and why the plan was developed.
Bangladesh is committed to reduce GHG emissions in the power, industry and transport sectors by 5% below ‘business-as-usual’ GHG emissions by 2030. While the country has planned to integrate NDCs into their next five year plan, there has been a lack of consultations with the local governments.
Vietnam representatives discussed about the data challenges they are facing in implementing their transportation sector NDCs. They believe good collaboration with the line ministries and stakeholders and increasing public awareness can significantly help them overcome this challenge.
Philippines – The Philippines League of Local Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PLLENRO), an NGO formed in 2009, is helping governments in the Philippines to address the major challenge of capacity building. PLLENRO with support from organisations like USAID and ICLEIprovides technical training to the municipal staff to develop GHG inventories. This has empowered the local governments to develop a measurable baseline, set targets andimprove planning across all sectors.
The workshop enabled participants from Asian Countries to discuss good practices, share their knowledge on multi-level governance and helped to flesh out the challenges and opportunities in National and Sub-National integration to advance NDC and LEDS goals. ALP, through its “Remote Expert Assistance on LEDS (REAL)” services will facilitate technical assistance in order to enhance multi-level governance.
Please keep an eye on the webpage for the Policy paper co-authored by all the participants on “MLG and the NDCs in Asia, Accelerating Sub-National Implementation and Raising National Ambitions”.