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Asia Making Strides in Developing NAMAs

With growing emissions from the transport and energy sectors throughout Asia, enormous potential for renewable-energy deployment, and 700 million people still lacking access to electricity, Asian countries are ripe for the development of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions in the energy, transport, waste, and other sectors.

During the course of the CCAP’s second Mitigation Action Implementation Network (MAIN) Asia regional dialogue held in Vietnam from July 24-26th in Ha Long Bay,  CCAP saw impressive improvement in participant countries’ understanding of NAMAs as policies that will achieve both sustainable development and climate mitigation benefits, as well as in their confidence to proactively approach funders with NAMA proposals. The meeting brought together seven developing country teams of policymakers representing key ministries involved in the design of NAMAs. Several participants mentioned prior to the dialogue, they had been waiting for guidance from the UNFCCC and for funding offers from contributing countries before developing NAMAs. These participants took away from the meeting a key message that many policies countries are already implementing or plan to implement for sustainable development, health, or mobility purposes could be considered NAMAs.

As broader policies (compared with Clean Development Mechanism projects), NAMAs can be nested in sustainable-development strategies and can attract financing for actions that also help countries meet UNFCCC targets. Participants heard from a number of representatives from contributing countries who outlined their increasingly available financial support for NAMAs, as well as private-sector representatives who emphasized the potential of the private sector in funding the bulk of NAMA costs as long as appropriate and transparent policies are in place. With demand for CDM offsets declining and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) likely several years away from disbursing funds, supported NAMAs have emerged as the most promising source of climate mitigation funding in the near term. Sessions at the dialogue emphasized the need to incorporate financial engineering into the design of NAMAs and provided participants with a toolbox of financial mechanisms to overcome existing barriers, such as investment risk and the cost of capital.

Another key message that came out of the Vietnam dialogue was that the lack of an official definition of NAMAs should be viewed as an opportunity to shape the process and concept of NAMAs rather than as a deterrent for actions. For example, developing and contributing countries have the ability to advance a shared vision on the components of a successful NAMA and criteria for assessing NAMAs seeking support – through bilateral and multilateral programs in advance of the GCF’s full implementation. Now is the opportunity to build partnerships between these groups of countries and to shape the direction of the GCF and UNFCCC through concrete NAMA examples.

CCAP identified several promising opportunities for NAMAs in participant countries and looks forward to further collaboration with countries on their development. A summary of this MAIN dialogue will be available on here in the coming days.

 

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