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Third Asia Regional MAIN Dialogue

Last week CCAP hosted its third Asia regional dialogue of the Mitigation Action Implementation Network (MAIN).  MAIN is helping catalyze climate change mitigation policies known as nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in various sectors, as well as contribute to sustainable development in developing countries.  This most recent dialogue was hosted by the Philippines Climate Change Commission in Manila, Philippines, from October 22 to 24, and convened representatives of MAIN-Asia developing countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), contributing countries, financial institutions and other stakeholder groups.

Opened by Philippines Climate Change Secretary Lucille Sering and featuring presentations by European Commission Deputy Director General Gert-Jan Koopman, the meeting built on past MAIN-Asia regional dialogues in Thailand and Vietnam, as well as CCAP’s May 2013 Global NAMA Financing Summit held in Copenhagen, Denmark.  The three-day dialogue improved developing-country policymakers’ capacity to design ambitious NAMAs that will transform sectors and attract international climate finance and private investment.  Teams received advice through expert presentations and roundtable discussions on cross-cutting themes like NAMA finance and monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV), as well as through smaller “breakout” sessions that dug deeper into the renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste, and transport/sustainable urban development sectors.  CCAP and other presenters brought in case studies of successful efforts from the Asia region, Europe and Latin America, including well-developed NAMAs in waste and transit-oriented development from Colombia.  Teams also met with CCAP for individual NAMA consultations, participated in a group work activity to practice analyzing the economics of technology options in the waste sector, and received feedback from peers and experts on evolving NAMAs.

Among the key takeaways of the dialogue were the following:

  • NAMAs should combine policy changes and financial mechanisms that help catalyze private investment to transform entire sectors, resulting in climate and development benefits.
  • NAMA finance is coming on line, and contributing-country funds, development bank finance, and private investment will play different roles in the various stages of NAMA development (capacity building, design, implementation, investment in underlying projects).
  • The process of designing a successful NAMA should take into account the economics of policy/technology options within the NAMA’s sector.
  • NAMAs can be informed by and help implement low-emissions development strategies (LEDS), allowing countries to achieve national climate goals.
  • MRV approaches should be kept simple, begin with existing processes/data, and include sustainable development metrics, which help countries measure progress toward development goals.
  • Being strategic about developing actions that both mitigate GHGs and improve resilience (adaptation) can allow countries to tap multiple funding sources and save money in weather-related disasters.
  • In the renewable energy sector, renewable portfolio standards/supply obligations are often more successful than feed-in tariffs, which distort markets (often on top of fossil fuel subsidies).
  • Energy efficiency is usually the least-cost option for meeting energy demand growth, and the structure of electricity rates can have a significant impact on incentivizing conservation efforts.
  • Integrating land use and mass transit policies requires cross-agency coordination but can result in significant climate mitigation, social and economic benefits (including private investment).

The MAIN initiative is undertaken with generous support from Denmark’s Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building, Germany’s International Climate Initiative, and other funders.

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