Phase 2: Institutions, Awareness, and Engagement

1 Dec - 21 Dec 2016
Go back to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Implementation of the Paris Agreement
  • What has been the process in your country for determining institutional arrangements to manage the NDC implementation process and facilitate inter-ministerial coordination? How will existing arrangements be built upon or enhanced in the context of NDC implementation?
  • Based on your national experiences, what advice would you have for other countries that are beginning the process of establishing institutional arrangements and coordination mechanisms?
  • What challenges has your country come across in increasing NDC awareness at the national level, engaging key ministries (e.g., planning, finance, sectoral line ministries) and stakeholders (e.g., sub-national governments, private sector, national assemblies, etc.), and increasing ownership of the NDC process? What has worked well?
  • What experiences does your country have in maintaining momentum following the Paris Agreement (i.e., keeping climate change high on the political agenda)?
  • How has your country begun assessing institutional capacity needs and gaps in the context of NDC implementation (e.g., related to the role that sectoral line ministries will play in implementing NDCs)? What advice would you have for other countries for mainstreaming climate change into the decision-making processes of other ministries? What will be key to improving this capacity going forward?
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Comments (12)

Allison TOWLE • Programme Specialist, Low Emission Capacity Building Programme, UNDP at UNDP from United States Moderator

Colleagues, welcome to Phase II of the UNDP’s e-discussion on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)! Over the last few weeks we’ve been lucky to engage with some of you on the development of the forthcoming NDC Implementation Guidance. Your insights and experiences have been useful and warmly welcomed. We would now like to shift gears a bit and focus specifically about the topics: Institutions, Awareness, and Engagement in relation to preparing for NDC implementation. We’ve posed some questions above in order to start the discussion but in addition to your experiences and expertise, we welcome your own questions too.

We’ve also decided to keep Phase I open for an additional 10 days (closing 9 December) in case you missed the opportunity to participate.

Thank you ahead of time for your contributions to this important discussion. Your feedback and insight will continue to contribute to strengthening the support that is offered worldwide!

Susanne Olbrisch • Climate Policy Specialist, UNDP at UNDP from United States Moderator

Thanks everyone for your contributions to the second phase of our e-discussion. See below a summary of key themes, which emerged from the comments.

 Phase 2 of the online discussion focused on “Institutions, Awareness and Engagement”, participants were encouraged to discuss:

  1. National processes to determine institutional arrangements for the NDC implementation process and for inter-ministerial coordination.
  2. Advice to countries on institutional arrangements and coordination mechanisms.
  3. Challenges and best practices in increasing NDC national level awareness, engaging key ministries and stakeholders, and increasing ownership of the NDC process.
  4. National experiences in maintaining momentum following the Paris Agreement.
  5. Whether institutional capacity needs have been assessed in the context of NDC implementation, and how to improve this capacity.

 

Institutional arrangements

In terms of institutional arrangements, Lebanon highlights that the NDC implementation process is based on existing committees, as not to create an additional burden on the already overstretched national institutions. These committees had been set up to coordinate the climate change agenda, and built off structures developed during NAMA creation. The benefit of this coordination mechanism is that representatives from various Ministries are largely familiar with the committees’ members, forming a good basis to ensure work continuity and an efficient process. It worked well in Lebanon to use existing ministerial and national thematic agendas as a starting point for NDC design, allowing for a smoother acceptance of NDC targets. A main challenge is keeping momentum with all partners in spite of political and economic instability and the current refugee crisis, making continuous discussion and awareness raising at the policy level necessary.

 

==> As was the case in Lebanon, a number of LECB countries were able to rely on previously established groups such as those established for NAMA development and approval, National Communication data collection, or Low Emission Development Strategy teams. This stresses how these  work areas are inter-dependent, and the value of making use of established structures.

 

Regarding institutional arrangements, Ricardo Energy and Environment points out that the NDC Implementation Quick-Start Guide (http://www.cdkn.org/ndc-guide/) by the Climate & Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and Ricardo Energy and Environment has a module on governance, setting out key activities for putting in place governance structures and processes on NDC implementation, which may be helpful for countries. From Ricardo’s experience, key is to balance the need for an effective central organisation driving NDC implementation with the need for ownership of climate action in all line ministries, which hold the levers for action. The goal is to mainstream NDC implementation into key government initiatives as not to be seen as a separate process.

 

Among the barriers are that timeframes that are often misaligned in a way that e.g. planning and development policies may not be due a refresh for a number of years. Thus a sectoral approach to NDC implementation could be a good option, in which one organization, often in the Environment Ministry, has a clear mandate for coordinating development of sectoral plans for NDC implementation, which should be owned by sectoral line ministries. Doing this can build capacity beyond the central NDC coordination unit and build sectoral political buy-in.

 

Effective governance for NDC implementation also includes engaging non-government stakeholders and developing legal frameworks to formalise NDC governance arrangements (as e.g. in Kenya, Mexico and the UK). The governance arrangements need to cover all NDC aspects – mitigation, adaptation, MRV and climate finance – and should align with relevant governance structures at the sub-national level (e.g. cities and regions).

 

==> A two-prong approach that includes a central organizing framework coupled with sectoral actions is definitely an ideal approach, based on UNDP’s experience working with countries.

 

GIZ was drawing from the experiences over the last of years on institutional arrangements for LEDS, NAMAs and MRV, noting that while institutional set-ups must be country-specific, learning from other countries’ experience is possible.

 

==> Another point is the necessary alignment of different reporting and monitoring streams (such as NDC, Biennial Update Reports, National Communications), as well as to mainstream relevant processes (such as NDC, SDGs, Sendai Framework for Disaster Reduction); UNDP sees integration efforts in a number of countries in this regard.

 

Awareness and momentum

In terms of awareness and momentum, Samoa shared its ambitious NDC target of achieving 100% electricity generated from renewable energy by 2017 to 2025, highlighting that - to realize this goal - the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and partners have conducted (I)NDC awareness campaigns at the national and community level. Consultations were held with energy sector stakeholders such as the Samoa Electric Power Corporation to gather views on (I)NDC implementation. Challenges included:

  • Key aspects of INDC implementation are under fragmented control among different Ministries, associated with limited collaboration due to different roles and objectives by each Ministry.
  • To increase the share of renewable energy, awareness and knowledge on renewable energy sources needs to be enhanced on the community level. Also land tenure is an issue, as within Samoa 80% of land is privately owned, therefore renewable energy developers need to consult with individual owners and may potentially have to pay compensation for renewable energy installations.
  • Financial constraints for INDC implementation.

As the key to a successful NDC implementation stakeholder engagement is highlighted.

 

As for maintaining the momentum following the Paris Agreement, Lebanon engages high level officials such as the Prime Minister and the Minister of Environment to push the agenda forward. To keep momentum in between UNFCCC sessions, workshops and national events were organized to keep climate change high on the political agenda.

 

One expert from GIZ highlighted that in particular synergies between NDCs and the SDGs (development benefits of the NDCs) can help to mainstream climate change in the decision making of other sectoral line ministries. Hence, sectoral NDC targets should be systematically assessed for potential development benefits, as financial resources for sectoral NDC targets can be better mobilized if they contribute to sectoral development targets.

 

Capacity needs

Lebanon analyzed institutional capacity needs during the first workshop on NDC implementation when ministries presented their national climate change agendas. As a result the national climate change programme works to enhance technical capacity of key stakeholders; progress on INDC implementation and gaps (capacity, legal and financial) is to be reported periodically to the Council of Ministers. However, the major impediments remain political will and ensuring a stable economic and security situation in Lebanon.

 

In terms of capacity enhancement, an expert from India pointed towards the resource material for practitioners and climate actors from the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture, a multi-stakeholder platform led by FAO: http://www.fao.org/gacsa/en/.

 

GIZ highlights that experience on institutional arrangements from NAMA and MRV work can also be helpful for NDC work, and therefore recommends three documents:

Toiata

Talofa and Greetings from Samoa! 

Samoa is committed towards achieving its INDC target i.e. 100% electricity generated from renewable energy sources  by 2017  to 2025 and beyond. With this commitment Samoan government through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment together with its implementing partners have conducted several [I]NDC awareness campaing activities both at the National level and Community Level, aimed to engage wider public on their views and opions on our [I] NDC Implementation.  Extensive consultations were conducted with various stakeholders at the national level with  utilities [EPC] and other major stakeholders within the Energy Sector. 

We have encountered several challenges with our NDC awareness such include, fragmented control of different ministries line of work,  financial contstraints and limited collaboration due to different roles and objectives by each  ministry.  While on community level is the knowledge of  comminties on renewable energy sources and related awareness activities. Also the land issues as within Samoa 80% of the land is customary owned therefore for any  RE development to occur, developers need to consult with communities and some compensation will required. 

With all these challenges Samoa still manages to strive to achieve its INDC implementationa  and we beleive that  communigating the communities and stakeholders is the key to a successful implementation of NDC within PICs

Allison TOWLE • Programme Specialist, Low Emission Capacity Building Programme, UNDP at UNDP from United States Moderator

Dear Toiata, Thank you for sharing Samoa's ambitious target and expanding on the work underway to realize this goal. It sounds like a comprehensive awareness campaign is taking place. I would be curious to know, have there been any challenges in maintaining the momentum of the various stakeholder groups? Any suggestions as to how to keep the attention and trust of diverse stakeholders?

Also, you mention, "fragmented control of different ministries" and "limited collaboration due to different roles and objectives by each ministry". Could you share a little about how Samoa has organized the institutional arrangements and coordination mechnisms for NDC implementation? Who are the implementating partners for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment? We've learned over the last few years that every country has a unique arrangment, but many have similarities and patterns that can help others to determine how best to proceed. It would be interesting to hear more about your experience. Hopefully it will prompt others to share as well.

Thanks again for your contribution. I look forward to your continued engagement and to hearing more about the implementation successes in Samoa.

Kind regards from New York.

Allison

Jihan SEOUD • Programme Analyst at UNDP

In order not to create an additional burden on the already overstretched national institutions in Lebanon, NDC implementation process was based on existing committees that had already been established during the design phase.  That too, had been built on an earlier mechanism set-up to promote the coordination of the climate change agenda at the national level and was built on the engagement process used for the development of the NAMAs.  So the coordination mechanism was not new, representatives from the various ministries are familiar with one another even though a few members may have changed, however this provides a good basis to ensure the continuity of the work, a more efficient process and a less cumbersome one for national counterparts.  Lebanon hopes to continue with this approach in the next phase of the NDC implementation process.

To start with, what has worked well in Lebanon is the reference to or use of existing ministerial and national thematic agendas as a starting point for the design of the NDC.  This allowed for a smoother acceptance and ownership of the NDC targets.  The main challenge is keeping the various partners engaged given the backdrop of political and economic instability and an overwhelming refugee crisis facing the country.  Priorities always seem to shift and keeping climate change at the top of the list takes continuous discussion and awareness raising at the policy level. 

As for maintaining the momentum following the Paris Agreement, engaging high level officials such as the Prime Minister and the Minister of Environment has pushed the agenda forward.  This was observed during the first quarter of the year right after the Paris Conference of the Parties however it dropped a little during the year before it picked up again at the Marakesh talks.  In between, in order to keep the momentum going, workshops and national events were organized to keep the climate change agenda high.  This helped in bridging the time and priority gap between the two conferences.

An initial analysis if institutional capacity needs was undertaken during the first workshop on the implementation of the NDCs when several ministries and stakeholders presented their national agendas in relation to climate change.  During this platform and in the bilateral discussions that followed, their respective needs and capacity gaps were identified.  The climate change programme took note of this and has been working on a targeted approach to enhance technical capacity.  A progress report (destined to be submitted to the Council of Ministers periodically) is currently under preparation. The report details the various sectoral activities that constitutes the INDC, captures the existing indicators and their suitability to report progress on INDC implementation, and identifies needs and gaps (technical – including legal, financial and capacity building) that requires further work to enable Lebanon achieve its INDC targets. However, the major impediments remain those related to political will and the prerequisite of having a stable security situation and economic stability in Lebanon. Otherwise the NDC agenda would always be at risk of falling short of its implementation targets.

Allison TOWLE • Programme Specialist, Low Emission Capacity Building Programme, UNDP at UNDP from United States Moderator

Dear Jihan,

Thank you for your detailed response and for sharing experiences and lessons learned from Lebanon. As was the case in Lebanon, we've seen in a number of LECB Countries how teams were able to rely on previously established groups such as those established for NAMA development and approval or National Communication data collection, Low Emission Development Strategy teams. It nicely demonstrates how all of this work is intertwined and inter-dependent. The experience in Lebanon also clearly demonstrates the need for maintaining these groups and building off off existing work rather than beginning from scratch.

Lebanon faces a unique set of difficulties given the current refugee crisis. The work that you and other colleagues have done to respond to refugee and host community needs with green solutions can be looked to for inspiration and learning. I look forward to seeing the tangible work that will continue from the dedicated climate change team.

Thanks again for sharing.

best,

allison

Ricardo Energy & Environment (not verified)

Hi,  James Harries here from Ricardo Energy & Environment. Just wanted to flag that our NDC implementation Quick-Start Guide (http://www.cdkn.org/ndc-guide/) has a specific module on governance, that may be helpful to refer to. This sets out key next steps and activities that a country might take on setting up governance structures and institutional processes to drive forward NDC implementation effectively and efficiently.

From our experience working with a range of countries, the key is  balancing the need to have an effective central organisation driving forward NDC implementation with the need to encourage ownership of climate action in all relevant line ministries, such as water, agriculture, energy, transport, and industry.  These line ministries hold the levers for action. The ultimate goal is effective mainstreaming of climate adaptation and mitigation, so that NDC implementation is not seen as a separate process.

NDC implementation needs to be, embedded in everything government does, from its five year plans and economic policy to key sectoral documents, such as sectoral master plans. However doing this takes time and requires careful planning and resource allocation. There are various barriers, such as limited capacity, changing political will, and timeframes that are often misaligned (e.g. planning and development policies may not be due a refresh for a number of years). Thus a sectoral approach to driving NDC implementation could be a good stepping stone to more comprehensive mainstreaming in future. This approach would involve promoting a clear mandate and responsibility to a central NDC implementation organisation, often (but not necessarily) in the Environment Ministry, for coordinating development of sectoral plans for NDC implementation, which should be owned and led by sectoral line ministries. Doing this can build capacity beyond the central NDC coordination unit, build sectoral political will and buy-in, and ensure a strong lead from the centre to drive action forward.

The Quick-Start Guide has more information on the key steps for ensuring effective governance and coordination for NDC implementation. These steps include identifying the central coordination team for NDC implementation, agreeing their role and responsibilities, agreeing cooperation approaches with key government ministries, department and agencies, integrating and aligning NDC implementation with other key policy processes, setting up institutional structures and processes for clear communication and decision making on NDC implementation, engaging non-government stakeholders and developing legal frameworks to formalise NDC governance arrangements where appropriate (as done in countries including Kenya, Mexico and the UK). The governance arrangements will need to cover all aspects of NDC implementation – mitigation, adaptation, MRV and climate finance – and should also align with any relevant governance structures at the sub-national level (e.g. cities and regions).

Allison TOWLE • Programme Specialist, Low Emission Capacity Building Programme, UNDP at UNDP from United States Moderator

Dear James,

Thank you for your contributions! From our work in-country we too would have to agree that having one central organization driving the process is key. But as you mention, a two-prong approach that includes a central organizing framework coupled with sectoral actions is, based on what we've seen and what has been reported by countries, definitely an ideal approach.

As you mention, the national level work takes time and is often competing with other national priorities (as seen in the case of Lebanon). Having sectoral action plans and actions can help maintain momentum and demonstrate lessons/good practices all while working toward the same target. Please feel free to invite country representatives to join the conversation and share some of their first-hand experiences. 

Thanks again for your contribution.

best,

allison

 

Saripalli Suryanarayana • from India

I had written a detailed draft as an engineer,on changes needed in  irrigation practices and systems  to meet the 21 century water and food needs.It includes proper modern equipments to record water pour,storage.Improving storage and supply systems.And finally the small rivers branching supplies to sea their training,storage of water,etc..This is given to FAO/CSA-GACSA-KAC..

Allison TOWLE • Programme Specialist, Low Emission Capacity Building Programme, UNDP at UNDP from United States Moderator

Dear Saripalli,

Thank you for joining the conversation and pointing to potential resources for practitioners and climate actors.

best,

Allison

Sebastian Wienges

Over the course of the last couple of years the GIZ encountered questions on institutional arrangements for climate policies in many countries in all regions and different contexts, like of LEDS, NAMAs and MRV. All institutional set-ups must be country-specific, but learning from other countries’ experiences is possible. When designing the institutional arrangements, the design must address (1) structures, (2) procedures, (3) external relations of the institutions involved. A legal formal mandate can facilitate the procedures defined.

Particularly, in the context of financing and implementing NDCs, as various countries and development partners are working on currently, the following building blocks of institutional arrangements can foster and support the NDC implementation: (a) MRV: monitoring and reporting progress toward sectoral NDC targets and national contributions to the global 2°C objective and of development benefits and contributions to the SDGs, (b) inter-ministerial coordination: an institution, mandated and/or established to coordinate between the climate ministry, the sectoral line ministries and the finance ministries which sectors are supposed to contribute what to the NDC implementation, (c) sectoral investment plans: sectoral implementation and investment plans must be developed or existing ones used to plan and deploy resources and match resource needs with public budgets and international funds and to create revenue flows and business cases for private investors, (d) regional cooperation: sectoral investment plans should be regionally coordinated to identify capacity building support needs and avoid implementation gaps, (e) development banks: national and multilateral development banks should lead on the investments in the implementation of the sectoral investment plans and attract other investors.

 

In particular synergies between NDCs and the SDGs (development benefits of the NDCs) can help to mainstream climate change in the decision making of other sectoral line ministries. The implementation of sectoral NDC targets can be achieved through existing sectoral project pipelines and, vice versa, financial resources for the implementation of sectoral NDC targets can be mobilized if they contribute to sectoral development targets. Hence, sectoral NDC targets must be systematically assessed for potential development benefits, and progress toward these development targets must be monitored along with progress toward the national climate targets and the transformation of development paths to the global 2°C objective.

 

There are some lessons learnt which have been collected from the countries where the GIZ has worked with the partner ministries on institutional arrangements:

In the short term:

  • Start the process with a workshop with stakeholders, including all involved institutional units to reach a common understanding and agree on a time schedule for the institutional arrangements

  • Designate existing units with mandates and staff these institutional units sufficiently with trained staff (based on experiences in institutional set-ups for mitigation policies 1-2 additional staff in existing and working institutions seem to be sufficient)

  • Procedures and roles&responsibilities should be agreed upon in inter-institutional workshops

    In the long term:

  • Procedures should be transparent so that private and civil society actors can contribute

  • Install platforms for open communication that all actors can provide information and that allows for exchange on and improvements of project proposals and to promptly address open questions

  • Define qualitative and quantitative criteria for evaluation in certain procedures (e.g. prioritization and approval)

  • Identify sources of financing for the institutional arrangements

  • If a new institutional unit is established, build in a sunset clause and an exit strategy when and how this unit can be dissolved again

     

    In general, functions of the institutional arrangements should be:

    Coordination of:

    • Scientific/ technical analysis based on sector expertise

    • Outreach: hosting a platform for facilitation of collaboration with private sector, academia, civil society, international organizations

    • Learning (identifying best practice and replicating it)

    • Negotiation: preparing lessons learnt for the international negotiations

      Political endorsement by:

    • Embedding in existing policies for sustainable development and LEDS

      Oversight through:

    • Monitoring and tracking progress

    • Planning oversight, supporting, guiding and coordinating line ministries

    • Communication/ information dissemination

      Implementation:

Susanne Olbrisch • Climate Policy Specialist, UNDP at UNDP from United States Moderator

Dear Sebastian,

Thanks for your comprehensive contribution of GIZ's experiences, much appreciated. Also from our experience, a number of lessons drawn from LEDS, NAMA and MRV work are promising for the evolving work on NDC development and implementation.

Another important point indeed is the necessary alignment of different reporting and monitoring streams (such as NDC, Biennial Update Reports, National Communications), as well as to mainstream relevant processes (such as NDC, SDGs, Sendai Framework for Disaster Reduction); we see integration efforts in a number of countries we work with.

We often see that particularly the engagement of the private sector in climate target definitions is both key and a challenge. For example Egypt has invested time into a comprehensive outreach process towards a number of industrial actors from the cement and fertilizer sector. Would you have some other country examples for successful private sector engagement, particularly on NDC development and implementation plans?

Thanks also for sharing the two resource documents from UNEP Risoe and the International Partnership on Mitigation and MRV, very useful.

Best regards from New York,

Susanne