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Last week, SIG participated in the fourth annual Low Emission Development Strategies Global Partnership (LEDS GP) meeting in the Dominican Republic, “Implementing LEDS: Innovation and Good Practices.”


The event brought together leading national and local government officials and practitioners from countries and international institutions in a highly interactive and member-led format.  The objectives were to share lessons and strengthen cooperation on climate-resilient low emission development around the world.


The 3 day agenda focused on “Financing LEDS and Assessment & Communication of Benefits.”  Among the comprehensive presentations were several technical training sessions, as well as a wealth of most recent information on climate finance shared by the major multi-lateral development banks as well as the Green Climate Fund.


Scott Muller of SIG organized and moderated the interactive peer learning session on the “Coordinated and Vertical integration of LEDS.”  Two expert practitioners were invited to each share a concrete example of an innovative, practical initiative that is enhancing and scaling up low emission, climate resilient development in their country.


“Effective multi-level governance will be a key attribute in achieving transformative emission reduction targets,” Scott asserted in his opening remarks.  He highlighted coordination and vertical integration themes from the “other” major multilateral agreements this year on sustainable development and climate change–the post 2015 Development Agenda and the post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.  Namely, that MDG targets were achieved in developing countries more often when sub-national governments assumed increased responsibilities to foster and accelerate development – in line with national targets and development objectives.  As well, during formal consultations for a post 2015 DRR framework, stronger linkages between national and local governments and the importance of improved community involvement were repeatedly called out.  This resulted in clear targets and priorities in the Sendai Framework.


However, to-date, multi-level governance approaches to climate policy and action have been more of a challenge.


The first keynote presentation was given by Ms. Carolina Hernandez.  She discussed how Colombia’s Ministry of Housing, City and Territorial Development (MINVIVIENDA) has linked adaptation and mitigation policies for integrated urban and rural development to achieve the Republic’s ambitious INDC.


She began by sharing Colombia’s challenge: to meet their INDC (GHG emission reductions of 20% by 2030)—despite the fact that every year from now until 2035, Colombia will grow a city with a population equivalent to Dublin, Ireland (523,000 habitants).  Authorities recognize that this growth drives many changes, such as impacts to human health from urban heat islands or rainfall increasing in urban centers by more than 40%.  This has lead to 20 prioritized short term measures and efforts at vertical integration focused on urban development, energy efficiency, sustainable building and information management and competitiveness.  What’s more, Colombia’s approach is cross-cutting, utilizing adaptation and mitigation joint policies that support other national objectives, such as the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, Disaster Risk Reduction commitments and the conservation of biodiversity.


Then, Mr. Pathom Chaiyapruksaton from the Thailand GHG Management Organization (Public Organization) (TGOshared Thailand’s voluntary corporate GHG reporting program, the “Carbon Footprints for Organizations (CFO).”  This web-based GHG reporting platform demonstrates national model practice for verification and baselining of emissions from sub-national actors.


Ms. Alex Carr of The Climate Registry remarked that this type of program is foundational to a number of climate policy mechanisms and supports both the public and private sectors, “organizations can make better decisions about reducing emissions and can build capacity ahead of regulation; while governments can build a high-quality data set that will improve national-level reporting and inform future policy making.”


Developed under the auspices of the USAID LEAD program, TGO’s Revised CFO Program (Version 2) includes program-specific reporting and verification guidance as well as a customized online reporting platform. Mr. Pathom from TGO identified a number of key actors that were critical to the successful development and implementation of the program including; a policy framework and budget for the activities, standardized guidance, constructive stakeholder engagement and partnership, and capacity building efforts among the key users of the program. Challenges included the limited availability of site-specific emission factors, the availability of trained GHG inventory consultants and verifiers, and concerns about publicly disclosing the GHG data.


After the comprehensive presentations, participants in the peer learning session oraganized into roundtable discussions for an in-depth exploration on how to adapt similar approaches to their country’s particular context.


All presentations and resources from the 4th annual LEDS GP meeting are available here.


Photos (C) LEDS GP

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