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FEATURE: What can we learn from CDKN’s Inside Stories on climate compatible development?


CDKN recently published the twentieth edition of its Inside Stories on climate compatible development. This milestone provides an opportunity to review the series, and highlight some of the top considerations for decision-makers at the intersection of climate and development policy.

CDKN commissioned the Inside Stories in response to developing country policy-makers’ demand for practical lessons: they want to know what works, and what doesn’t, when planning and delivering low carbon, climate resilient developmentImplement a holistic climate risk strategy that overcomes barriers and launches fully funded key adaptation initiatives'How can we reach our development targets while accounting for current and future risks?. Failure provides lessons that are just as important as success stories. And in a world that is warming more rapidly than at any time in recorded history, every lesson counts.

Scope of the ‘Inside Stories’

CDKN’s Inside Stories on climate compatible development are wide ranging. One group of stories explores integrated conservation and development policies that were initiated for their broader sustainabilityIn order to survive, all life, including human life, depends either directly or indirectly on the natural environment. Sustainability is a principle where current requirements are met while the livelihoods of future generations are not threatened. benefits but also deliver climate co-benefitsThe benefits of policies implemented for various reasons at the same time, acknowledging that most policies designed to address greenhouse gas mitigation have other, often at least equally important, rationales (e.g., related to objectives of development, sustainability, and equity). The term .... These include Ecuador’s Socio Bosque (‘agroforestry’) programme; Niger’s Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration programme; and Zambia’s Evergreen AgricultureCultivation of the ground and harvesting of crops and handling of livestock, the primary function is the provision of food and feed. scheme. Other stories look at climate policiesClimate change policy and legislation drives the transition to a low carbon economy, creating opportunities and risks to which businesses must respond to succeed. and programmes ranging from the Philippines’ climate legislation to major nation-wide climate resilience programmes in Grenada and Bangladesh. One of our Inside Stories documents the first subnational climate accord in a developing country, the Yucatan Peninsula Accord among Mexican states; another plumbs experience with climate compatible developmentClimate compatible development is development that minimises the harm caused by climate impacts, while maximising the many human development opportunities presented by transitions to a low emissions, resilient future. Charting a path towards climate compatible development will be a major ...  among  South African municipalities.

Some of the stories are sector-specific, taking in leading examples of REDDIt is expected that support for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) should achieve cost effective emission reductions, as well as biodiversity and livelihoods benefits.+ readiness from Fiji and Vietnam, and  innovative programmes for gearing up renewable energyRenewable energy is power generated from infinite sources, such as wind or solar power. Conventional energy is generated from finite sources, such as natural gas or fossil oil. investment, such as the best practices in Tanzanian and South African renewablesRenewable energy is power generated from infinite sources, such as wind or solar power. Conventional energy is generated from finite sources, such as natural gas or fossil oil. sectors, India (solar power and energy efficiency), Barbados (solar water heating), China (wind powerWind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form, such as electricity, using wind turbines. By 2010, a single wind turbine can produce several MW of electric power.), and Kenya (geothermal energyAlso known as geothermal power. Heat that is stored inside the earth is transformed into electrical energy by geothermal power plants. This form of energy is considered to be cost-effective, reliable and friendly to the environment.).  These sectoral policies are significant, for these sectors constitute sizeable proportions of their countries’ economic output and/or these policies have the potential to spearhead their country’s transition to a low carbon, climate resilient path. The Tanzania inside story has already been cited multiple times in strategy documents for the country’s energy sector reform.

More recently, CDKN has commissioned Inside Stories on developing countries’ experiences with international finance mechanisms: China’s experience in exploiting the market opportunity provided by the Clean Development MechanismThe Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is one of the flexibility mechanisms defined in the Kyoto Protocol (IPCC, 2007) that provides for emissions reduction projects which generate Certified Emission Reduction units which may be traded in emissions trading schemes.Defined in Article 12 of the ... and Jamaica and Senegal’s comparative experience in accessing monies directly from the Adaptation Fund.

Major themes in climate compatible development policy

The Inside Stories are, by and large, success stories, although even the most promising initiatives are qualified successes. CDKN believes that honest analyses of what could have gone better, or what could be improved, makes for a more interesting read, and provides more thought-provoking and useful conclusions for readers.

Here, then, are some of the major themes in climate compatible development that have emerged from the Inside Stories on climate compatible development:

1. Open and transparent process makes for durable climate compatible development policies

Many elements we recognise as being good practice in development generally – and indeed, in environmental governance – also apply to climate compatible development. Affected stakeholdersThe stakeholder is a person, group, or entity who has a direct or indirect role and interest in the goals or objectives and implementation of a program/intervention and/or its evaluation. (Glossary Monitoring and Evaluation Terms; MERG Monitoring & Evaluation Reference Group and UNAIDS)’ access to information about policy processes and their participation in decision-making are two vital ingredients of success.

First, the Inside Stories show how transparency creates greater accountabilityAccountability is the responsibility for the use of resources and the decisions made, as well as the obligation to demonstrate that work has been done in compliance with agreed-upon rules and standards and to report fairly and accurately on performance results vis-a-vis mandated roles and/or ... and compliance of key actorsThe stakeholder is a person, group, or entity who has a direct or indirect role and interest in the goals or objectives and implementation of a program/intervention and/or its evaluation. (Glossary Monitoring and Evaluation Terms; MERG Monitoring & Evaluation Reference Group and UNAIDS) in forest and climate programmes. In Indonesia, a moratorium on logging in primary forests and peatland requires forestDefined under the Kyoto Protocol as a minimum area of land of 0.05-1.0 ha with tree-crown cover (or equivalent stocking level) of more than 10-30 % with trees with the potential to reach a minimum height of 2-5 m at maturity in situ. A forest may consist either of closed forest formations where ... managers and law enforcement officials to comply with the ban and to be open and transparent about their practices. Such a programme involves hundreds of forest enterprises and district level government officials, many of whom benefitted economically from the previous regime. For this reason, national programme officers have emphasised data transparency: they have published maps of the moratorium areas and issued updated remote sensing data as often as possible, in an effort to create a broader environment of accountability.

New flows of climate finance can, more broadly, provide new opportunities for corruption and empire-building by policy elites (a risk whenever new aid begins to flow in substantial volumes). Several ‘Inside Stories’ discuss best practices in governance to counter these risks: the Indonesia case, above, along with the case of REDD+It is expected that support for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) should achieve cost effective emission reductions, as well as biodiversity and livelihoods benefits. REDD-plus includes conservation, the sustainable management of forests and the enhancement of ... readiness in Tanzania, document measures for transparency and openness driven by the donor government, Norway.

2. Adequate stakeholderThe stakeholder is a person, group, or entity who has a direct or indirect role and interest in the goals or objectives and implementation of a program/intervention and/or its evaluation. (Glossary Monitoring and Evaluation Terms; MERG Monitoring & Evaluation Reference Group and UNAIDS) consultation is vital

Another pillar of good aid governance and robust development policy – stakeholder consultation – emerges as a key success factor in the Inside Stories. This is perhaps unsurprising, given the large evidence base on the links between stakeholder consultation in policy-making and successful implementation. Thorough consultation has proved important to securing stakeholder support for implementation in  Tanzania, Vietnam , IndonesiaGrenada,  Bangladesh, Jamaica and Senegal.

For instance, in Direct access to the AdaptationAdjustments in human and natural systems, in response to actual or expected climate stimuli or their effects, that moderate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities. (IPPC) Fund: Lessons from accrediting NIEs in Jamaica and Senegal, Benoit Rivard and Will Bugler write: “Senegal stands out in comparison  to other NIE-accredited countries in the way it included civil society in the decision-making process from the very beginning. This entailed opening early-stage meetings to non-government organisations and community service organisations and involving stakeholders at all levels. The relationships established at this stage were useful for making later decisions about adaptation projectsDifferent projects are implemented to adapt to anthropogenic climate change..”

Several Inside Stories emphasize the importance of consulting with businesses in order to design market-based solutions effectively. Such consultation is fundamental if governments are to craft policies that are economically feasible for businesses or, in the case of voluntary schemes, that attract business participation. Defining the entry requirements for carbon marketalready in reegle but keep for thesaurus integration (no need to translate) participation;  establishing baselineThe baseline (or reference) period defines the climatology against which future changes are projected. (UKCIP) They are used to decide on the emission reductions for Joint Implementation and Clean Development Mechanism. greenhouse gas emissionsGreenhouse gas emissions cause dangerous anthropogenic climate change. Emissions include CO2, fluoridated gases, methane which are emitted by human activity such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels, and water vapour. levels; setting standards for monitoring, reportingPresenting data to internal management and external users such as regulators, shareholders, the general public or specific stakeholder groups. (WRI, 2013); Corporate inventory program. A program to produce annual corporate inventories that are keeping with the principles, standards, and guidance ... and verification; and fixing price ceilings or floors for carbon marketsA system in which Carbon is given an economic value, allowing people, companies or nations to trade it. If a nation bought carbon, it would be buying the rights to burn it, and a nation selling carbon would be giving up its rights to burn it. are among the measures that benefit from extensive private sector consultation before policies are launched.

The consultative process to design India’s Perform, Achieve and Trade scheme, which targetsTarget period: For multi-year goals, a period of several consecutive years over which the mitigation goal is to be achieved. The last years of the goal period. Target year: For single-year goals, the year by which the goal is to be met. The last year of the goal period. Target year emissions: ... energy efficiencyUsing less energy/electricity to perform the same function. Programs designed to use electricity more efficiently - doing the same with less. savings from 478 industrial facilities, has been long and intensive. The author of this case study, Neelam Singh, concludes that such a long design phase was necessary to set realistic conditions for these industries’ participation, including realistic emissions reductions targets. At first, policy makers intended to set sector-by-sector targets but after consultations revealed the wide disparity in energy efficiencyUsing less energy/electricity to perform the same function. Programs designed to use electricity more efficiently - doing the same with less. at different plants, the Government decided to set targets on a plant-by-plant basis.

3. Adaptive management is important

Even the best consultative processes do not lead to perfect policy and programme designs. Policies succeed in delivering their climate, environment and development goals when adaptive management is factored into the implementation phase. In practical terms, this means being ready to refine the design of a policy or programme as it unfolds.

Ecuador’s Socio Bosque programme, which offers individuals and communities payments for forest conservation activities, was designed with public consultation. However, its architects knew that some fine-tuning to the payments and the MRV systems would be required, after an initial period, to achieve the desired outcomes.

In India, the Jawarhal Nehru solar mission was first undertaken with a round of bidding for private sector solar PVPhotovoltaics (PV) is the field of technology and research related to the application of solar cells for energy by converting sunlight directly into electricity. Solar power is sometimes used as a synonym to refer to electricity generated from solar radiation. installation and maintenance companies but upon implementation, it was found that the quality of many small local companies’ work was below standard and modifications have had to be made to the bidding criteria for subsequent rounds.

4. Public policy and investment anchors private sector involvement

We know the private sector is looking for a stable, predictable policy environment for climate-smart investments.  Inside Stories highlight several cases in which governments provide a long-term horizon with policy and regulatory certainty to investors: as in India’s solar mission, South Africa’s renewables initiative, and Barbados’ solar water heating programme. In the Chinese case study, Ailun Yang concludes that “establishment of a stable and favourable pricing mechanism [has been] crucial for the development of wind powerKinetic energy from air currents arising from uneven heating of the Earth’s surface. A wind turbine is a rotating machine including its support structure for converting the kinetic energy to mechanical shaft energy to generate electricity. A windmill has oblique vanes or sails and the ....”

As the modalities for the Green Climate Fund are developed and policy-makers consider how the Fund will be capitalised, it is timely to consider how government investment in climate compatible development can leverage private sector entry.  In the Inside Story about Kenya, the start-up costsCost: The consumption of resources such as labour time, capital, materials, fuels, etc. as the consequence of an action. In economics, all resources are valued at their opportunity cost, which is the value of the most valuable alternative use of the resources. Costs are defi ned in a variety of ... for geothermalAlso known as geothermal power. Heat that is stored inside the earth is transformed into electrical energy by geothermal power plants. This form of energy is considered to be cost-effective, reliable and friendly to the environment. energy development were prohibitively expensive for private businesses, so the Government of Kenya established the para-statal Geothermal Development Company (GDC). The GDC shoulders some of the financial risk for the private sector at exploration, appraisalThe process of examining options (and the tools used to do so in an evaulation environment) and assessing their relative merits. It is normally used to describe analysis prior to mplementation. See evaluation. (UKCIP, 2013) and drilling stages.

5. Policies should be embedded in existing legal frameworks and recognise existing rights

Climate compatible development policies and programmes aren’t formed in a vacuum: they need to build on existing legal and policy foundations. Many of the ‘Inside Stories’ show the historic progression of legal and policy development.  India’s  energy efficiency scheme builds on the policy framework developed throughout the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, as visualised in the graphic in Neeram Singh’s Inside Story. Kenya’s geothermal energy expansion has been facilitated by the development of a supportive policy framework including a zero value-added tax (VAT) rate for renewable energy deployment and a feed-in tariffA Feed-in Tariff is an incentive structure to encourage the adoption of renewable energy through government legislation. The regional or national electricity utilities are obligated to buy renewable electricity at above-market rates set by the government. (FITA Feed-in Tariff is an incentive structure to encourage the adoption of renewable energy through government legislation. The regional or national electricity utilities are obligated to buy renewable electricity at above-market rates set by the government.) policy, both of which will support the government’s ramped-up ambitions for a huge expansion of geothermal development between now and 2030.

Continuing layers of policy and regulatory detail have been developed in the Philippines, where the landmark Climate ChangeClimate change is a lasting change in weather patterns over long periods of time. It can be a natural phenomena and and has occurred on Earth even before people inhabited it. Quite different is a current situation that is also referred to as climate change, anthropogenic climate change, or ... Act in 2009 has been followed by a National Framework Strategy on Climate Change in 2010 and a National Climate Change Action Plan in 2011. The Philippines case study also highlights the perils when countries’ legal frameworks are not adequately aligned with climate change ambitions. Authors Katherine Lofthouse and Alex Kenny  conclude that the lack of environmental regulation on extractive industries is detrimental to the climate.

Where target beneficiaries lack adequate legal rights to natural resources, further legal action is needed to confer the benefits of new climate and development policies. For instance, to benefit fully from climate or carbon finance schemes based on forest or land conservation, households and communities must have clear and sufficient legal rights over those resources. Where people’s rights remain to be clarified, as in the case of some ethnic minority communities in Vietnam, the design of effective programmes is complex and challenging.

6. Subnational programmes provide models that can be replicated and scaled up

Some Inside Stories show how successful subnational climate compatible development policies can be either replicated at similar geographical scales, or scaled up to national level. In Colombia, the participatory vulnerability assessment methodology developed by CDKN, CIAT and government partners provides a holistic model for evaluating the economic, socio-cultural and environmental  vulnerabilities caused by climate change: this programme is now a model for similar initiatives in Colombia’s transport sector. Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula Accord among the state governments of Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatan has enabled these authorities to build their collective capacity to address climate vulnerability. Author Liliana Del Villar notes that there is active discussion about extending the Accord to other state-level governments, and that, at minimum, the participating states “can acquire valuable experience and generate lessons that can support policy-making and implementation at the national level.”

The cases of Niger’s Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration and Zambia’s Evergreen Agriculture schemes document how small-scale farmer-centred solutions have gradually been replicated at community level to achieve large scale in delivery, over time, to the extent that the Zambian one is now under consideration under as a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) programme under the UNFCCC.

7. Selling the co-benefits of climate and development policy requires the right communication skills

The Inside Stories showcase policies and programmes that aim to deliver climate and development co-benefits yet occasionally governments  have struggled to sell the benefits to an apathetic or, at times, sceptical public. Success may not simply depend on whether the policy or programme itself is a good ‘offer’ to stakeholders: its popularity and uptake may depend on how it’s communicated. In Grenada, Inside Story authors Sarah Mason Case and Sandra Prescod-Darymple say that outreach workers weren’t wholly convincing in selling the government’s climate resilience programme. By contrast, in Barbados, the Inside Story describes how champions including the prime minister himself embraced solar waterClimate change is expected to exacerbate current stresses on water resources from population growth and economic and land-use change, including urbanisation. On a regional scale, mountain snow pack, glaciers and small ice caps play a crucial role in freshwater availability. Widespread mass ... heating and communicated it widely in the press, with positive results. The case study of mainstreaming climate change into South Africa’s municipal development plans delivers a strong lesson about communicating local relevance: “Climate change considerations must be shown to be relevant to local priorities and circumstances. Developing county governments face many social, economic and environmental challenges and framing climate change action as a response to these challenges enables decision-makers to see such action as contributing to – rather than constraining – development.”

Summary  

In summary,  the Inside Stories on climate compatible development were commissioned on the basis of the usefulness of each, separate case study to developing country policy-makers, and not as a comparative set of case studies that could be assessed like-for-like. Yet still, some important commonalities emerge from the series. The Inside Stories stress the importance of transparency, adequate consultation with affected stakeholders, adaptive management, skilled communication of policy benefits, consistency and longevity of public policies to enhance private sector involvement. None of these are new concepts, but it is perhaps important that these ‘ingredients of success’ are re-emphasised, as decision-makers and their constituents face the steep challenges and trade-offs of climate compatible development together.

The many qualified successes in the Inside Story collection provide something else, too: they suggest an increasingly critical mass of experience in climate compatible development policy-making and implementation building internationally. We know that the global sum of individual countries’ efforts to tackle greenhouse gasGreenhouse gas emissions cause dangerous anthropogenic climate change. Emissions include CO2, fluoridated gases, methane which are emitted by human activity such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels, and water vapour. emissionsEmissions of greenhouse gases, greenhouse gas precursors, and aerosols associated with human activities, including the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, land-use changes, livestock, fertilisation, etc. (IPCC) and build climate resilience is still insufficient. However, we see that even while national (and subnational) circumstances are unique, we still have much to learn from each other. There has never been a better time for knowledge exchange on the climate compatible development agenda.

 

CDKN has provided editorial oversight of the Inside Story series, while subject and country experts have scripted the individual papers. Authors come from partner organisations Acclimatise, Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, International Development Law Organisation, Ithaca Environmental, LTS International and World Resources InstituteWRI is a global research organization that works closely with leaders to turn big ideas into action to sustain a healthy environment—the foundation of economic opportunity and human well-being (WRI, 2014).. Green Ink have edited, designed and laid out the stories.

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