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FEATURE: Innovative learning partnerships flourish on climate-resilient, low-emissions development


Sam Bickersteth, Chief Executive of CDKN, and Caroline Spencer, Partnerships and Learning Coordinator, report from the LEDS Global Partnership gathering in Addis Ababa.

CDKN was delighted to participate in, and co-sponsor, the third annual workshop of the Low Emissions Development Strategies (LEDS) Global Partnership which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 27-30 August 2014. Attendees included more than 155 participants from 44 countries around the world.

The diversity of organisations and countries engaging in the LEDS Global Partnership has grown dramatically since its early days. The LEDS Global Partnership now has over 1700 members from governments, bilateral and multilateral donors, universities,  NGOs and the private sector. Members are based across Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, North America and Europe. Peer-to-peer learning is now at the heart of the LEDS Global Partnership.

The event provided a chance for participants from Ministries of Environment in Cote d’Ivoire, Bhutan and Chile, among many others, to interact with large organisations like the World Bank and smaller ones like Creeds Energy, a private renewables business in Nigeria. The LEDS Global Partnership had, for the first time, significant participation from across Africa. An additional session for the Africa LEDS Partnership was also held.

What were the ‘hot topics’ for this year’s gathering?

This year’s meeting focused on mobilising leadership for LEDS processes, catalysing implementation, and communicating the development benefits of LEDS . The event also prioritised ongoing learning, collaboration, and assistance across the international community of LEDS.  Participants emphasised that LEDS is first and foremost a development process and for most members, development must come first.  Action on climate change is seen by many as a ‘fortuitous’ co-benefit.

While progress on LEDS was noted across many countries, it was clear that more efforts are needed. More work is needed to build the actual narrative around LEDS. This narrative needs to hinge around the economic benefits. A robust valuation of the impact of LEDS is needed, together with jargon-free communications for political and business leaders.

Some excellent peer-to-peer learning highlights included:

  • Sharing the results of the Green Growth in Practice: Lessons from Country Experience learning process.
  • A wide range of examples of national and subnational planning. For example, in India, the Government of the State of Karnataka’s green economy strategy has laid out benefits in four ‘buckets’, covering social benefits, local environmental benefits, economic benefits and mitigation. The financial attractiveness, as well as the abatement potential of a limited number of key options has been clearly set out.
  • Another great learning opportunity came from the insights from the Ethiopia Climate Resilience and Green Economy strategy. These included the need for green growth strategies to: i) have political leadership; i) be contextual and build on existing work and knowledge; iii) to integrate into national growth objectives; iv) to provide information in a manner that can inform policy making; and iv) to learn from other experiences.

These insights resonated deeply with the members of the LEDS Global Partnership. There was a substantial focus on ‘real time’ problem solving during the event. Sessions were hosted where countries could share specific challenges around finance, agriculture, forestry and other land uses (AFOLU) and energy with partners from all over the world. Discussions generated direct solutions, advice from other countries, and options which the LEDS Global Partnership could help support.

Why does CDKN champion membership of the LEDS Global Partnership?

The LEDS Global Partnership is a unique network for harnessing the collective knowledge and expertise of leaders on climate compatible development across countries, international organisations and technical institutes and for accelerating our collective progress towards climate-resilient low emissions development. Its three regional platforms for Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and, most recently Africa, have vibrant, regionally-led and driven membership. Its eleven technical working groups cover a range of topics such as energy, transport, subnational and finance, which have arisen from the demands of the three regional networks. The LEDS Global Partnership now intends to integrate an even greater focus on climate resilience. This is a clear recognition of the importance of planning low-carbon and climate-resilient development, in a coherent and joined up manner.  

Where next for the LEDS Global Partnership?

The LEDS Global Partnership demonstrates the power of collaboration and the value of peer learning, inspiration and support. It has established itself as a member-led, neutral and truly global learning space for practitioners. Its members share a common passion to use knowledge and experience, and partnerships to accelerate low-carbon development transitions across the world. The LEDS Global Partnership is likely to remain a key partner both for CDKN and for other knowledge and learning networks. To find out more about the LEDS GP visit: http://ledsgp.org/home

 

Image: Addis Ababa, World Bank

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