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NEWS: Ethiopia is first Least Developed Country to submit its INDC


Robi Redda, CDKN’s Ethiopia Country Advisor, welcomes the submission of Ethiopia’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). CDKN is providing ongoing technical assistance to the Government of Ethiopia to realise its low-carbon, climate resilient development goals.

On 10 June, Ethiopia submitted an ambitious INDC to the UNFCCC. Ethiopia, one of the most climate vulnerable countries in Africa, has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions from 150 megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2e) in 2010 to 145 Mt CO2e in 2030 and to addressing the implications of climate change. It is the first Least Developed Country to submit its INDC.

Ethiopia’s contribution represents a 64 percent emissions reduction from business-as-usual emissions by 2030. Ethiopia’s greenhouse gas emissions would have grown to 400 MtCO2e by 2030 under business-as-usual economic growth trajectory but now aims to reduce this emissions growth by 255 Mt CO2e. This is ambitious for a country whose emissions are a very small portion of total global emissions. (Please see the related chart: Sectoral abatement from business as usual trajectory.)

Ethiopia’s INDC builds on its Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy, which aims to reduce emissions and build climate resilience, while achieving middle-income country status by 2025.

Ethiopia’s INDC also looks at adaptation to climate change as it builds on the country’s adaptation planning process, which outlines medium and long-term actions to reduce vulnerabilities. The actions to meet the long-term adaptation goal range from measures to cope with the spread of diseases to strengthening natural resources management. Ethiopia’s INDC also aims to integrate actions that improve the status of women, welfare of children, and the well-being of the elderly, disabled, and environmental refugees. The government of Ethiopia also emphasized the synergies between low-carbon development and resilience actions.

Grounding the INDC’s ambitions in national development priorities

Ethiopia’s CRGE Strategy has its basis in the overarching national development plan, the First Growth and Transformation Plan, GTP-I (2010-2015). The country is now working towards fully integrating the CRGE Strategy into its current national development plan, the Second Growth and Transformation Plan, GTP II (2016-2020), which is currently in its final stages of development.

In this regard, the articulation of the INDC came at an important time and benefited from the ongoing climate compatible development mainstreaming process, which will ensure that Ethiopia’s climate change ambitions are grounded into national development priorities. Similarly, the INDC process provided the platform to review the implementation performance of the climate change targets stipulated in the CRGE Strategy and GTP-I.

Moving from policy to action

Ethiopia is already committing significant resources to reduce greenhouse gases and build resilience to the impacts of climate change, in line with its national development priorities, notably inter alia through:

    • Intensified natural resource management and afforestation/ reforestation of several million hectares of degraded land, with active voluntary contributions of local communities;
    • Investments in a low-emission transport sector, namely the construction of a 5,000 kilometers railway network that will utilise clean energy;
    • Increased energy access and power generation from the hydro, wind and solar energy sectors, including the construction and operationalisation of the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam amounting to US$ 4 billion generated from domestic sources.

Vital links between national and global action

As stipulated in its INDC, Ethiopia will continue to make substantial investments towards its emissions reduction and resilience building targets. However, they stated in their submission that “the full implementation of Ethiopia’s INDC is contingent upon an ambitious multilateral agreement being reached among Parties that enables Ethiopia to get international support and that stimulates investments”. The full implementation of Ethiopia’s INDC requires significant capital investment of more than US$150 billion by 2030. To this end, Ethiopia will undertake research as part of the national climate compatible development planning process to determine what can be accomplished from national resources (i.e. without support) and what will require international support.

Early mover advantages for Ethiopia

As the first Least Developed Country to submit its INDC, Ethiopia has established itself as a leader, reaffirming its far-reaching short-term and long-term actions to meet its adaptation and emissions reduction goals. The ambitious targets set in Ethiopia’s INDC, a country with low emissions and pressing development needs, shows that ‘going low-carbon’ can be a path to middle-income status. It also encourages developed countries that are yet to submit their commitments to be more ambitious and to provide climate finance ahead of COP21 in Paris.

“Ethiopia has demonstrated leadership by setting a serious commitment to act on climate change using, at least in part, its domestic resources,” said CDKN’s Chief Executive Sam Bickersteth. “Ethiopia has also set out a challenge to other countries to achieve an ambitious agreement that will provide international finance to meet its own goals.”

Image courtesy CGIAR.

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One response to “NEWS: Ethiopia is first Least Developed Country to submit its INDC”

  1. Tsegaye Ginbo says:

    Ethiopia’s initiative to reduce GHG emission by about 60% while planning to achieve middle income status in 2030 is innovative model of environment friendly economic growth.

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