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PROJECT: Supporting Colombia in crafting ambitious and practical climate change goals


Project Reference: RSGL-1104

Planning and committing to a low carbon future is no small task. It requires robust data, the generation of greenhouse gas baselines and profiles, and agreement of nationally appropriate climate change mitigation options. It is also a politically-charged issue; as experienced by countries trialling the Mitigation Action Plans and Scenarios (MAPS) process, expert facilitation is needed to maintain cooperation among stakeholders throughout the process, and to ensure the scientific credibility of resulting plans.

In Colombia, the approach to achieving a low carbon future is set out in the Colombia Low Carbon Development Strategy (CLCDS). Building on Colombia’s Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA), the Strategy is a medium and long-term development plan led by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the Department of National Planning, and sectoral ministries of Colombia. It aims to provide a roadmap to strengthen the country’s economic and social development whilst keeping greenhouse gas emissions low. Together with the National Adaptation Plan for Climate Change, the REDD+ National Strategy, and the Strategy for Financial Protection Against Natural Disasters, the CLCDS constitutes the National Climate Change Policy established in Colombia’s National Development Plan 2010 – 2014.

In 2015, ahead of the 21st Conference of the Parties, countries were required to submit their intended contribution to climate change mitigation, known as an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC). There is currently no formal, standard template for INDCs, and therefore countries are able to tailor their approach to the national context. In Colombia, the INDC built on the CLCDS and detailed plans for moving toward a low carbon, climate-resilient future accordingly.

Colombia’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development were actively working on its submission, and planed to communicate their INDC in the lead up to COP21 in Paris.

This project, delivered by the Centre for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) in partnership with the Universidad de los Andes and Twenty-First Strategies, analysed greenhouse gas reduction policies in key sectors to support Colombia in crafting an ambitious, practical INDC which sets the country on a lower carbon, sustainable development pathway. Focusing on six of Colombia’s economic sectors (electricity, industry, hydrocarbons, residential, waste and transportation), the research has assessed greenhouse gas mitigation options and policies against factors such as their ambition relative to international best practices, cost effectiveness, energy efficiency, economic and social co-benefits and implementation feasibility. The project also considered how actions supported by climate finance can be incorporated into an INDC, and options for securing international finance for INDC implementation.

The research supported the Government of Colombia in ensuring that its INDC serves as a model for other countries in showing how effective climate policies can produce sustainable development and poverty-reduction benefits in addition to emission-reduction outcomes. Ambitious INDCs were critical to a successful global climate agreement in Paris in limiting temperature increases to no more than 2°C.

Alongside this project, CDKN has supported a suite of others supporting the INDCs process in our focus countries, and we have also published articles and publications on INDCs. More information about our work and resources on INDCs can be found on the INDCs page on our website.

CDKN funding: £220,000

CDKN project manager: Liliana Ramos (liliana.ramos@cdkn.org)

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