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Nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) in developing countries: challenges and opportunities

Nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) were introduced by the Bali Action Plan in 2007 and they have since been interpreted in various ways by different countries and country groupings. A key question for the talks on NAMAs at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in 2009 and beyond is whether the different positions can be reconciled.

Against this background, this paper asks the following questions.

  • What are the positions of the four key developing countries, known as the BASIC countries (Brazil, China, India, and South Africa)?
  • What are the domestic developments and considerations influencing the positions of these four countries?
  • What are the prospects of these countries to undertake certain types of NAMAs under a post-2012 climate regime?

The authors find that overall the four countries have similar positions on NAMAs. The paper presents the following findings.

  • NAMAs and the commitments of developed countries are considered separate.
  • The BASIC countries stress that any mitigation action should not hamper their development.
  • Support for NAMAs should be proposed by the developing countries themselves.
  • Financial resources to support these activities should be channelled through the financial mechanism proposed by the G77 and China.

However, a closer look at each country’s position reveals divergences. The authors conclude that it is unlikely that agreement will be reached on all the outstanding questions on NAMAs at Copenhagen in 2009. The paper, nevertheless, advocates a basic agreement on NAMAs on a number of key issues, including legal nature, definition and categorisation, and crediting.