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FEATURE: New low-carbon coalitions lead action on climate change in the absence of global deal

New low-carbon coalitions lead action on climate change in the absence of global deal

Durban, 9 Dec 2011~ Forward-thinking countries that are seizing opportunities presented by climate funds, including finance for knowledge exchange, and a greener global economy are leading action on climate change, in the absence of a strong global deal.

Speaking at CoP17, at a CDKN & MAPS side-event, Youba Sakona of the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) said:

“Many developing countries in the early stages of economic development are drawing on climate finance to leapfrog into the new low-carbon economy.”

A number of developing countries, such as Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Peru and a regional alliance of fifteen Caribbean countries, announced or showcased economy-wide transformations and ambitious plans for climate compatible development, at CoP17 in Durban this year.

  • Geothermal energy and integrated soil fertility management are just two areas that the government of Rwanda will invest in, as part of their Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy, supported by CDKN and launched at a UNFCCC side event in Durban this year. In Rwanda clean energy sources can also create greater stability through decreased reliance on oil imports. The country joins Korea, Denmark and China on a list of countries whose leaders have declared their commitment to green growth.
  • The government of Kenya announced an Action Plan on Climate Change at CoP17, which embeds climate change issues into their next Medium Term Plan. Ethiopia also showcased a climate-resilient green economy plan at CoP17.
  • In Peru – one of Latin America’s key emerging economies – the country’s National Climate Change Plan survived a change of government in 2011, and has set the country on a low-carbon growth path. Maria Paz Cigaran Tolmos, who is working on the government of Peru’s climate plan, said:

“Climate change has given us the opportunity to develop differently. Our renewable natural resources give us competitive advantage in greener global economy; both as a rich source of energy and as environmental services like water and carbon capture. A low-carbon growth path also means that people living in rural areas can be included in Peru’s economic development.” 60% of Peru’s territory is tropical forest.

  • In the Caribbean, 15 sovereign governments mandated the regional body CARICOM to prepare a climate-resilient, low-carbon growth strategy for 2011 – 2021.The resulting plan is the framework for investment and action in the Caribbean at both regional and national levels.

Ulrich Trotz, of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, which led this process with support from CDKN, said:

“The Caribbean is vulnerable to climate impacts, so of course our strategy has to build in resilience. Choosing a low-carbon growth path was not an attack of conscience for the less than 1% we contribute to the global budget of greenhouse gas emissions, but for the practical reason that during the oil price spike in 2008, many Caribbean countries had to outlay as much as 60% of their foreign exchange earnings to feed their fossil fuel dependency.”

Sam Bickersteth, Chief Executive of CDKN, said:

“The new alliance (announced yesterday) between developed and developing countries to push for a ‘roadmap’ towards a legally binding treaty marks an important new dynamic in global climate talks.

It is also a reflection of new coalitions forming between progressive Northern countries like the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands and developing countries such as Rwanda, Kenya, Peru and many others, around national and regional action on climate change.

Governments have a real appetite for knowledge sharing and transfer of best practices. From El Salvador to Bangladesh, from Kenya to Pakistan there is a demand for better modelling data, scenarios and examples of actions taken to drive low carbon growth and climate resilience.

These North-South alliances are also providing real momentum and political capital in the push for a stronger global deal.”

– ENDS –

Notes to Editor

· Media contact for CDKN
Gudrun Freese
+44(0)782 5600 487

· The Climate & Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) is a major 5-year initiative – funded by British and Dutch governments – helping decision-makers in developing countries design and deliver climate compatible development.

CDKN is managed by an alliance of organisations led by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC), and including Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano, INTRAC, LEAD International, the Overseas Development Institute, and SouthSouthNorth. The team brings together a wide range of experience across the fields of climate change and development, research, policy development, knowledge management, networking and capacity-building, as well as substantial expertise in the management of global initiatives.

CDKN is supporting over 100 projects in 36 countries, including Ecuador, Peru, El Salvador, Colombia, Caribbean, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and India.

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