Planning for climate compatible development


Planning for climate compatible development

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Date: 30th November 2012
Author: Mairi Dupar
Type: Feature

By Mairi Dupar, Global Public Affairs Coordinator, CDKN

What do Kenya, Pakistan and Peru have in common? At first glance, the countries appear very different - but at a learning event convened by CDKN at UNFCCC CoP18 in Doha, it was revealed that they share remarkably similar goals and challenges around integrating climate change and development.

All three governments are working to mainstream climate action across their national economies.  Kenya is preparing a National Climate Change Action Plan. Peru is exploring scenarios for achieving low carbon development and poverty reduction to 2050. Pakistan is exploring a micro-insurance scheme for millions of climate-vulnerable citizens nationwide.

“Climate compatible development is about looking for the opportunities to achieve low carbon development, climate adaptation and economic growth and human wellbeing together,” said Sam Bickersteth, CDKN’s Chief Executive. “Every country will have their own lens on climate compatible development; it depends on their assets and income, but it’s clear that developing countries are doing a great deal.

Several dominant themes – including common hopes and fears – emerged from the Kenya, Pakistan and Peru stories:

Developing countries place development goals at the heart of climate action

In all three countries, governments are developing policies and programmes with climate objectives, but aligning them with national development goals, recognising that the two cannot be separated. “Kenya is developing climate mitigation actions, but in a way that supports Vision 2030, its long term development plan,” said Deborah Murphy of IISD, an expert advisor to the Kenyan Government.

Eduardo Durand of Peru’s Ministry of Environment, echoed this approach. “Plan CC [Peru’s programme to map climate and poverty reduction scenarios] is an opportunity to explore, design and implement actions that will increase the country’s competitiveness while reducing emissions,” he said.

Farrukh Khan, Pakistan’s lead negotiator, and a member of the Green Climate Fund Board, noted a trend in developing countries: “[Developing countries] have started … going from a sectoral approach to a broader approach. Now that the impact [of climate change] is becoming visible on national economies, the planning is becoming national. Whether they are making it climate compatible remains to be seen. The elements of poverty reduction, economic resilience, preventing loss of livelihood, adaptation are all visible in these.”

Government efforts are cross-sectoral and multi-disciplinary

Speakers from Kenya and Peru talked of how climate change has provided the grist for cross-government cooperation. “My country is very centralised and sectoralised,” said Eduardo Durand, noting that Plan CC stands out for its integrated approach. “It is very unusual that sectors can share a vision for planning [in this way],” he said.

Stephen King’uyu of Kenya described how Kenya’s Climate Change Secretariat began by involving the line ministries whose portfolios were most obviously affected by climate change: energy, environment, water and agriculture. However, he quickly broadened the approach: “Some stakeholders in government like finance and planning will either vote for your actions or against. Now we have tried to involve all ministries at political level, the Office of the President and Presidential Council, Office of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Planning.” Soon, the country’s National Climate Change Action Plan will go before the whole cabinet for approval.

Public consultation makes for high quality planning

All three countries are notable for their diverse geographies – all embody diverse ecosystems, cultures and ethnicities. All depend on stakeholder buy-in to make climate compatible development policies a success.  Speakers stressed how consultation with climate-affected stakeholders has formed part of policy design. In Kenya’s case, Stephen King’uyu recounted a listening exercise, county by county, to hear stakeholder perspectives on climate impacts and possible solutions.

Across Peru, Kenya and Pakistan, there are efforts to bring together scientific and technical experts with climate-affected stakeholders, through consultation and information exchange. It seems consultation is never a perfect art, but there’s a recognition that climate compatible development policy design can’t happen in a technical ‘black box’. To ensure high quality policy design, as well as buy-in for implementation, the process must be opened up to debate by affected stakeholder groups.

Developing countries are mainstreaming climate finance in national budgets

Developing countries are struggling to monitor, comprehensively, how much climate finance they are receiving, and such accounting regularly fails to match with donor countries’ records of climate finance flows. According to Farrukh Khan, this makes monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of climate finance flows into “the million dollar question”.

Notwithstanding these MRV hurdles, Mr Khan said that at his last count, 35 developing countries had created national funds to support climate compatible development action, including Brazil, China, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Not only are these governments asking external donors to provide support, but they are are putting up their own resources.

Stephen King’uyu explained that Kenya intends to mainstream climate change action into its development spending :  “Through involving the Ministries of Finance and Planning we should get a budget code for addressing climate change in our national budgetary system. This will be money that we can plan for, from our own national revenues”.

However, Mr Khan emphasised that such resources will never be enough. “We are looking at a fiscal cliff in climate finance,” he said, and this is leading to innovations at national level around risk transfer (such as insurance schemes).”The amount of resources will always be inadequate – that’s where the risk transfer and use of market has come into play,” he said.

Knowledge exchange is more vital than ever

The CDKN side event generated a lively debate among panellists and audience members on how knowledge exchange can help to replicate best practices in climate compatible development. Speakers were cautious about the degree to which very specific approaches to climate compatible development could be simply transplanted from one country to another. Participants echoed Sam Bickersteth’s remarks around the particular ‘lenses’ that each country brings to the climate and development challenge.

Asked how CDKN provides a platform for knowledge exchange, Mr Bickersteth and colleagues responded:

  • CDKN supports forums for direct exchange of best practice in low carbon and climate resilient development, such as its support for the LEDS Global Partnership, Asia and Latin America and Caribbean LEDS Partnerships and Africa Climate and Development Society. CDKN has also supported the Community Based Adaptation (CBA) forum.
  • CDKN is strengthening its programme to facilitate learning on climate compatible development among policy-makers, researchers and technical advisors who have been involved in its country programmes; we’ll be doing this through a series of planned workshops in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
  • CDKN’s publishing programme and website carry a range of case studies on best practices in climate compatible development – see the Inside Stories on Climate Compatible Development.
  • CDKN support for journalist training programmes and media coverage of climate compatible development in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean helps raise awareness and catalyse public debate around climate and development issues; so does our support for documentary film coverage.

Visit our webpage to follow more of CDKN’s activities and debates at CoP18.

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