UNDP lends Support to Small Island States to develop Climate TargetsOct 1, 2015
SAMOA/NEW YORK-- On September 28-29, representatives from Pacific islands convened in Samoa to discuss their countries’ Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), capping an eighteen-month effort to prepare developing countries for the upcoming climate conference in Paris.
INDCs identify the actions countries will take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The UN Development Programme (UNDP), in coordination with the United Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has been carrying out trainings around the world to provide countries, organizations and experts with opportunities to share experiences and good practices, as well as identify what support is needed for countries to reach domestic agreements on INDCs.
The Samoa training—the tenth in the series of regional dialogues—was convened by UNDP, the UNFCCC, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Australian Government, and was attended by more than 40 participants.
Speakers emphasized individual domestic reasons for submitting INDCs, as well as how submitting robust INDCs would encourage bigger emitters to take meaningful action.
Synergies between adaptation and mitigation were identified by participants, as was the need to stress INDCs’ co-benefits and links with national development goals. Participants also discussed how increasing political support for INDCs could be accomplished by aligning them with the recently launched sustainable development goals (SDGs).
“UNDP has been with many of these countries as they’ve prepared their INDCs,” says Magdy Martinez-Soliman, Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support. “They know these commitments aren’t mere formalities—they are essentially the roadmaps that countries will use during implementation and are critical for ensuring concrete action beyond Paris.”
In addition to leading the workshops—in which more than 120 countries and 800 national representatives participated—UNDP has co-published, with the World Resources Institute, an INDC guidance document, and has also coordinated with a number of donors to help more than 35 countries access financial resources for preparing their INDCs.
On 30 September Lebanon became the 116th country to release an INDC, announcing plans to unconditionally reduce emissions by 15 percent by 2030, and by 30 percent conditional on the provision of international support. In addition, as a country that has scarce water resources and densely populated coastal areas vulnerable to sea level rise, Lebanon has also prioritized improving its adaptive capacity.
UNDP continues to support countries in the INDC training and development process, and will join the European Commission, the Government of Morocco and UNEP in October to host the INDC Forum. This ministerial level meeting will provide an opportunity to reflect on progress made to date and to push for increased momentum in the run up to COP21 in Paris.
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