Report: The missing ingredients for successful NAMAs

Summary

Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) are a promising vehicle for developing countries to pursue their mitigation and development objectives. Although this dual objective also characterizes other mechanisms under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), NAMAs are particular in the sense that they are a voluntary, country driven instrument that moves away from carbon trading.

The general agreement among experts is that NAMAs have a great potential for driving transformational change and putting developing countries on a path towards low-carbon development. This policy brief analyses the design and governance of NAMAs and identifies a number of challenges related to the international governance deficit of NAMAs that pose several challenges towards achieving these objectives.

The key findings of this policy brief are:

  • NAMAs have a potential to play an important role in the post-2020 climate regime as a tool to implement the objectives of the new political frameworks, such as the new sustainable development agenda (Agenda 2030) and the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).
  • There is a lot of interest in NAMA development. However, currently less than 2% of support requested for NAMA development and implementation has been offered.
  • Despite the ‘development first’ agenda of NAMAs, the oversight of sustainable development impacts of NAMAs is not framed, regulated, or called for under the UNFCCC.
  • Engagement of civil society in NAMA planning, capacity building and implementation is crucial for sustainability and local ownership of NAMA, and can add substantially to resulting in economic, environmental and social co-benefits.
  • Because there are currently no existing rules or guidelines for effective stakeholder consultation, processes are often poorly designed and implemented, or sometimes fail to include civil society as a key stakeholder.
  • NAMAs are recognized as a promising instrument for sector-wide and sub-sector policy based emission reductions. Nonetheless, the absence of sector-specific environmental criteria can lead to use of practices and technologies in NAMAs that may be ultimately detrimental to the environment, human health and could lock in developing countries to high carbon infrastructure.

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NAMA Policy briefing