The 2015 Paris climate negotiations were full of well-timed announcements and events - among them the launch of thethird edition of the NAMA Guidebook. Released by the Overseas Environmental Cooperation Center, Japan (OECC), the NAMA Guidebook is one of the most relevant periodic publications on nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs). The newest edition focuses on moving towards the implementation of 'Transformational NAMAs'.
The launch event at the COP21 in Paris served to present and compare some of the tools that are introduced in the third NAMA Guidebook - used to support practitioners in the promotion of low carbon societies and capacity building activities. The presentations were given by selected experts from, among others, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), the World Resources Institute (WRI), the GHG Management Institute, FAO, NewClimate Institute and South Pole Group, also one of the key contributors to the Guidebook. The event was also attended by representatives from Colombia and Thailand.
Thus far, NAMAs have been used by developing countries as a flexible and powerful tool to reduce and limit greenhouse gas emissions, improve living conditions and create employment. Despite the initial positive results, the lack of common ground, standardisation and measurement of transformational impact have been major roadblocks in further developing NAMAs.
"We need to have a common understanding of NAMAs," says Jiro Ogahara, Senior Researcher at OECC. "If we all use different tools we cannot compare and assess the potential of NAMAs in terms of greenhouse gas emission reductions, sustainable development impacts, and in relation to the transformational change that NAMAs are supposed to bring to the sector and country where they are developed. Furthermore, supporting organisations need to rethink how to work together and collaborate for the benefit of developing countries."
Bringing together and documenting best practices on NAMAs is one of the main goals of the NAMA Guidebook series. While there are currently no specific tools proposed to assess the transformational capacity of NAMAs, South Pole Group's NAMA integrated MRV + M&E approach is the only one that proposes specific Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to track the transformational impact of a NAMA.
"We fully support OECC's work on raising awareness of a common definition of NAMAs and aim to show this by constantly developing our tools and standardising our own NAMA design," emphasises Christian Dannecker, Director Sustainable Supply Chain & Land Use Practice, South Pole Group, present at the launch event. "The criteria of our NAMA integrated MRV+M&E tool, for instance, include indicators to track all relevant aspects of NAMA implementation (GHG emission reductions, sustainable development impacts, financial contributions, implementation progress, Continuous Improvement Processes, and transformational change). The tool seeks to facilitate and ensure alignment with the Green Climate Fund's assessment criteria for selecting and funding projects."
South Pole Group's solutions for NAMAs are being used in all of the Group's NAMA design and implementation mandates. A few recent examples of their use and application are the NAMA for the Energy Generation and end-use sector in Fiji, a NAMA for a Sustainable Livestock sector in Colombia, and a NAMA for the cement sector in Vietnam.