Support for the implementation of the Paris Agreement
Title: Support project for the implementation of the Paris Agreement (SPA)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Overall term: 2016 to 2019
The adoption of the Paris Agreement in December 2015 marked a new chapter for international cooperation on climate. All member states are bound to the agreement under international law. The agreement not only entails measures aimed at cutting back emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change but also addresses climate financing, technology transfer, capacity building at the individual, organisational and societal levels, and mechanisms for ensuring transparency.
For the very first time, all member states that ratified the agreement have been required, without exception, to formulate a nationally determined contribution (NDC) and to submit regular reports in accordance with a newly developed transparency mechanism.
Another cornerstone of the Paris Agreement is a mechanism geared to narrowing the ambition gap. This gap refers to the difference in the global rise in temperatures currently targeted by individual nations in their NDCs and the United Nations’ long-term goal of limiting this rise to well below 2°C or even to under 1.5°C, if possible. In order to close this ambition gap, all states have been called upon to enhance their NDCs every five years.
The partner countries are successfully executing their ambitious, effective and efficient climate change mitigation and adaptation policies. They are reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to the effects of climate change, and are thus ultimately contributing to the long-term targets laid out in the Paris Agreement.
The project team is working at the nexus of Germany’s international climate policies and development cooperation. It is supporting three initiatives launched by the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB): the NDC Support Cluster within the framework of the International Climate Initiative (IKI), the NDC Partnership and the Partnership for Transparency in the Paris Agreement.
By means of conferences, workshops, training sessions, webinars and advisory services, the project is building capacities at the individual, organisational and societal levels among international decision-makers and those responsible for implementing climate policies in governmental institutions, industry and civil society. The project draws together knowledge on climate-related issues and collates the expertise and results arising from concrete climate actions for the purposes of dissemination. It assists the Ministry in coordinating the above initiatives and acts as a facilitator among the diverse stakeholders. To this end, it devises suitable formats and exchange platforms and promotes joint activities such as conferences, workshops, analyses and the development of knowledge products. This ensures that partner countries receive efficient and customised support for implementing their NDCs.
The project also assists the Ministry with politically sensitive tasks by providing technical, methodological and organisational advice as well as by preparing and presenting knowledge and experience drawn from the ongoing work of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) in an effective form.
In Morocco and Peru, the project is coordinating work being carried out by the NDC Support Cluster. In close consultation with the partners, the project team works with other participating organisations to draw up a plan for capacity development at the individual, organisational and societal levels designed to facilitate implementation of the NDCs. If required, the team also carries out some of the climate-related tasks identified in the plans.
The project’s activities are reaching a broad target group in various regions around the world. The lessons learned through the project are finding their way into international debates on implementing climate policy measures as well as into climate negotiations.
The predecessor project entitled Supporting International Mitigation and MRV Activities (measurement, reporting and verification) successfully established numerous activities and formats within the Partnership for Transparency in the Paris Agreement. The new project is continuing these and continually adapting them to developments in the international climate negotiations. Many members value the Partnership for Transparency in the Paris Agreement as a platform in which they are able to engage in more open dialogue about sensitive issues, such as during the annual meetings of the climate negotiators or at workshops conducted in regional and language groups. As a result, discussions at the climate negotiations have become appreciably more constructive, for instance on the topic of transparency. Over 100 countries have so far taken part in the Partnership’s activities. Additionally, the project has made use of its website, newsletter, Twitter and webinars to share knowledge on climate policy issues and to disseminate good practices from various countries.
Within the NDC Support Cluster, the project team has encouraged international dialogue about implementing the NDCs and has contributed to enhancing coordination among international donors and implementing agencies. In cooperation with the Low Emission Capacity Building Programme (LECB) of the United Nations Development Programme and the USA’s Low Emission Development Strategies Global Partnership (LEDS GP), the project team organised the Global NDC Conference in May 2017, which was attended by more than 250 participants from 80 countries. Furthermore, the project is cooperating with other partner organisations to set up the NDC Helpdesk, a platform that partner countries can use to request support for implementing their NDCs.
Since the NDC Partnership was initiated in November 2016, the responsible institutions have begun coordinating their activities in the relevant partner countries. The project team was involved in developing processes and formats which now allow the various partner ministries, donor agencies and implementing organisations to jointly analyse the need for support in implementing the NDCs in the partner countries and subsequently identify suitable advisory approaches and financing options.