The catastrophic impacts of climate change have led to global efforts by developing countries, reflecting greater support for the national mitigation actions. This positive trend is taking place due to the availability of mitigation mechanisms and funding modalities at the international level.
The Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) is a mechanism launched in 2007 at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) 13th Conference of the Parties (COP13) in Indonesia. NAMAs aim to enable mitigation actions in developing countries, with financial and technical backing from developed countries. Having received a good response from the developing countries across the world, there are almost 178 NAMAs in the preparatory or implementation stages.
NAMAs are actions that reduce emissions in developing countries (relative to ‘business as usual’ emissions) and prepared under the umbrella of national government initiative.
NAMAs focus on strategic actions that lead to a positive impact in a sector or an economy. Supported by technology, finance and capacity-building, NAMAs aim to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) relative to Business-As-Usual (BAU) emissions by 2020.
In Pakistan, the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) and the Punjab Power Development Board requested the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) in 2015 to assess whether NAMAs would be an appropriate tool to support the renewable energy solutions for Sialkot district, and to subsequently develop NAMAs. The project is being undertaken in collaboration with the Sialkot Chambers of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and local export associations for leather, sports and surgical goods.
It is important to mention that Sialkot is experiencing an increase in electricity prices – a hike of 230 percent since 2007, and loadshedding of up to six hours a day. In order to cater to the energy needs, electricity is being produced through diesel generators. Sialkot’s industry, which exports more than $1.6 bn/year in goods, suffered losses worth more than 10 percent of its revenue due to the energy shortfall.
The project aims to enhance the understanding of the public and private sectors in Punjab regarding the potential role of renewable energy based solutions and NAMA as a policy tool in meeting industrial energy needs; and while doing so, deliver mitigation and adaptation co-benefits, such as job creation and environmental protection. This will be the first NAMA in Pakistan at the sub-national level.
The CDKN-supported project to assess NAMA as a policy tool to provide renewable energy to Sialkot found out through initial assessments that using renewable energy for the industrial sector could mitigate up to 377,000 tons of carbon dioxide and lead to average savings of $27,400 per year on electricity costs.
The assessments further revealed that the electricity generated through diesel generators is 55 percent more carbon intensive and 50 percent more expensive than electricity from the grid. Photovoltaic (PV) panels connected to the grid emit no GHGs and incur no fuel costs.
At present, the project is at the stage of developing a technically, economically, socially and environmentally viable project design document ie NAMA that would meet all key criteria to mobilise national and international climate finance to help meet this critical energy need.
The NAMAs attempt to focus on identifying and implementing renewable energy strategies for Sialkot that aim to develop understanding around the feasibility of renewable energy options for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the city. The initiative thus focuses on finding out ways to support industrial development through energy efficiency, thus tackling the ongoing countrywide energy crisis.
Similarly in Indonesia, the CDKN has supported the development of NAMA on energy efficient motors to facilitate the government in meeting its mitigation targets. Indonesia’s INDCs submitted to the UNFCCC have committed to reduce its GHG emissions from the BAU levels by 2020, up to 26 percent on its own efforts and up to 41 percent with international support.
It is important to know that globally electric motors consume almost half of the world’s electricity. Likewise, electric motors account for two-thirds of electricity consumption in industrial sector, attributing over a quarter of global consumption to this sector alone. In Indonesia, electric motors utilise more than 60 percent of electricity in the industrial and commercial sectors. Many of these motors are outdated and their long lifetime is often extended through repair in the rewinding industry, leading to a significant wastage of electricity.
Owing to these challenges, the Government of Indonesia (GoI) and partners have taken many low-carbon energy initiatives, such as the development of NAMAs. The Ministry for Energy and Mineral Resources, CDKN and the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) are working to develop a NAMA to introduce minimum energy performance standards for electric motor systems. The selected efficiency measures for electric motor systems implemented globally will be presented to Indonesia through this project, with a focus to highlight the savings potential, policy options, and other benefits of a policy programme.
Such NAMAs can reduce energy demand from the industrial and commercial sectors, thereby reducing subsidies, as well as improving the revenue of companies. The project also aims to raise awareness of the new standards among manufacturers, and provide technical support and enforce and monitor uptake.
The CDKN is convincing decision-makers to test and explore the concept of climate-compatible development, especially in the energy sector and at the province, district and city levels. The CDKN is extending technical assistance, knowledge and brokering support for a variety of climate change initiatives in Indonesia.
Shifting to cleaner and energy-efficient strategies demands adequate planning and coordination. Governments all over the world can promote climate change mitigation in the energy sector through formulation and implementation of effective policies and by developing and subsequently implementing internationally supported NAMAs, which promise a sustainable future.
The writer is a freelance contributor.