Partner Blogs
07 September 2021

CAEP Showcase: Enhancing National Climate Plans Through Local Climate Action 


To date, the NDC Partnership’s Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP) has worked with 67 countries, delivering targeted, fast-track support to allow countries to enhance the quality, increase the ambition, and implement their NDCs as part of the 2020 update process. More than half of these countries report incorporating an engagement element for subnational governments. This demand highlights and enhances local and regional governments’ key role in defining and meeting NDC commitments.

Since its founding more than three decades ago, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability—an associate NDC Partnership member—has actively engaged in precisely this type of local and regional climate action while also addressing it at the global level. ICLEI supports subnational and national governments in tackling climate change by optimizing the roles and mandates of each level of government to support enhanced multilevel governance for accelerating climate action.

Through CAEP, ICLEI assisted seven countries with their NDC revision processes: the Dominican Republic, Peru, Gambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. ICLEI experts developed approaches to raise climate ambition, working with local and regional governments to improve technical capacities and define robust urban climate projects that embrace sustainability.

CAEP also enabled three ICLEI offices to join forces under the ICLEI World Secretariat’s leadership, which spearheads ICLEI’s global Green Climate Cities Program and manages the Transformative Actions Program (TAP)—a project pipeline showcasing subnational demand for project finance.

  • The ICLEI Mexico, Central America, and Caribbean Secretariat (ICLEI MECS) trained local government staff in the Dominican Republic on climate finance and policy, unfolding capacity-building initiatives to design ambitious climate projects.
  • The ICLEI South America Secretariat (ICLEI SAMS), in partnership with the Peruvian Ministry of Environment (MINAM), supported strengthening technical capacities to prepare regional greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, engaging with local and regional government institutions in Peru.
  • The ICLEI Africa Secretariat supported the governments of Gambia and Malawi with the development of their five-year NDC mitigation and adaptation implementation plans. ICLEI Africa further supported Malawi with developing an NDC mainstreaming guideline to ensure integration into national and subnational planning. They further supported three cities in Mozambique with undertaking a climate risk and vulnerability assessment and the government of Zimbabwe with mapping risks and vulnerabilities for different sectors. In Uganda, ICLEI held a two-day capacity building workshop on Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) with city officials.

With CAEP support, ICLEI mobilized subnational entities in the NDC revision process to explore subnational contributions to scale up NDC targets. ICLEI’s advocacy and technical experts, together with other partners, have worked hard to raise the need for subnational involvement in climate action to the attention of national governments. Translating subnational involvement into enabling conditions for local climate action represents a key priority for the NDC revision and implementation going forward. By focusing on climate and urban sustainable development, several countries are capitalizing the financial support and technical groundwork undertaken through CAEP for developing national enabling frameworks to step up action all around.

CAEP’s successful implementation was made possible by the timely financial resources provided to countries and ICLEI through the NDC Partnership and its funders, which build capacity and accelerate necessary action. Through the NDC Partnership’s online partnership tool, CAEP empowered an NDC Mainstreaming Framework in Malawi, as well as the five-year NDC implementation plans for Gambia and Malawi.

In the Dominican Republic, ICLEI trained nine municipalities on ways to improve access to the financial resources needed to implement their low-emission and climate-resilient development plans, which are their contribution to the country’s NDC. In Peru, ICLEI support focused on building regional government capacity to compile regional GHG emission inventories by delivering workshops and trainings on IPCC guidelines. GHG inventory preparation is an important step in climate action planning; by understanding a territory’s emissions profile based on relevant data, local actors can plan for robust approaches for impactful GHG mitigation strategies. This effort also contributes to a more robust national GHG inventory. With CAEP support, a useful baseline is now in place for NDC revision to fast-track implementation of the Peruvian NDC.

In Zimbabwe, ICLEI helped develop a baseline assessment of current climate change risks and vulnerabilities whereas in Uganda, ICLEI hosted a workshop on vertically integrated MRV systems looking at local and national level alignment in this regard. Participants included various municipalities, ministries, and other organizations in Uganda who gained useful skills. In Gambia and Malawi, CAEP enabled the creation of five-year NDC implementation plans with increased climate ambition.

All seven countries’ experiences show that improved capacity to plan and act—combined with the successful implementation of multi-level approaches and projects—can lead to necessary accelerated climate action. Greater communication, engagement, and coordination with key stakeholders are effective avenues for mobilizing local support, building capacity, and developing actionable NDCs. Using a variety of approaches and developing strong partnerships across and beyond government is critical for enhancing national climate plans through local climate action.

This partner blog was written by Bastien Odic, Maryke van Staden, and Carla Mariño of the ICLEI World Secretariat.


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