Jordan Prime Minister Elevates Climate Action Plan to National Priority
In 2019, the Government of Jordan developed and validated its NDC Action Plan, a results-based implementation plan for its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) or national climate plan. The NDC Action Plan emphasizes adaptation and mitigation actions, prioritized in key sectors for climate action in Jordan, namely transport, energy, agriculture, health, and water.
In 2020, the government set up five Sectoral Working Groups to review NDC actions across these sectors and prioritize the top 35 actions for implementation and partner support, based on assessment criteria such as impact potential, sustainable development potential, and gender and vulnerability considerations. This whole-of-government approach was supported by an in-country facilitator based in the Ministry of Environment and working closely with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, supported by the Government of the Netherlands. The NDC Action Plan was then circulated through the NDC Partnership’s network, with several partners indicating interest to support implementation, including the European Commission, FAO, Germany (including GIZ and IKI), IFAD, ILO, IsDB, the Netherlands, UN Habitat, UNEP, and UNDP.
As of January 2021, the Government of Jordan has taken NDC implementation to the highest political level. Jordan’s Prime Minister, H.E Dr. Bisher Al Khasawneh, issued a letter on 26 January calling all ministries and national institutions to include the NDC Action Plan and Green Growth Action Plan in their respective development plans. This directive strengthens a whole-of-government climate mainstreaming effort as ministries and agencies can better align sectoral plans with climate targets and actions outlined in the NDC Action Plan. It also underscores a national commitment to support climate finance needs across all ministries and departments, and to implement Jordan’s NDC and obligations under the Paris Agreement. Finally, it aligns with the country’s green recovery approach, undertaken with support from two economic advisors embedded by the World Bank through the Partnership’s COVID-19 green recovery initiative.
On 9 February 2021, just weeks after the Prime Minister’s letter, the Government of Jordan convened a high-level meeting of its National Climate Change Committee, chaired by the Minister of Environment, to discuss next steps. Secretary generals of more than 15 ministries and institutions convened to discuss how to mainstream NDC actions across institutional and sector-level plans and budgets. At the high-level meeting, it was also agreed that the NDC Action Plan will be mainstreamed in the Executive Development Plan (EDP), the government’s national development plan for the upcoming three years.
One challenge to this is that no specific budget line for climate currently exists in the national budget, making it more challenging to track climate-related expenditures. The Ministry of Finance is working with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) to explore solutions to address this challenge.
Through its NDC Action Plan, Jordan is actively identifying transformative investment opportunities related to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Government is developing several concept notes for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) under the readiness program, which are aligned with NDC Action Plan priorities in different sectors. In addition, two pre-feasibility studies are currently being conducted for Agro-Processing and Hydroponic Farming.
Several of the prioritized NDC actions in the NDC Action Plan, however, remain without partner support. The Partnership has also flagged two high-impact NDC projects seeking partner funding through Project Information Notes: planting date palm trees using harvested water and clean energy and strengthening agricultural project marketing. The NDC Partnership will continue working with the government to identify and mobilize further avenues to secure the support for these much-needed projects.
Through the Partnership’s Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP), the Partnership is supporting the government on NDC action costing, cost-benefit analysis, and developing a climate finance strategy. The costed priority actions, and stronger integration of the NDC Action Plan in the Executive Development Plan and sectoral measures, will enable local and international partners to support accelerated NDC implementation in Jordan.
This blog was written by Awwad Salameh, NDC Partnership In-country Facilitator for Jordan at the Ministry of Environment, with Ralien Bekkers and Omar Zemrag of the Support Unit.