Raising Ambition Through Innovation at the 2023 Global NDC Conference
The scale of action required to keep global warming below 1.5C and adapt to increasingly frequent climate impacts can seem insurmountable at times. Across the NDC Partnership and beyond, however, there are countless examples and experiences to share in effectively aligning policies, mobilizing finance and raising ambition.
The Global NDC Conference 2023, which took place in Berlin from May 31 to June 2, brought together more than 200 participants from over 40 countries to showcase innovative ideas, approaches, and positive examples to scale-up climate action.
This edition of the Conference was hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and co-organized with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the NDC Partnership and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the International Climate Initiative (IKI).
Recognizing the rich collective pool of knowledge, the dynamic conference provided participants with an engaging platform for meaningful interaction and cross-pollination, with a wide variety of lessons shared from ongoing international efforts. At the conference’s Innovation Hubs, close to thirty innovative and scalable initiatives, approaches and projects across five overarching themes were shared for group discussion and interactions.
Some notable highlights include GIZ’s lab of tomorrow, which explores how to incentivize companies to adopt sustainable business models and activate the innovation potential of the private sector to promote NDC implementation. The new CATAL1.5°T Initiative shared how they provide funding, knowledge and tools for Latin American and West African climate-tech communities to tap into local green-tech expertise, connecting them to local policy and creating access points at an international policy level. Using bottom-up approaches, the UK’s Climate Finance Accelerator draws together project developers, finance providers, and policymakers to help identify challenges that prevent finance from flowing at the volume and speed needed for meaningful impact in middle-income countries.
A range of important issues were highlighted throughout the conference, such as how best to involve youth in climate decision-making processes through education and youth training, with notable input from the Tunisian Youth Climate Change Negotiator Group. The Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action shared how they are building the capacity of Finance Ministers to enable critical engagement in national climate agendas, while the Global Climate Action Partnership took the opportunity to share a new portfolio of multi-sectoral and cross-cutting activities for technical support and peer learning. In Honduras, efforts are underway to transform the livestock sector through training and technical assistance, thereby contributing towards low-carbon goals by promoting good livestock practices across the production chain.
Digitalization and Data
WRI’s Climate Watch demonstrated how data from NDCs, Long-Term Strategies and Net-Zero Targets is helping governments, development partners and researchers to understand and strengthen climate action. Data tools and methodologies, such as the Ocean Action Tracker, are also being used to leverage science and data to develop ocean related NDCs as well as to inform the Global Stocktake. Augmented intelligence efforts for enhancing the analysis of submissions to the first Global Stocktake was introduced. Satellite and other remote sensing data with artificial intelligence (AI) are expected to support countries, states and cities to achieve their NDC targets through timely and granular GHG emissions data. Excitingly, ÆRTH’s open planetary AI-Collaborative learning models can support the efficient update and implementation of NDC’s, especially in the global south, where open-source decentralized data allows the optimization of modeling pathways to reach a country's climate targets.
Student Energy took the opportunity to explore the significant role of young people in the energy transition, including how to raise the ambition on the leadership of youth in NDC action and promote inclusive climate finance. An example of the Penta-helix model for collaboration involving Indonesian Youth was also provided, as well as the Cool Up Programme that promotes sustainable cooling in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Success stories of energy efficiency in Mexico were also presented, focusing on subnational governments and private sector stakeholders.
The Rwanda Green Fund showcased the advantages of programmatic approaches (versus project by project) to climate finance, while the Global Youth Climate Action Fund (GYCAF) shared how they are making climate finance more accessible to the youth. GIZ explored how a combination of technical assistance and financial instruments can unlock energy efficiency investments at scale for industrial decarbonization.
The Climate Finance Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (GFLAC) highlighted how they promote robust accountability standards of international climate finance by pushing for budget transparency of national resources allocated to addressing climate change. IFAD discussed how assigning monetary value to resilience benefits and creating a new asset class can incentivize investments in adaptation efforts and foster collaboration between public and private sectors.
Antigua and Barbuda showcased their Sustainable Island Resource Framework (SIRF) Fund, an innovative financing facility empowering vulnerable groups within the country to adapt to climate change, while Kenya highlighted how they incorporated youth into the development of the National Climate Change Action Plan 2023-2027. Wi REDI is a captivating initiative that helps deepen the understanding of varying experiences, needs, and coping capacities based on gender related factors within climate change, through direct community engagement tactics including sports and training emergency first responders.
Multi-level Climate Action
Other innovative initiatives from around the world were showcased through GCoM’s Multilevel Climate Action Playbook. USAID provided rich examples of supporting global and subnational NDC implementation to enable countries to achieve conditional climate commitments and further scale ambition. Success factors for sectoral NDC implementation were highlighted through decarbonization opportunities in transport, including the latest developments in electric mobility and the role of innovation in accelerating the transition to a low-carbon transport system.
Amanda McKee, Director of Knowledge and Learning with the NDC Partnership Support Unit, notes that, “The Global NDC Conference has become one of the best opportunities for us to come together as a knowledge sharing coalition. The NDC Partnership is committed to inspiring broader learning, and helping our members share, learn, and scale-up their collective impact, and we hope members left the conference inspired and ready to trial some of the best practices shared from across the Partnership and beyond.”