In Bonn, during the climate recesses, not a single day went by without a session dedicated to recommendations on how to devise the INDCs (national climate contributions that each country must submit in October upstream of the COP 21 conference announcing its commitments for mitigation and adaptation) for the countries. With no common grid nor orders, each country draws up its roadmap independently of the negotiations, the issue being to compile the commitments and get them validated after the Paris conference. Those countries that have already submitted their reports (11 INDCs representing 39 countries since the European Union has already contributed through its 28 countries) are doing the rounds of all the round tables to share their process,methodology and commitments with those countries that have not yet finished deciding on their commitments. A round table organised on 10 June at the initiative of the OIF (Organisation internationale de la francophonie – an international organisation representing countries and regions where French is the first or customary language; and/or where a significant proportion of the population are French speakers) brought together fifty or so people from a good many French-speaking countries, especially developing countries, to review the progress made regarding the INDCs of French-speaking countries.
Pierre Radanne, a climate expert, defined the INDCs as being “development strategies for building the future”. The challenges are to go beyond the project-by-project approach of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), identify the progress it would be possible to make according to the countries and take into account the variety of the contents to be integrated ( CDM methodologies, Namas, legal provisions, economic players and civil societies, national supervisory structure). Many INDCs are limited to general displays and do not explain the “how”. A convergent development trajectory could bring about a worldwide economic upturn, a wave of investments bringing in jobs and revenue and boosting consumption.
Energies 2050 has cast doubt on the methodology for devising these INDCs: The free rein given to all the countries alongside climate negotiations on support measures and on the commitments for 2020, in a context of conferences in Addis Abeba on development funding and in New York on what will happen after 2015… Examining closely the 11 INDCs sent in (Switzerland, the EU, Norway, Mexico, the USA, Gabon, Russia, Lichtenstein, Andorra, Canada, Morocco), various trajectories are apparent:
- The reference periods differ from one country to another (1990, 2000 to 2014);
- The mitigation goals of the developing countries present two options: unconditional (business as usual) and conditional depending on relevant financial and technological aid;
- Switzerland, the EU, Norway, the USA and Canada do not mention any adaptation measures.
The expert recommends that the developing countries not seek to specify any mitigation goals and instead that they give preference to those sectors which favour an organisation of the players and stakeholders as well as strengthening their capabilities.
Gabon, which proposes creating a National Sustainable Development Fund, has submitted one of the most ambitious INDCs. Its strategy is based first and foremost on curbing deforestation and forest degradation, which in Gabon is the sector with the highest emissions level (60%). The country could reduce emissions by 31% between 2010 and 2025 depending on provision of the necessary aid. Among the measures is a land use plan which locates all land that is fit for farming and agriculture. Morocco has also presented its strategy, resulting from two years of work and concerning all sectors. According to the scenario, the conditional goal is minus 32% (at a cost of $45 billion for 54 measures) and the unconditional is a minus 13% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. In particular, energy has been identified as being the main sector for emissions (50%) and implies that the country must switch over to renewables. Agriculture with its 26% of emissions is also being subjected to measures under the Green Agriculture Plan for Morocco, with high stakes for water (agriculture and farming use 80% of available water in the country).
The debate with those present in the room ended in agreement that the INDCs are first and foremost development plans for the developing countries, above and beyond climate issues.