December 2015. COP21. The Paris Agreement – then and there adopted by 196 Parties within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – stood tall as a landmark in the multilateral climate change process: for the first time, a binding agreement brought all nations into a common cause to commit to combatting climate change by reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, as well as building resilience to adapt to the impacts of rising temperatures.
As part of the Agreement, each country has since been required to show its national determination by preparing, communicating and maintaining successive Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): national climate plans highlighting climate actions – including climate related targets, policies and measures implemented both in response to climate change, and as a contribution to global climate action.
It goes unspoken that the Paris Agreement – and the NDCs that lie at the heart of it – require worldwide economic and social transformation, based on the best available science. Building on this understanding, VITO / EnergyVille, AFREC and CO2Logic therefore decided to join forces, and committed to contribute to sustainable solutions for Africa’s energy sector by providing support in facilitating energy transitions and combating climate change challenges across the continent.
With funding of the Environment Department of the Flemish Government, the 3 partners sealed this commitment by launching an official partnership in the form of the NDC Support Center: an initiative to create an African Knowledge Center to enhance the capacities of African countries to produce and update their own NDCs, sustainably increase the capacity of African countries by improving their National Energy Information Systems and energy modelling skills, prepare climate communication, and improve policy-making within the framework of the commitments outlined in the Paris Agreement.
As such, the NDC Support Center’s objective is to sustainably increase the maturity of African countries when it comes to energy statistics, modelling and GHG reporting. To do so, it relies on technical demonstration projects aimed at improving energy efficiency and supporting renewable energy – using this as a foundation to draw up an ambitious 2030 (and beyond) mitigation plan to help realize the roll-out of CO2-reducing technologies and map contributions to future NDCs.
The Center will initially run for 3 years and started operations in early 2021, currently working with 3 selected African countries – representing the diversified geographical regions of the African continent, namely Morocco, Uganda and Malawi. The aim, however, is to extend it to other African countries, as the long-term nature of the support offered by the NDC Support Center entails it can provide the substantial and lasting change that is needed to for our world to achieve the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and start reducing GHG emissions as soon as possible in accordance with the targeted pathways of 1.5°C or 2°C.
As 2021 – and thus its first operational year – is coming to a close, the NDC Support Center is gaining more and more momentum.
During the G-STIC Conference at the World Expo Dubai – which took place only very recently – the President of Malawi, H.E. Lazarus Chakwera, joined the panel on NDCs. There, President Chakwera highlighted climate change as the most urgent crisis to mankind and described the workings of NDC Support Center in more detail.
Furthermore, with all eyes on COP26, the NDC Support Center has been given the opportunity to step forward at the BENELUX-EIB pavilion in Glasgow, hosting a side event to shed further light on the initiative of the NDC Support Center to showcase the pan-African collaboration, as well as provide a platform for discussion of its latest insights, examples and best practices for the implementation of NDCs across Africa.
JOIN THE COP26 SIDE EVENT ONLINE
Panel Discussion: “Sharing lessons learnt on data, modelling and MRV in the NDC cycle: the NDC Support Center’s approach”
November 11, 2021
15:45 GMT+1 / 14:45 local GMT time
The BENELUX-EIB pavilion at COP26 in Glasgow
Virtual attendance possible
- Introductory speech by Zuhal Demir, Flemish Minister for Justice and Enforcement, Environment, Energy and Tourism
- Presentation on the NDC Support Center by Carlos Guerrero Lucendo, Senior Researcher at VITO
- Panel discussion with Moderator Pieter Lodewijks, Project Manager at VITO and the following participants:
- Rashid Ali Abdallah, Executive Director of the African Energy Commission
- Jahan Chowdhury, In-Country Engagement Director for the NDC Partnership
- Evans Njewa, Head of Climate Change of the Malawi Environmental Affairs Department
- Representative for the Moroccan Ministry of Energy, Mines and Environment (TBC)
- Tom Dauwe, Coordinator of the European Environmental Agency ETC on Climate Change Mitigation and Energy (ETC/CME) at VITO