4. Providing Best Practices and Processes for NAMA Launching

There is a stark difference between putting forward a certain NAMA idea, such as the announcement of a FiT for RE, and taking concrete steps towards practical implementation of the NAMA, such as convincing the Ministry of Finance to earmark a budget to cover the costs of the FiT. The latter is a much more challenging enterprise.

The development of a NAMA can be divided into three phases: the conception phase, the implementation phase and the operation phase (Figure 4). The subsequent chapters discuss the most important aspects of practical NAMA development, namely conceptualising, implementing and operating a NAMA. The focus is clearly on the conception phase, as this lays the foundation for the NAMA.


Defining the NAMA Idea and Scope

In general, the objective of a NAMA is the reduction of GHG emissions in a certain sector/area, while at the same time allowing for growth and development. The identification of RE NAMAs should ideally be done through an in-depth analysis of the domestic RE potential as well as options to trigger mitigation activities for the most promising alternatives. In the first place, a screening of existing/planned policies lays the foundation for the later scope of the NAMA: what sort of activities are still required to reach the objectives underlying the NAMA concept and what has already been done. Hence, before a NAMA concept can be elaborated, a scoping and identification process has to be conducted. Often countries have already gathered information on low carbon/emission development strategies, which serve as a good foundation to carve out the NAMA scope. Furthermore, the coordinating entity for the NAMA ("NAMA coordinator", see description below) should understand the barriers for certain policies and conduct an assessment on how to overcome them through the NAMA. In general, information to be gathered should cover:

» A range of policies, programmes or project activities that reduce emissions and are aligned with national development plans;

» Existing or planned relevant domestic policies;

» Baseline establishment and future mitigation scenarios;

» Potential barriers preventing the implementation of these policies;

» Required resources and solutions to obtain these resources; and

» Potential co-benefits beyond pure GHG emissions reductions.

It should be noted that the NAMA initiative need not come from the host country government but can be started by domestic or international actors (e.g. public sector, private sector, development agencies and multilateral donor agencies).

The low carbon/emission development strategies process supported by the World Bank and the U.S. Department of Energy could be applied to the development of NAMAs (Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), 2009; Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) Gateway, 2012)6. An interesting resource for policies that could inform NAMA concepts is the International Energy Agency (IEA)/IRENA database for RE policies and measures (IEA, 2012)7.

NAMA Development Process

In order to implement a NAMA and measure, report and verify its mitigation effects, actions with NAMA potential need to be identified, selected, conceptualised and approved by the government and possibly submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat for listing in the NAMA Registry. Generally, the process of developing a NAMA can be divided into three phases: conception, implementation and operation, as illustrated in Figure 48. While the conception phase covers the development of the NAMA from the initial idea to a comprehensive concept study, the implementation phase starts with the translation of the concept into practice (i.e. adaptation of the ideas to political, economic, social and technical realities). Once the NAMA is implemented and launched, the operation phase begins, in which the NAMA is conducted and evaluated. Since NAMAs mainly represent domestic policies, one should consider the usual lead and implementation time spans for related policies in the host country. Hence, the time required for converting a NAMA idea into practice can be significant. This is even more the case if international support comes into play, as this may make the process more complex.

NAMAs are an instrument developed under the UNFCCC. Thus, parties can use the UNFCCC NAMA Registry to share their progress with other parties and observers, as well as donors by uploading respective NAMA documentation to the UNFCCC Registry.

Who is Involved?

As in all complex policy development processes, the responsibilities for the NAMA elaboration need to be clearly delineated. Ideally, the whole process would be coordinated and administered by a "NAMA coordinator". Governments can set up NAMAs in a centralised manner (e.g. under a central NAMA office) or in a decentralised manner (e.g. individual NAMA development chaired by certain agencies). Hence, the coordinator can either be a public authority or an institution, such as an inter-ministerial NAMA office or a unit in the Ministry of Environment. Furthermore, a private entity can steer the NAMA development under the auspices of the host country government. The NAMA coordinator would be officially mandated to initiate and administer the NAMA development process, reporting on it to the government. The tasks of the coordinator may range from the administration of the NAMA conception and implementation to the MRV architecture, the development of the documentation, the coordination of involved public and private institutions, stakeholders and technical experts or the interaction with the UNFCCC and donors.

Besides the NAMA coordinator, the process of developing a NAMA will involve a plethora of governmental, public and international actors. Depending on the design of the envisaged NAMA, they would need to be involved in one way or the other. Furthermore, according to the choice of activities covered by the NAMA and their respective designs, various stakeholders may be positively or negatively affected through the implementation of the NAMA. These would have a natural interest in the activities of setting up a NAMA and thus should be involved in the NAMA development from the first stages. In order to justify the NAMA and its activities, it is important to involve all stakeholders. Hence, identification of the relevant stakeholders should build on existing initiatives. If required, identification could take place through both top-down (i.e. via public and private communication channels) and bottom-up (i.e. public calls for inputs and participation) processes. Depending on the scope of the NAMA, stakeholders would typically represent a broad range of the society. A non-exhaustive list of stakeholders under a NAMA is listed in Table 49:

6 The experiences in six large developing countries are available at: http://sdwebx.worldbank.org/climatportalb/doc/ESMAP/KnowledgeProducts/Low_Carbon_Growth_Country_Studies_Getting_ Started.pdf; U.S. experiences can be found at: http://en.openei.org/wiki/Gateway:Low_Emission_Development_Strategies.

7 Available at: http://www.iea.org/policiesandmeasures/renewableenergy/

8 Note that, as of October 2012, only three NAMAs have reached the implementation phase while none has started its operation yet.

9 Based on United Nations Development Programme (2010)