Review of Plans and Methods

From Open Energy Information

Stage annexes

Review of Plans, Methods and Approaches

The frameworks for low-carbon growth plans reviewed in this appendix include:

• Center for Climate Strategies
• UNDP and UNEP Technology Needs Assessments
• Climate Works - Project Catalyst
• ECN Low Carbon Development Plans Pilots – Indonesia and Ghana
• ECN Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Marginal Abatement Cost Curves
• International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI)
• World Bank – ESMAP
• UNDP and UNEP Integrated Territorial Climate Plans
• U.S. Country Studies Program
• National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) at Kyoto University

For each of these frameworks, a summary is provided that highlights unique attributes and how lessons learned from these strategies are applied to the generalized methodology.

Center for Climate Strategies The Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) has assisted many U.S. states in developing a climate action plan by facilitating stakeholder processes and providing technical analyses. CCS plans are characterized by thorough policy impact analyses derived through multiple stakeholder groups. All policy recommendations quantify mitigation potential (for one or two benchmark years and a cumulative figure for a range of years), additional non-carbon benefits, net present costs, and cost-effectiveness ($/t C mitigated). Macroeconomic models used to evaluate the impacts of the proposed policies on employment and gross state product vary by state.

CCS employs a generalized methodology for the stakeholder-led process, following the format of: 1) inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, including forecasts; 2) review and expansion of a CCS-provided catalogue of low-carbon policies; 3) quantification of policy impacts; and 4) iteration of policy design and aggregation until a consensus develops for policy recommendations. States adapt these plans to meet their state-specific objectives. For example, to promote environmental justice, California’s policy analysis addresses impacts on minority and low-income communities.

CCS’s facilitated stakeholder processes comprise two groups. The primary group, called the Climate Action Team (25-35 people), draws from state and local governments and business, academic, environmental, religious, and labor communities. Stakeholders participate as individuals, reflecting a broad range of experience, rather than as representatives of these groups. Stakeholders in a secondary group, sometimes called Technical Working Groups, are organized by subtopic, e.g., by sector, and serve as independent advisors to the Climate Action Team. The Technical Working Groups provide technical analyses and suggest policy designs for consideration by the full Climate Action Team. Both types of stakeholder groups seek consensus, but when consensus is not reached, differences of opinion are documented, and all recommendations, analyses, and meeting summaries are made public.

Lessons learned applied to the generalized methodology: CCS plans are grounded in rigorous technical and policy analysis, and therefore serve as an excellent model for how to assess policy impacts and develop recommendations. The CCS approach of creating parallel policy-maker and technical working group teams also is a useful model. In addition, the CCS approach of sharing information on policy options and best practices and supporting an iterative policy process has been effective and could be applied to support to developing countries.

UNDP and UNEP Technology Needs Assessments (TNA) The purpose of the TNA is to prioritize technological options for climate change mitigation and adaptation that enable a country to achieve its development goals in a sustainable manner and to inform development of national and international programs to accelerate use of these technologies. In the TNA process, a core TNA team plus stakeholders prioritize sectors, prioritize technologies to meet both development goals and greenhouse gas mitigation, and identify enabling frameworks and capacity building needed to accelerate innovations and implement action plans. The TNAs conducted by countries to date have not been as effective as desired since they have not resulted in strong commitment by policy-makers to action, have only been able to conducted limited analysis to inform decision-making, and key private sector stakeholders have not always been actively engaged. UNEP and UNDP are now working on an improved TNA process to address these and other issues.

The TNA technology prioritization step in the past has relied on a stakeholder process to review the costs and benefits of options across multiple criteria. UNDP and UNEP, working with the Risoe UNEP Collaborating Center and the JI Network, are now developing a multi-criteria decision analysis tool (TNAssess) to help countries evaluate greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable development impacts, investment parameters, and other considerations related to the technology. UNDP is also developing a TechWiki site to have summary information on climate mitigation and adaptation technologies.

UNDP’s TNA Handbook can help stakeholders to identify implementation strategies specific to the development stages of the technologies. This process includes identification of institutions, policies, and regulations needed to support market and non-market adoption of technologies in differing country contexts and in three stages of innovation—research and development, deployment, and diffusion. This TNA process seeks to ensure technology integration within an overall innovation system to better ensure market acceptance and sustainable outcomes.

The recently revised TNA Handbook encompasses a shift in the TNA process, moving from a highly variable and less analytic approach across countries to a more systematic methodology for prioritizing technologies and planning for implementation.

Lessons learned applied to the generalized methodology: The experience with TNAs to date highlights the importance of active participation and buy-in of high level policy-makers throughout the planning process, the value of rigorous analysis to inform decisions, the need to engage private sector stakeholders, and the importance of having a clear process for linking technology assessments and plans with a viable implementation process. The review of existing TNAs is an important aspect of preparation for the stakeholder process in the draft methodology. TNAs can provide useful information about low emission technology opportunities in a country, but should serve only as a starting point due to shortfalls in terms of integrated market, policy, social, economic, and financial analysis. Low emissions development strategies should add value to TNAs in this regard. TNA organizational elements such as stakeholder emphasis, a focus on supporting tools, and the need for high-level support are in line with the generalized methodology. Further the technology prioritization process identified in the UNDP TNA Handbook will inform the pathways analysis stage.

Climate Works - Project Catalyst Project Catalyst, a Climate Works Initiative, reviewed national low carbon growth plans (LCPGs) for nine countries to establish best practices. They concluded that key factors for success include: government leadership, data-driven comprehensive scientific and economic analyses of abatement opportunities, stakeholder engagement to build cross-sector support and assist in data collection, and continued iteration of potential policies to build consensus around national priority sectors. Project Catalyst has also identified areas of weakness, including lack of clarity on goals, targets, and timelines, lack of comprehensive data on opportunities and costs, and failure to address institutional capacity and funding. In general, Project Catalyst recommends avoiding the following pitfalls in developing LCGPs: externally imposing strategies in a non-country led manner, poor integration with a country’s policies, lack of prioritization of environmental, social, and economic considerations, lack of local ownership, and not ensuring a strong factual basis for decision-making.

Project Catalyst suggests a common approach for developing LCGPs: 1) baseline analysis, 2) development of long term vision, 3) planning for adaptation and decreasing vulnerability to climate change, 4) creation of scenarios to plan for specific low carbon economy investments, and 5) development of incremental cost projections for all stages of planning and implementation.

In a recent document, Project Catalyst further elaborates the challenges to LCGP development. One identified barrier is the availability of guidelines to inform technical considerations such as baselines and discount rates, as well as the ability to compare methods and data across LCGPs already developed. Another identified barrier is the need for data and tools to better understand costs and benefits, to explore investment implications and financial modeling, and to evaluate macroeconomic impacts such as economic growth, employment, energy security, health, and effects on politically important sectors. Finally, a need for improved capacity is identified as a barrier, which includes government participation, understanding of best practices in other countries, and improved technical, economic, and development capacity.

Project Catalyst piloted a successful model for LCGP development in Mexico using a cost curve methodology. They identified 144 mitigation levers, identified policies to capture these mitigation opportunities, created a map of sequenced investments needed to achieve abatement, and integrated this information into a macroeconomic assessment to identify possible costs and benefits such as GDP and employment.

Lessons learned applied to the generalized methodology: The generalized methodology incorporates the lessons learned from the Project Catalyst publications. Identified success factors incorporated into the methodology include: • Government leadership • Data-driven scientific and economic analysis, including use of mitigation cost curves • Stakeholder engagement • Iteration - an integral aspect of policy analysis and prioritization The draft methodology also addresses potential areas of weakness identified by Project Catalyst, e.g., technology and policy analyses include capacity assessments; the plan for implementation demands specificity of goals, targets, and timelines. In one contrast with Project Catalyst, the generalized methodology does not include planning for adaptation to climate change.

ECN Low Carbon Development Plan Pilots ECN is assisting two developing countries with pilot low carbon development plans, with work starting in November, 2009. They are taking a completely country driven approach to low carbon development plans, encouraging the country teams to develop and experiment with their own methods. ECN will provide light analysis and expert technical assistance where requested. The country teams are starting now to develop planning methods and will complete plans by June 2010.

Lessons learned applied to the generalized methodology: This process will allow countries to experiment with new approaches to creating low-carbon growth plans. New ideas, best practices, and lessons learned can be showcased in future iterations of the generalized methodology.

ECN GHG Marginal Abatement Cost Curves ECN developed GHG marginal abatement cost curves for thirty non-Annex I countries. This type of analysis can effectively contribute to low carbon growth plans by identifying and quantifying the costs and benefits of GHG emission reduction options.

Lessons learned applied to the generalized methodology: Due to financial constraints, the use of pre-existing cost curves developed by ECN could be highly beneficial to countries developing low carbon growth strategies.

ICLEI Sustainable Cities Programme, Environmental Planning and Management Approach ICLEI’s city level approach to low carbon planning emphasizes sustainability to address urban challenges. Although each of the city projects is adapted to individual needs, the projects have been developed through a common approach that incorporates lessons learned from other ICLEI city programs, including strengthening environmental information and expertise. Key steps in the process include designating a lead office and finding a champion; establishing partnerships; finding the hooks in the vision, goals, and policies at the city level; conducting an energy and GHG emissions audit for the city; analyzing information and developing a draft plan; building public and internal support; finalizing the plan; implementing and financing the plan; monitoring and evaluating the plan; and publicizing and communicating the plan’s benefits.

Lessons learned applied to the generalized methodology: The ICLEI iterative process provides a comprehensive stepwise guide to developing a low carbon growth plan at the city level and among other things, highlights the importance of buy-in of policy-makers, cultivating champions, linkage to existing policies, public education and outreach, and support for plan implementation. Many of the steps noted above were used to inform development of the generalized methodology, and subnational actions are an integral part of LEDS.

World Bank – ESMAP ESMAP assisted in the development of low carbon growth studies in six emerging economies: Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, India, Indonesia, and China. These studies analyze country-specific development goals and priorities in relation to greenhouse gas mitigation and adaptation opportunities, while also assessing the costs and benefits that derive from low carbon growth. The methodology for conducting these studies is similar to the methods used by other organizations addressed above. Using lessons learned from the experiences of these countries, ESMAP developed a framework for the low carbon growth studies process to inform policy, planning and decision making for creating low carbon pathways in other countries.

From these studies ESMAP has developed a framework for low carbon “policy, planning and decision making” with the goals of supporting low-carbon growth, limiting climate impacts, attracting low carbon finance and implementation support, increasing national competitiveness, and building local capacity. This framework incorporates a seven-step approach: 1) support national goals; 2) scope low carbon growth study; 3) mobilize resources; 4) build capacity; 5) model low carbon pathways; 6) identify GHG mitigation options; and 7) implement strategies. Engaging stakeholders is a focal point throughout every step of the process.

Lessons learned applied to the generalized methodology: The generalized methodology incorporated many aspects of the stepwise approach developed by ESMAP. Both methodologies begin with a focus on national goals and follow with an emphasis on stakeholder engagement and technical analysis. ESMAP emphasizes the centrality of stakeholders throughout every step of the process, which is similarly emphasized within the generalized methodology.

UNDP and UNEP Integrated Territorial Climate Plans (ITCP) A principal feature of the ITCP planning method is the strong emphasis on local and regional components of a national plan consistent with the focus of this program on helping to inform development of climate plans by territorial governments. Key considerations for developing an ITCP include the subsidiary principle, which is the integration of all sub-national authorities in implementing climate plans, as well as the importance of identifying complementarities among international, national, regional, and municipal authorities in order to ensure proper climate change management. Central to the ITCPs are local-level drivers (e.g., behaviors, investments) and impacts, including the benefit of ITCPs to local development.

UNDP proposes a three-platform approach to building an ITCP:

• Partnership Policy Framework: Within this initial preparation framework, objectives are defined, stakeholders, tools, and criteria for the decision process are identified, and cooperative arrangements are established.
• Climate Change Policy Framework: This analytical framework focuses on local development issues, policies, and socio-economic conditions. Greenhouse gas mitigation and adaptation opportunities and costs are also analyzed, and medium to long term strategies are formulated.
• Financial Policy Framework: In this final framework, projects are identified and short to medium term plans are adopted. Further actions are also taken to ensure successful implementation, including a review of capacity building and necessary policy and financial instruments, and a determination of funding sources.

Lessons learned applied to the generalized methodology: The generalized methodology proposes a sub-national analysis of policy impacts and includes integrating multiple jurisdictions into the implementation plan. The ITCP’s focus on development and socio-economic analysis also provides insight for the policy analysis stage of the generalized methodology.

U.S. Country Studies Program The U.S. Country Studies Program played an important role in the early 1990s in piloting a highly effective approach for country climate studies that was then broadly replicated by others. Lessons learned applied to the generalized methodology: Key lessons from experiences in designing and implementing the U.S. Country Studies Program, include:

• Establishing a common high level approach with optional methods and well developed tools at each stage so that countries could tailor to their needs and circumstances
• Applying an open and transparent approach where countries help develop methods and build buy-in and all information and results are shared openly
• Providing training for countries on methods and making experts available to assist countries throughout the process
• Establishing forums for learning between countries and where countries are motivated by peer pressure to perform well in front of each other
• Establishing clear performance metrics and definitions of high quality products and outcomes and common deadlines
• Collaborating with other bilateral and multilateral programs to share methods and tools, coordinate in-country activities, collaborate on training and outreach, and promote replication

NIES Low Carbon Society studies

NIES developed a number of Low Carbon Society studies at both the national and sub-national levels. The methodology used to develop these plans is called “back casting”, which involves first envisioning a desirable scenario and then working to formulate actions and policies to reach this envisioned outcome. Methodological steps include preparing the framework, designing assumptions of socio-economic situations (qualitatively), quantifying socio-economic assumptions using a snapshot tool , analyzing low carbon measures and evaluating alternatives, estimating GHG emissions in the target year, and recommending policies.

Common to many of the low-carbon growth plans featured above, recommended policy actions are organized by category, in this case, e.g., pedestrian-friendly design, low carbon electricity. For each category, the study presents barriers, actions to overcome these barriers in a clearly presented timeline—with indicators to enable measurement of progress, projected outcomes, and flagging of any stakeholder contributions that are critical for success.

The “back casting” methodology was also applied in Ahmedabad India and Iskandar Malaysia, demonstrating the methodology’s adaptability in local government contexts to support sub-national low carbon actions and corresponding policy packages.

Lessons learned applied to the generalized methodology: The NIES methodology applied to the study 2050 Japan Low-Carbon Society offers a comprehensive model for pathways analysis. In developing the DOE generalized methodology the following NIES “back casting” methodology features were included:

• Methodology applied in both national and sub-national contexts
• Action category specific to cultivating low-carbon expertise
• Use of integrated set of modeling tools for their own scenario development, but the methodology does not depend exclusively on that set

The 2050 Japan Low-Carbon Society study does not seek to achieve other development goals, but when the NIES methodology is applied to India, two possible low-carbon pathways articulate different visions of development—one sustainable, meaning low-carbon growth that values co-benefits such as intergenerational equity of resources, including water; and one that employs carbon taxes to inform a least-cost pathway to carbon reductions, independent of broader development impacts. The generalized methodology in this paper will more closely adhere to the sustainable model, with optimization targets that reflect development co-benefits.