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Aligning energy development and climate objectives in Nationally Determined Contributions

The effectiveness of national energy policy will be decisive for achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Emissions from the production and consumption of energy need to reduce significantly, but government commitments in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) fall short of the action required. About half of the NDCs submitted do not include actions to reduce energy emissions and, when included, actions may not reflect all energy emissions or be consistent with national energy policies. This paper by Andrew Scott, Leah Worrall and Sejal Patel looks at how four specific developing countries are aligning their energy policies with their NDCs, or missing key opportunities to do so, and they raise questions about how governments could do things differently. The authors identify Ethiopia and Peru as examples of good practice in addressing energy emissions in their NDCs and consistency with national energy plans. Ethiopia intends to reduce its total emissions by 64% against a business-as-usual trajectory, while Peru aims to reduce emissions by 30% (both conditional on international support). Bangladesh and Ghana were selected as countries with relatively low ambition in their NDCs. Independent analysis of alternative emissions reduction pathways suggests that there is potential for both countries to submit more ambitious emissions reduction commitments, which would be consistent with their energy sector development goals. When development co-benefits are taken into consideration, such as job creation and improvements to health, the case for higher ambition is strengthened.

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