Updates from the LEDS GP Working Groups

Following the LEDS GP Annual Event in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, from 14-16 October, we caught up with the working groups on their experiences and takeaways from the event.

Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) Working Group

The AFOLU Working Group organized a training session on “Financing LEDS in the AFOLU sector” at the annual event. Led by the working group co-chairs, Ken Andrasko (Winrock International) and Natcha Tulyasuwan (USAID LEAD), and Bob O’Sullivan of Winrock, the session encompassed a brief introduction to the working group’s activities and technical assistance offered, case studies on AFOLU LEDS finance from different regions and discussion on the access to funding for AFOLU LEDS projects.

The working group has extended its network with the Finance Working Group, the Africa LEDS Partnership and the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region to identify experts and explore ways for communication, knowledge production and sharing. Among the possible activities to be implemented with these groups are the AFOLU Working Group/Winrock side event at COP21, the AFOLU 2016 workshop, and a webinar on the AFOLU Carbon Calculators.

Benefits Working Group

The meeting in Punta Cana took place against a backdrop of two key events concerning sustainable development and climate change action. First, was the launch of the New Climate Economy report, which identifies 10 key areas for stronger climate mitigation which also bring significant economic benefits. Second, the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will guide global development up to 2030, and include for the first time “urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts” as a goal. Those two initiatives help to emphasize that understanding benefits should be the starting point and justification for pursuing LEDS. Connected to this, the Benefits Working Group was pleased to present four training sessions in Punta Cana covering a range of themes:

  1. Methods and tools for assessing poverty reduction benefits
  2. Approaches for stakeholder engagement on LEDS benefits
  3. Assessing and communicating benefits of INDCs
  4. Methods and tools for benefits analysis and hands on economic impact training
We also had useful feedback from participants on a number of issues that will be taken up in next year’s workplan including: emphasizing the value of having dedicated domestic capacity for benefits assessments; articulating a vision of benefits assessment that more clearly recognizes uncertainty and the need to consider different scenarios; and working to establish a more active practitioner network to share experiences and activities.

Energy Working Group

The Energy Working Group has been busy in the closing months of 2015. Following overwhelmingly positive feedback from the launch of the first LEDS Energy Toolkit—a collection of leading instruments and methodologies for low-emission, climate-resilient development planning in the energy sector—the working group continues to develop this valuable resource. Besides adding new and innovative tools, the working group is collaborating with the Asia LEDS Regional Platform on a three-part webinar series, highlighting compelling regional success stories for LEDS planning driven by toolkit featured tools. Looking forward, the Energy Working Group is excited to announce it will release its first Community of Practice in 2016. Formulated to facilitate knowledge exchange and to enable policymakers to design and implement effective low emissions development strategies on a particular energy sector issue, the COP will provide a demand-driven forum for a broad network of sector experts and stakeholders on a particular high-impact energy issue.

Capitalizing on its strong and diverse membership of energy sector stakeholders and experts, the Energy Working Group will launch the Energy Data Crowdsourcing Project in 2016. This open-sourced energy technology database is intended to allow users to openly contribute and use energy data for the implementation of low emission development strategies.

The Energy Working Group has also had an active presence at the annual LEDS GP 2015 annual event. The working group led a session to promote peer-to-peer knowledge sharing on challenges facing, and best practices for, renewable energy grid integration. The session combined insights from innovative approaches and methodologies for renewable energy grid integration from around the world with a peer-to-peer table discussion with session attendees, communicating shared challenges and how existing LEDS tools can be leveraged to promote renewable energy grid integration.

Finance Working Group

Finance was a hot topic at the LEDS Latin America and the Caribbean Platform (LEDS LAC) regional event in Punta Cana from 12-13 October, with several presentations on finance related topics. The Finance Working Group convened a training session, with the Green Climate Fund (GCF), on catalyzing private investments with the GCF. At the LEDS GP event, the Finance Working Group convened four training sessions. These were run by USAID, Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank/International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands (ECN), the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Climate Investment Funds.

During the LEDS LAC and LEDS GP events, the Finance Working Group identified several concrete opportunities for collaboration with the regional platforms and other working groups. A working group call will be held in the coming month to share these opportunities with the working group in order that members can indicate their interest to bring forward the concepts.

Transport Working Group

The Transport Working Group led training sessions at both the LEDS LAC and the LEDS GP events. During the LEDS LAC event, they brought in experts from Colombia and Argentina to present during the “Linking levels and sectors to implement LEDS (urban transport)” session. During this session, participants were asked to engage in discussion and develop criteria to prioritize policies. Then during the LEDS GP event, the “Packaging policies to advance public transport systems” session built up the concept of prioritizing policies and asked participants to discuss how these policies can help with meeting the commitments of an INDC.

Subnational Integration of LEDS (SNI-WG)

At the SNI-WG peer learning session of the LEDS GP event, participants explored multi-level governance as a key attribute to achieve transformative emission reduction targets. Ms. Carolina Hernandez presented how Colombia’s Ministry of Housing, City and Territorial Development has linked adaptation and mitigation for integrated urban and rural development to achieve the Republic’s ambitious INDC.  Second, Mr. Pathom Chaiyapruksaton of the Thailand GHG Management Organization shared Thailand’s Carbon Footprints for Organizations (CFO) voluntary corporate GHG reporting program (a web-based tool which demonstrates national good practice for verification and baselining of emissions from sub-national actors.

For all materials from the event, including presentations and images, please see here.