The theme of the closing session of the ALP Forum 2021, held on September 9, 2021, was “Asia-Pacific’s long-term climate ambition: ALP’s role and future action”.
In a panel discussion on the key challenges for South-east Asian countries in achieving their NDCs, moderated by Ron Benioff, Executive Director, LEDS GP, Dr.Nguyen Thi Dieu Trinh, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Vietnam, said that her government was trying to prepare a legal framework to implement the updated NDC targets and to prepare economic and financial packages for the business sector. She added that it was challenging get resources for climate change targets and for supporting businesses and mentioned other challenges such as technology transfer, cash flows and transport logistics. The government has to work with both big companies and small and medium enterprises, as both have different needs and that digital transformation and production lines needed to be improved and reviewed.
She spoke of the need for financial initiatives such as green bonds, and that of information such as what the low hanging fruit in financial services were. She spoke of the importance of technology transfers for vaccines, and pointed out vaccination and healthcare as key issues in regional initiatives.
Dr. Pem Narayan Kandel, Secretary, Ministry of Forests and Environment, Nepal, said the key challenges in achieving the NDCs were the need to reform governance to align policies with the NDCs; lack of adequate resources and data; need for efficient technology for climate change mitigation and adaptation; clean mobility; the cost of ensuring quality production; financial mechanism at the regional level; and south-south sharing of technology
Merlin Lao, Senior Program Manager, ICLEI East Asia Secretariat, identified the challenges to include a big gap in energy mix and the difficulties in the transition process. He said that in China, the challenge was to upgrade small industries. He added that in East Asia, the need was to understand the target audience and their needs and the financial considerations.
The Steering committee/ LEDS GP working group members made presentations on the different working groups. Caroline Uriarte, Senior Program Manager, NREL, spoke about the Energy Working Group and how it was involved in accelerating the clean energy transition by focusing on energy storage, barriers, transmission and distribution costs, and in raising awareness about renewable energy.
Angela Enriquez, Director of Analysis, Planning and Performance, SLOCAT, spoke about the Transport Working Group, and its efforts to hold trainings and webinars, and about the Asia Clean Mobility High Ambition Leadership Group, a new initiative of 10 countries, in which high-level leaders will discuss priorities.
Marlon Apanada, Southeast Asia Engagement Lead for Energy & Climate, World Resources Institute and FWG Co-Chair, presented on the Finance Working Group. He said that while much of the finance that is needed is available, transformative change would come from leadership that is unprecedented, has imagination for deploying low-carbon solutions, and sees opportunity in investments.
Felipe Gomez, Technical Coordinator, LEDS GP (GIZ), said the Asia Clean Mobility High Ambition Leadership Group would provide tools and training, technical assistance and an opportunity to connect policy makers and established partnerships.
Aneta Nikolova, Climate Action Theme Lead, UN ESCAP, said that ESCAP was looking forward to working with LEDS, adding that there was a need to help countries become more courageous with their NDCs. She added that many countries would end up with more emissions in 2030, as compared to 2019 levels. LT-LEDS is needed to revise the current NDCs. She said that funds needed to be channeled to the local level, and carbon pricing applied to stimulate the low-carbon economy.
The ALP Forum 2021 concluded with the announcement of ALP’s new 22-member Steering Committee for the period from the 1st of September 2021 to the 31st of August 2023.