– There is no country today that has not suffered the effects of climate change, from climate change to extreme and devastating weather events.
The kingdom of Eswatini is no exception.
Climate change is already affecting the country and key sectors of its economy. It is already having to adapt to the pronounced impacts of climate change, including large variations in precipitation patterns, higher temperatures and an increasing frequency and intensity of severe weather events such as droughts, floods and cyclones. .
In 2015, at the annual United Nations World Climate Summit COP 21, the Paris Agreement was hammered home. In 2016, Eswatini joined many other countries to sign the Paris Agreement, a landmark agreement committing nations to a global effort to tackle climate change.
Article 4 of this agreement commits national governments to provide a National Determined Contribution (NDC) every five years.
The government of Eswatini submitted its first NDC to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015. But since then technology, policies, partnerships, data and stakeholder engagement for climate action have all advanced.
In preparing for its second NDC, the government sought to take these advances into account. He went back and reviewed what he had done in 2015 and this time sought to endow an NDC with even greater ambition.
Over an 18-month period, an inclusive process of climate change assessment, analysis and modeling, informed by data and science, was implemented to revise the NDC.
Climate change will affect everyone and, as such, the government has placed stakeholder participation at the heart of the review process.
Taking a “whole government and society approach”, it has organized over twenty stakeholder consultations, including virtual and physical workshops. A review of the national gender policy to mainstream climate change was also carried out.
However, the process has not always been smooth. There have been significant obstacles including the Covid-19 pandemic which not only delayed the expected submission of NDCs to the end of 2020, but impacted Eswatini’s technical capacity to undertake such a participatory consultative process. national stakeholders.
However, these challenges were overcome and the Revised NDC, submitted to the UNFCCC just days before COP26, represents an ambitious step forward compared to its predecessor in 2015.
It adopts an economy-wide GHG emissions reduction target of 5% by 2030 compared to the baseline scenario contribute to low-carbon economic development that is resilient to climate change. It also includes a provision to increase this target to 14% with external funding, technology and technical support. This translates to 1.04 million tonnes of GHG emissions less by 2030 compared to a baseline scenario.
Meanwhile, the revised NDC sets out clear mitigation and adaptation goals as well as a comprehensive roadmap, and incorporates new sectors for mitigation and adaptation action.
Alone, however, the ambition of this NDC will not be enough.
Along with the opportunity created by the Paris Agreement comes a significant challenge: transforming the NDC into tangible actions that lead to long-term zero carbon and climate resilient development.
The effective implementation of the revised NDC depends on several factors, among which the availability of external support in terms of the provision of means of implementation (financing, technological development and transfer and strengthening of capacities) and national resources.
Climate finance must be mobilized on a large scale to address the adaptation and mitigation component of the NDC.
The review process delivered a number of key lessons, one of which was this broad support and partnership – a long list of external groups, including the Commonwealth Secretariat, United Nations agencies (UNEP, UNDP, FAO ) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), among others, provided assistance during the process – is crucial to achieving the goals.
And it will only be with equally broad cooperation with and support from international and national sources that Eswatini will be able to fully realize the ambitious potential of its NDC.
The estimated total cost of the NDC action for Eswatini is between $ 950 and $ 1.5 billion by 2030.
Support from governments of developed countries, development partners, international organizations, the private sector and civil society organizations will be essential to help achieve Eswatini’s revised NDC goals.
Eswatini’s NDC process has shown that with partnership and support, ambitious plans can be made.
The country calls on partners, other governments, and all those with a similar commitment to a zero carbon and climate resilient future, to help Eswatini turn his NDC plans into tangible achievements – for the benefit of the entire planet.
Support from the Commonwealth Secretariat: The Commonwealth Secretariat has partnered with the NDC Partnership through its Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP) program to support four Commonwealth member countries – Belize, Eswatini, Jamaica and Zambia – with in-country technical expertise, capacity building and targeted support on climate finance to accelerate the implementation of each country’s NDCs.
Technical and institutional support was provided through the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Center (CCFAH).
CCFAH and Commonwealth National Climate Finance Advisors have supported these countries through different and complementary interventions, developing and deploying different climate finance tools and strategies tailored to the strategic priorities of member countries.
These include landscapes and climate finance mapping, the review of public expenditure and climate institutions (CPEIR), the development of strategies such as the climate finance strategy and the engagement strategy. private sector, climate finance mapping for NDC implementation, measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of climate finance, climate sensitive gender policy development, as well as concepts and project proposals on climate change.
These interventions provided vital experience for future NDC processes.
- The reference scenario was developed on the basis of historical GHG emissions between 2010 and 2017 and an updated scenario showing the evolution of GHG emissions between 2018 and 2030.
- The author is the Commonwealth’s National Climate Finance Advisor to Eswatini.