Advancing the Energy Transition in Latin America and the Caribbean through NDCs

In 2015, during COP 21 in Paris, the different Parties agreed to pursue their best efforts to maintain the global temperature increase well below two degrees Celsius, or even further at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Parties committed themselves to achieve these long-term climate goals through nationally determined contributions (NDCs), and to revise these commitments every five years. Likewise, these successive NDCs were meant to represent a progression beyond each Party existing NDC, and reflected its highest possible ambition, according to the different national circumstances. In 2020, countries were expected to reassess their national commitments for the first time and were invited to communicate new or updated NDCs.

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has a great variety of renewable energy resources but in many cases still largely untapped. The region, with emissions representing less than 10% of the global total, is highly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. In addition to this, the current COVID19 pandemic has caused great social and economic disruption in LAC. The economic recovery that followed nonetheless provided a key opportunity to build back a more sustainable and climate-resilient economy and society. Therefore, aligning each government COVID response and recovery plans with the Paris Agreement objectives and NDCs could help accelerate this sustainable energy transition.

IRENA in conjunction with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and UK COP26 hosted the webinar “Advancing the Energy Transition in Latin America and the Caribbean through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)” as a forum for regional discussion on raising the ambition of the national climate pledges in the lead up to COP26, through enhanced NDCs, and exploring in particular the key role this plays in LAC countries’ energy transitions and economic recoveries from COVID19.

This virtual event was divided into two sessions, aimed at exploring different areas of the NDCs review process, that LAC countries were undertaken at the moment. The first part of the webinar explored key drivers behind the NDC enhancement measures undertaken by countries across the region and provided a better understanding of the process followed in elaborating their NDCs, including challenges and opportunities, towards the submission in 2020. The second session of the meeting delved into potential instruments of support for countries towards the NDC implementation once the national commitments were revised and submitted. Stakeholders also engaged in discussions about the deployment of end-user sector solutions, such as e-mobility and cooling. The whole virtual event served as a platform for exchanging experiences, lessons learnt and best practices in the region as well as understand the role of NDCs in the post-COVID 19 recovery plans.

See the agenda.