For the Dominican Republic, climate change is a phenomenon with important consequences. According to Germanwatch’s 2017 Global Climate Risk Index, the country ranks 11th among the most vulnerable nations to climate change. Increased intensity and frequency of hurricanes, periods of drought or extreme rain and rising sea levels are just a few of the threats for the Dominican Republic, whose economy is heavily dependent on tourism and agriculture.
In its iNDC, the Dominican Republic pledged to reduce its emissions by 25% by 2030 compared to 2010, subject to international support. Although the country accounts for less than 0.1% of global emissions and its emissions per capita are lower than the region’s average, the Dominican Republic has set this ambitious target because it recognizes that some important sectors of its economy —such as transportation, energy, manufacturing and construction, among others— are showing a tendency to increased emissions.
The good news is that the country already has a solid institutional architecture, comprised of a coordinating entity chaired by the President and the Consejo Nacional para el Cambio Climático y el Mecanismo de Desarrollo Limpio (National Council for Climate Change and the Clean Development Mechanism —CNCCMDL). In addition, it has public policies that promote the alignment of development objectives with climate goals, such as the National Development Strategy and its focus on Environmental Sustainability and Risk Management. However, it is crucial to operationalize the guidelines and identify the critical path to translate the iNDC’s objective into concrete actions to reduce emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change.
Hoping to contribute to this endeavor, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) decided to collaborate in the Dominican Republic with their respective support platforms for NDCs: the AFD’s special Fund to support implementation of the national contribution and IDB’s NDC Invest.
The first activity of the alliance will focus on governance. Several clues concerning the analysis of the energy, agriculture, tourism and solid waste sectors were identified. Building on this, the AFD and the IDB will prioritize, with the CNCCMDL and its members, the use of grant resources from both facilities to carry out the studies and reports that will lead to short and medium-term actions.
Some previous studies have established the costs of climate change in certain sectors of the Dominican Republic, showing significant figures:
– Water (2010-2030) incremental cost of USD 2.79 billion (2005 dollars)
– Tourism (2005-2030) incremental cost of USD 358.3 million (2005 dollars)
– Implementation of mitigation actions (2010-2030) would cost approximately USD 17 billion (2010 dollars) in the energy, transport, forestry, tourism, solid waste and cement sectors.
These figures, beyond bringing to our attention the need to regard climate change as a threat to the country’s development agenda, show us that coordination will be fundamental to avoid an inefficient use of the scarce resources available and a duplication of efforts. Synergies between agendas and donors will be a key ingredient in a successful preparation and implementation of NDCs.
foto: © Alub70 – Wikimedia Commons – (CC BY-SA 3.0)