The recently released 6th Assessment Report of the IPCC has provided further insights on climate science and they confirm the projections being shared for some years. Along with the clear message that human influence has warmed the climate at a rate that is unprecedented in the last 20,000 years, the report underlines that climate change is already affecting every inhabited region worldwide contributing to many observed changes in weather and climate extremes.
Moreover, the window for action is closing, and countries need to accelerate climate action and, accomplish deep reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions now, to avoid reaching 1.5°C and its irreversible impacts.
COP26, coming in a few months, will be decisive in increasing climate ambition. Under the ambition cycle, countries need to present updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) every 5 years, including the specific mitigation and adaptation actions that will enable them to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Through NDC Invest, the IDB supports countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to accelerate climate action and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement through transformational climate policy and finance. Our approach revolves around three main products: design of long-term strategies (LTS) for net-zero emissions and climate resilience; design of aligned NDCs; and support for countries in developing investments plans and finance strategies to deliver results on the ground.
During 2020 and 2021, we worked closely with the government of Barbados in the update of its NDC, which resulted in the submission of an improved and ambitious NDC. The main highlights are:
- Higher ambition of its mitigation and adaptation commitments:
The Government of Barbados sets the aspirational goal to achieve a fossil-fuel-free economy and to reduce GHG emissions across all sectors to as close to zero as possible by 2030, specifically aiming for a 70% reduction in GHG emissions, economy-wide, by 2030. As for adaptation and resilience, the NDC presents a programmatic approach set by its Roofs to Reefs Program (R2RP), which is a holistic, integrated public investment program founded on principles of sustainable development and climate change resilience. This work also relying on the development of the Third National Communication, Adaptation communication, and National Adaptation Plan.
a. Alignment of the climate change and development objectives:
The updated NDC was built with the inputs of different national and sectoral strategies. It is fully aligned to the Roofs 2 Reefs Programme, which at the same time operationalizes the Physical Development Plan of the country and ensures alignment between its implementation policies concerning the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, and the 2030 SDGs. Additionally, it also benefitted from the important work led by the Energy sector with its Integrated Resource and Resilience Plan and the key investments envisioned to transform the energy matrix.
b. Strong leadership and collaboration from relevant ministries and national stakeholders as a pledge for ownership:
The NDC process included an exhaustive review of national policies, programs, and projects; data collection; as well as the identification of main challenges and opportunities for enhancement. The entire process was led by the Ministry of Environment and National Beautification, the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investments, and the Ministry of Energy to ensure alignment with national priorities and effective implementation. Additionally, an extensive stakeholder consultation process was conducted that included two rounds of dialogues involving close to one hundred participants.
c. MRV needs for a strong transparency system:
The efforts under the NDC update allowed significantly update the 2010 GHG Inventory and underline how it is a pillar to ensure a sound climate policy and a requisite to laid the groundwork for Carbon market mechanisms. Data remains a key ingredient for bold and coherent climate policies and must be a priority in climate governance actions.
As we applaud the efforts made by the Government for Barbados and its strong commitment to making climate change a cornerstone of its recovery strategy, it is important to underline that the submission of the updated NDC to the UNFCCC secretariat is one of the first milestones towards the attainment of the Paris Agreement goals
How will it be implemented?
The ambition level of an NDC depends on its possibilities to be effectively implemented. As such, in this sense, the Means of Implementation section emphasizes the needs in Technology, Capacity Building, and Financing for its effective implementation. Most importantly, the identification of priority investments is an important step to move from planning to execution and the IDB remains committed to supporting Barbados in this task.
Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados stated, “I’m confident that within the next three years, through both technical assistance as well as our own re-engineering of some of the ways in which we do things, that we will be able to expand that ambition the next time we look at it in 2025”’. As we celebrate this milestone, we recognize the example set by Barbados and look forward to continuing working alongside the Government in the implementation of the NDC, the establishment of a strong MRV system under the ETF and observe the positive impacts of the NDC in the quality of life of all Bajans.
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Photo: BID Ciudades Sostenibles
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