The side event was organised in collaboration with IDEA (Sri Lanka), INFORSE (Denmark), INSEDA (India), Grameen Shakti (Bangladesh) and Centre for Rural Technology (Nepal) to showcase how NDCs and Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) can promote local solutions and how a good Paris Rulebook can facilitate it.
The partner organisations presented their perspectives linking EVD activities and concept to NDCs and LEDS of respective countries. Moreover, challenges of financing to scale up EVD activities were presented and a strong case was made on how it can be included in the Paris Rulebook.
Investment and implementation of local climate and development solutions are a way to meet national commitments such as NDCs. Eco Village Development is a basket of local solutions in energy, irrigation, sustainable agriculture and irrigation guided by a concept that promotes capacity building, inclusive participation in planning and implementation. As a decision maker on household energy and their role in a family and community, a woman’s role in EVD is quite important. Women are involved in social mapping, resource mapping and implementing the solutions to ameliorate the climate vulnerabilities.
The respective NDCs of India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have articulated the need for climate action at ground level. Improving energy access particularly in rural areas, reducing emission by promoting green energy, energy efficiency, effort towards integrating adaptation and resilience to national planning process are some of the highlights of NDCs of Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal that resonate with EVD approaches and solutions. With the objective of building climate resilient communities, EVD promotes biogas, improved cook stoves, solar dryers, compost bin made up of Bamboo, solar poly houses for growing crops, appropriate cropping and rainwater harvesting which contributes to achieving sustainable development goals (SDG) and sustainable energy for all (SE4All).
Considering multitude benefits of EVD, mainstreaming EVD practices in the ongoing schemes is desired to disseminate the concept as well as help communities to deal with climate impacts. To this effect, decentralised and bottom up approach is required in addition to flow of information and finance to communities. To bring in the desired changes, local administrative structures need to be suitably modified and synergy among line agencies and civil society implementing similar initiatives be brought about. For instance, 10,000 Green Smart Villages and Gramashakthi People’s movement in Sri Lanka, climate smart village project in India, 1000+ sustainable village projects by Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) in Bangladesh and so on.
EVD technologies have both adaptation and mitigation co-benefits in addition to generating livelihood and reducing drudgery of women. The mitigation component of EVD has been documented in a report titled “Greenhouse Gas Reduction Potential of Eco Village Development Solutions in South Asia”. The report reviewed 12 of the most popular EVD solutions and analysed the mitigation potential of 5 of them namely improved cookstoves, household Biogas, solar lighting in homes, solar and micro, mini hydro grids and solar dryer.
Financing of EVD technologies is an essential component for propagating the technologies to the vulnerable population. Finance is a key enabler that will help in making the energy transition happen in South Asia, to ensure sustainability of micro level initiatives and to align government policies and schemes as per need of people. In order to receive the required finance, the projects for dissemination of local solutions need to have both mitigation and adaptation aspects attached to it. The projects need to be profitable to attract private sector investment while not losing the sight of building climate resilience through low carbon pathway. Information gap and policy gap are observed which limit access to finance for local solutions. Thus it is necessary that NDCs and NAPs lay investment plans that attract finance including private sector support for implementation of local solutions. Using public finance to leverage private finance, devising long term strategies and appropriate policy signals to attract and derisk investments on local solutions will be useful to create enabling environment for private sector investment.