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The Africa LEDS project is supporting Low Emissions Development (LEDS) in Africa in the context of respective socio-economic development priorities as stipulated in country development visions & strategies and encapsulated in their respective Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Africa, a region highly vulnerable to climate change, stands to benefit significantly from implementation of the agreement in a transformational manner that targets actions at catalytic sectors that will also advance critical Sustainable Development Goals. To this end, the Africa LEDS project is being implemented in 8 countries, with the aim of replicating success and sharing lessons across the continent.

The project approach is two-fold comprising 2 inter-dependent components.

Component 1 is LEDS planning and implementation support which is being implemented in 3 countries - Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This component involves a ground demonstration pilot to practically illustrate how NDCs implementation targeting leading priority areas of clean energy & land based actions can ensure a country creates socioeconomic opportunities while meeting its climate objects. Thus illustrate low emissions development. This ground action is then used to inform strategic planning & policy processes to ensure the demonstrated paradigm can be scaled across the country.

Component 2 is LEDS modeling support implemented in all 8 project countries – Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, and Zambia. This component is adapting existing modelling tools and modelling teams to construct analytical frameworks that extrapolate the cumulative socioeconomic & carbon emissions impact of alternative investment trajectories in NDCs implementation. By this, enhance country modelling capacity to project not only climate but socioeconomic impacts of NDCs towards informing optimal pathways for NDCs implementation in transitioning to low emissions development. The established modelling framework is then integrated into decision making frameworks of relevant line ministries aligned to the NDC to inform optimal long-term policy options.

By exercising these components, the project is delivering at both operational & strategic level. At the operational level, first is ground demonstration under component 1. These illustrate how NDCs implementation targeting leading priority areas of clean energy & land based actions in agriculture & forestry and their amalgamation can ensure a country meets leading socioeconomic priorities of food & livelihood security while simultaneously enhancing ecosystems resilience & offsetting carbon to meet climate objects under the Paris Agreement. Lessons & case studies from conducting the ground demonstrations are compiled to inform policies & plans for scaling this paradigm across the target countries. Second is modelling framework under component 2 comprising relevant software & hardware technologies & a team of modellers who use these technologies to conduct extrapolation. The modelling team extrapolates the impact of alternative policy trajectories in NDC implementation to inform on trajectories that maximize socioeconomic & climate impacts.

At the strategic level – is a harmonized policy decision making structure to bridge ministerial silos & ensure policies from relevant line ministries are complementary towards simultaneous maximization of socioeconomic & climate impact of NDC implementation. This is by ensuring models are integrated into decision processes in respective ministries and that lessons & case studies developed in conducting the ground demonstration are integrated to inform policy & planning in NDCs implementation. This is the inter-agency policy task force.

Finally, the above trajectory is then replicated across Africa through training & capacity building institutional hubs in each of the 5 geographical regions of the continent.

UNEP being the lead implementation partner, project implementation is in accordance with UNEP rules and regulations and the UN modus operandi of ensuring interventions are demand driven, being responsive to country priorities. Consequently, the implementation strategy is premised on a country driven approach where entry into countries is through the Ministry of Environment, as the anchor helping to align project with the strategic vision of the country as well as its development processes frameworks. Through the Environment Ministry as hub, the project reaches out to other policy level stakeholders in Ministries of Agriculture, Energy, Industry, forestry, infrastructure, stakeholders in academia, private sector, resident UN agencies, NGOs, CSOs engaged with aspects of LEDS planning and implementation and modelling covered by this project.

To facilitate these cross-cutting, multi-level partnerships, inclusive policy-action frameworks are being leveraged to mobilize and convene implementation partners in countries. These build country teams which take the lead in implementation of activities in the country.

The overall objective of the project is to assist African countries in developing local knowledge and expertise to formulate, establish necessary implementation capacity and implement concrete LEDS policies and plans for low emission, climate-resilient, and resource efficient socio-economic development consistent with implementation of their respective INDCs. Specific objectives include to:

  • Strengthen networking and peer-to-peer exchange and learning and support on shared LEDS issues across African countries as highlighted in INDCs and enhancing regional cooperation in communicating the co-benefits of action by countries to pursue climate resilient low emission development paths.
  • Develop local research capacity knowledge and expertise and a related evidence base on the economic, social, and environmental benefits of low emission development, conducting programs to communicate these benefits to political leaders and stakeholders, supporting development and implementation of low emission, climate-resilient action plans towards actualizing INDC commitments.
  • Engage the partner countries in training and peer exchange with other African countries that are leaders in this area.

With adoption of the COP21 Paris Agreement, the European Commission working with the UN Environment in collaboration with the Africa LEDS Partnership represented by Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), and the LEDS Global Partnership as well as other partners are engaging with country stakeholders to support effective implementation of the agreement in a manner that simultaneously unlocks socio economic opportunities and fulfills climate objectives.

The Africa LEDS project is supporting Low Emissions Development (LEDS) in Africa in the context of respective socio-economic development priorities as stipulated in country development visions & strategies and encapsulated in their respective Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Africa, a region highly vulnerable to climate change, stands to benefit significantly from implementation of the agreement in a transformational manner that targets actions at catalytic sectors that will also advance critical Sustainable Development Goals. To this end, the Africa LEDS project is being implemented in 8 countries, with the aim of replicating success and sharing lessons across the continent.

Among crucial provisions of the COP21 agreement that ensure alignment with country economic priorities is Article 3 on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This project is focusing on implementing NDCs in a way to achieve simultaneous climate objectives and socio-economic priorities of countries.

Project implementation is under two components. The first focuses on strategic level interventions validated through a ground demonstration project, aimed at building the capacity of countries for LEDS planning and policy integration at sectorial and economy wide scales consistent with their respective climate objectives and socio-economic development priorities stipulated in their NDCs. The second focuses on tactical, technical and technological capacity building to provide a strong analytical framework for long-term LEDS policy decision making consistent with respective country climate objectives and socio-economic development priorities as stipulated in their NDCs. Partners in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are focusing on both components 1 & 2 while in Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, and Zambia, efforts focus on component 2.

As a key component, the initiative will also bring together countries at the regional level to share lessons and catalyze country driven LEDS development consistent with respective country NDCs across the continent. Through this regional component, African countries within five regions (Central, Eastern, Northern, Southern, and Western Africa) will come together to share lessons and solutions to key challenges related to design and implementation of LEDS and NDCs. Country-specific activities and the regional peer learning networks are designed to support holistic LEDS transformation across the continent.

Africa’s industrial emissions are negligible. Consequently, a majority of the continents NDCs are focused on land based actions, prioritizing emissions reductions from land degradation through enhancing sinks and on bridging the energy gap by leveraging the continents vast clean energy sources and available technologies. Additional areas of priority within NDCS include waste-to energy recovery, and reducing future emissions from transport, among other key areas crucial to unlock low-emissions economic development opportunities in Africa. This project is therefore focusing on policy and ground actions targeted at ensuring NDC implementation, while simultaneously unlocking socio-economic opportunities and meeting climate obligations.

Given that the priorities are diverse, this project is narrowing down on concrete actions that encapsulate multiple priorities. These were refined by the project steering committee (PSC). For instance in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which are implementing both component 1 & 2, countries have identified there priority inclusive LEDS actions that the project is focusing for both components 1 & 2. In Cameroon, the priority action is delivery of technical and political capacities in developing green agro-value chains utilizing clean energy for processing and transportation.

In Cote D’Ivoire, it is delivery of compost production to support smart agriculture industry pathway and reduce GHG emission from both the waste and agriculture sectors while simultaneously creating jobs.

In Democratic Republic Of Congo (DRC), it is delivery of energy efficient household cooking and cook stoves options which will reduce deforestation and consolidate the DRC REDD+ process.

For the countries where focus is only on Modeling Support, actions focus on establishing the base-line in their priority sectors which are key to actualizing environmentally sustainable economically inclusive growth as captured in their NDCS, LEDS, NAMA and other LEDS plans. This will provide a reference point against which extrapolations to guide LEDS policy making and implementation options to shape future LEDS development will be based. These parameters will be used to establish the analytical framework for policy decision making. And the framework will then inform on the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases abated against the number of jobs created and other macro-economic indicators achieved for various LEDS options in the respective country priority sectors.

The Africa LEDS project is supporting Low Emissions Development (LEDS) in Africa in the context of respective socio-economic development priorities as stipulated in country development visions & strategies and encapsulated in their respective INDCs. Africa, ..... More.

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Africa Low Emissions Development strategies (Africa-LEDS)

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Africa Office

P.O. Box 30552 00100

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Email: info@africaleds.org