Linking adaptation and mitigation in Long-term Climate Strategies
25 February 2021
The virtual event "The power of the holistic approach: Linking adaptation and mitigation in Long-term climate strategies" was held as part of the IKI Brown Bag Lunch initiative and was attended by Florian Eickhold, Factor's Country Manager in Germany. This is a series of project presentation events organised by Internationale Klimaschutziniative (IKI) and Zukunft - Umwelt - Gesellschaft (ZUG) GmbH, which aim to promote sustainable development within IKI partner countries through Long-term Climate Strategies (LTS).
The silo mentality set the starting point for a vital discussion around the adaptation-mitigation nexus. Increasingly, researchers and experts recognise that both factors need to be understood and addressed in an integrated approach rather than separately.
Eickhold introduced a new narrative for integrated climate action as well as practical instruments for its implementation. His message was clear: the holistic approach is critical for the achievement of the goals of the Paris Agreement as well as of the 2030 Agenda in IKI partner countries.
He introduced a “high-level” and a more specific “expert” tool for informing coordinated adaptation and mitigation LTS elaboration processes and advocated for “multi-benefit strategies”. This represents a paradigm shift against the common idea of rather accidentally occurring adaptation “co-benefits” to a mitigation focused strategy. In contrast, “multiple benefits” are consciously identified upstream in the planning process, taking into account mitigation, adaptation and socio-economic development goals from the outset, and thus will contribute more effectively to the achievement of the sustainable development goals.
Catherine Gamper, who leads the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Working Group on Adaptation to Climate Change, also participated in the event. Gamper presented the results of the “OECD Environment Policy Papers”, a document in which OECD members and partner countries recognise the importance of linking adaptation and mitigation, especially in the context of ongoing discussions about designing green recovery measures in response to the health crisis.
Sebastian Homm, advisor to the IKI project "Policy Advice for Climate Resilient Economic Development (CRED)", implemented by Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), described the function of an LTS as the future "business model" of a country.
A practical example complemented the theoretical reflections at the BBL. The IKI GIZ projects “Support of Green Economy in Kazakhstan and Central Asia for a Low Carbon Economic Development (GE Kazakhstan)“ and CRED jointly pioneered in linking mitigation and adaptation in the elaboration of Kazakhstan’s Low-Emission Development Strategy (LEDS). The projects showcased how, by combining macroeconomic with climate impact and GHG emission models, synergies can be fostered and trade-offs harnessed. In March 2021, the economic modelling of adaptation and mitigation scenarios in the finalization of Kazakhstan’s LTS and thus enable a multi-benefit approach.
Dana Yermolyonok, advisor at the Kazakhstan project, highlighted the importance of further developing the tools for integrating adaptation and mitigation in strategic planning processes. She also pointed out the need to clearly communicate the new holistic approach for climate action. Even if it seemingly adds another layer of complexity to an already complex field, it is the only way forward – to embark on a sustainable path of development.
Factor Ideas for change
Factor has more than 15 years of experience offering technical consulting services in the areas of climate change adaptation and mitigation, carbon footprint analysis, sustainability, circular economy, renewable energy and carbon markets, amongst other things, undertaken on behalf of governments and international organizations, as well as for over 400 companies, with more than 1,100 projects undertaken within 40+ countries.