Technical assistance for implementing Paris goals

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Paris alignmentReasoning
UnalignedTechnical assistance in climate change is a priority area for JICA. However, some wider technical assistance is misaligned with Paris goals.
Climate-related technical assistance at policy-levelNDC ambition increase goal?Non-NDC technical assistance
JICA engages in supporting climate policy and institutional development as a priority area.There does not appear to be an NDC ambition increase goal.Evidence of technical assistance that is misaligned with Paris goals.

Explanation

Nationally Determined Contributions

Supporting climate policy and institutional development is one of JICA’s four priority areas for climate change cooperation. Indeed, according to JICA, of the climate projects undertaken in 2017, 46, or just over half, were technical cooperation projects. This relative prominence of technical cooperation also holds true for JICA’s broader portfolio. As part of JICA’s operational model, technical cooperation represents an especially large proportion of JICA’s activities; in 2017, technical cooperation represented over 25% of JICA’s overall ODA spending.

In particular, JICA’s technical cooperation in Indonesia and Viet Nam was implemented via a Climate Change Programme Loan. This helps a country develop policies related to mitigating and adapting climate change through a ‘policy matrix’. This includes technical assessments for the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions. There is also evidence of JICA providing training to countries on the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions.

Fossil fuel subsidy reform

There does not appear to be evidence of JICA providing support for fossil fuel subsidy reform.

Other technical assistance

JICA’s commitment to technical cooperation brings challenges as well as opportunities. As noted earlier, climate change considerations (including risks posed by developments in markets and technology) should be mainstreamed into general technical assistance, irrespective of whether the project is or is not designated a climate change project—otherwise, this may lead to the creation of policies that are unnecessarily misaligned with the Paris Agreement or which understate the financial risks of fossil-based assets.

For example, JICA funds technical cooperation projects to conduct assessments of power sector development plans for recipient countries.In Myanmar, JICA worked with the government to identify an “optimal” power sector development plan in which the share of coal in the mix expands from 3.3% in 2013 to 33.6% in 2030, while combined renewable energies grow to only 8.5%. JICA’s power sector development planning work in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka likewise merits querying in light of the increasingly bleak outlook for coal and renewable energy being often a cheaper source of bulk generation.

In Mozambique, the initial JICA-funded power sector development plan report recommended a limit on solar PV and wind to only 10–20% of demand, and recommended that coal and gas should form part of the “primary development plan”. JICA’s report was then used as a basis for the country’s official power sector development plan.

JICA documents suggest that it has provided energy sector technical cooperation to at least nine countries where it has advocated natural gas power generation under the rationale of providing baseload energy, despite baseload being a demand characteristic and not a supply technology characteristic.

Last Update: July 2021