Technical assistance for implementing Paris goals

This page is part of the E3G Public Bank Climate Tracker Matrix, our tool to help you assess the Paris alignment of public banks, MDBs and DFIs.

Technical assistance for implementing Paris goals and national transitions. More info
Unaligned
No evidence of technical assistance to help implement Paris Agreement goals; or evidence of technical assistance misaligned to Paris.
Some progress
Limited standalone technical assistance on Paris goals, or technical assistance that is not fully aligned with Paris goals. Implementation of existing NDCs that are >2C without raising ambition.
Paris aligned
Evidence of technical assistance programmes to implement and raise ambition of existing NDCs, not necessarily consistent with 1.5°C but within 2°C, considering fair share contribution.
Transformational
Programme to help implement Paris Agreement goals and raise ambition of NDCs consistent with 1.5°C. Supporting countries with ambitious regulatory and market reforms to implement deep decarbonisation.

Methodology

This metric analyses the different initiatives to support countries to translate their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement into investable plans, as well as supporting them to be more ambitious in order to be aligned with the Paris Agreement. The focus of technical assistance varies from institution to institution, but the key component was to ensure there is better understanding of the transition and tools that can allow the transition to occur. Where possible, information and projections from Climate Action Tracker are used to support this metric’s assessment. 

For the ‘Not aligned’ category, there is limited support for NDC implementation, the standalone initiatives are insufficient and cumbersome for countries, and there is no transparency on how the initiative can support countries to be more ambitious or translate their NDCs into investment plans. This includes for example, NDC programmes where limited information is available online, which could limit the extent to which there is awareness about the availability of NDC support. As well, institutions without technical assistance programmes may be considered in this category depending on their rationale. Within ‘Not aligned’, we also consider if the institution has technical assistance programmes that are specifically misaligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

To be ‘Paris aligned’, the development bank is supporting countries with regulatory and market reforms to implement existing NDCs. This includes support to countries in translating their NDCs into investment plans and bankable projects. This also requires a more proactive approach and a move away from a traditional demand-led advisory role. The aforementioned NDCs do not need to be aligned with the 1.5C scenario, but must be well within the 2C scenario to be considered Paris-Aligned. Building on this, to be Paris Aligned the development bank must be taking a proactive approach to help raise the ambition of member country NDCs where they are insufficient. 

To be ‘Transformational’, in addition to meeting the ‘Paris aligned’ criteria, the institution is providing support on deep decarbonisation in line with zero emissions pathways to 2050, including support for 2050 pathway planning. In addition, it needs to be complemented with support to countries on removing subsidies for fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies still amounted to around $373bn globally in 2015, despite some improvement from previous years.  The IMF estimates that removal of such subsidies could reduce fossil-fuel related carbon emissions globally by over 20%. Going beyond NDCs is crucial, and institutions should be actively encouraging members to strengthen their NDC commitments to be compatible with a 1.5C scenario, especially where member countries’ NDC implementation is falling behind. 

This is a key part of operationalising the commitment made at COP24 to “provide the needed technical assistance for climate action” (Building Block 3 – Climate finance) and “build on existing efforts to support the NDCs’ revision cycle and develop services for countries and other clients” (Building Block 4 – Engagement and policy development). Public banks should consider themselves a proactive part of the solution to climate change, and should use their position to help member countries rise to ambitious contributions. 

Evolution of this indicator 

The focus on technical assistance and advisory services varies from institution to institution, which we have sought to take into account in this metric. Moreover, at some institutions the lack of publicly available information online which could also limit the extent to which we are able to assess this metric. As time goes on, this metric could be updated to integrate decarbonisation timelines and different degree goals as or when they become more pressing. Evolution of this indicator could potentially include public bank cooperation or partnership with specific technical assistance agencies.  

Background 

Technical assistance from public banks can play a catalytic role in enabling the implementation and enhancement of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), as both NDC implementation and enhancement currently face large uncertainties. Public banks that have less of a focus on technical assistance in general should do more to work with existing DFI-supported NDC initiatives, such as the NDC Partnership and the NDC Advance Platform. DFIs with deep commitments to technical assistance, however, must ensure that climate is adequately mainstreamed into their technical support. In other words, technical support must be informed by the latest developments in markets, technology, science and policy. DFIs with dedicated technical assistance programmes for NDC implementation and enhancement should evaluate lessons learned and identify further ways of bridging policy ambition gaps in both mitigation and adaptation. This is particularly important ahead of the global stocktake in 2023 and future NDC revision cycles under the Paris Agreement. MDBs and DFIs should also be careful to eliminate all technical assistance that runs counter to the Paris Agreement’s goals. 

Last updated: November 2020.

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