A review of sustainable development assessment literature that could be applied to NAMAs

The actual contribution of mitigation initiatives to national sustainable development (SD) has been widely debated amongst scholars. The operationalization of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) could help in reconciling two of the main thrusts of the UNFCCC; its emissions reduction and SD objectives. However, limited attempts have been made to explicitly link the two concepts through integrated approaches. The present paper discusses the existing theoretical considerations on sustainability assessments as tuned for a similar exercise on NAMAs by reviewing the relevant literature pertaining to the two bodies of knowledge. A number of features have been identified as conducive towards easing the assessment of the SD impacts of NAMAs. These include a classification of NAMAs that favours Measurement, Reporting and Verification, requirements for a combination of ex-ante and ex-post assessments, adoption of the Bellagio Principles in the framing of sustainability indicators, freedom for countries to define their own sustainable development vision and methodologies while recognising the limitations in the adoption of any chosen approach, framing of a minimum set of sustainability dimensions, integration of transformational change considerations in the design of NAMAs and the need to favour an informed deliberative discourse at country level while defining SD through the use of Multi-Criteria Analysis. The paper concludes with requirements for further research geared towards applying and comparing the use of similar approaches and methodologies across technologies, sectors and countries, as well as further clarity on conceptualising transformational change within the NAMA debate.

Authors:Zyaad Boodoo
Published year:2014
Content type:Article in proceedings
File: Download
Orbit ID:c8495ac1-e5f5-4641-9e46-84fcd61a296a
Publisher:Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town
Is current:Current