How will INDCs shape development?

During COP21, I attended this side event, discussing enablers and obstacles in implementing INDCs, which reveal the complexity of de-carbonisation, integration of multiple objectives & implementation challenges.

Side event detail

Side event detail

Some countries may be heading toward economic deficits due to impacts of climate change. So, will INDCs advance or retard a country’s development? Let us delve deeper into this issue and further understand this concept.


Emilio La Rovere (COPPE) is from Brazil. He mentioned that Brazil is facing deep political and economic crisis now. Brazil is sharply reducing deforestation since 2014. Carbon emissions are still increasing, due to energy-related and agricultural industries. In order to decrease GHG emissions effectively, Brazil will invests in cleaner technology.

He also mentioned that the current renewable energy profile is already in line with the government’s 10-year energy plan. Emilio also mentioned that Brazil will be further researching on second generation biofuels to increase its energy efficiency and reducing its GHG emissions. He believes this will create new job opportunities.

I believe you are as curious as I was regarding the term “second generation biofuel”. First generation biofuels are derived from crops such as sugarcane and vegetable oil. Whereas second generation biofuels, are fuels that manufactured from lignocellulosic biomass (plant biomass) and is seem as an alternative to petroleum for the production of biofuels. The feedstock can get from agricultural residue, forest residue or municipal solid waste. Albeit second generation biofuel yield a higher energy efficiency compared to first generation, the production is still challenging due to the complexity of the biomass and issues related to production and logistic. 

South Africa

Hilton Trollip (MAPS; Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town, South Africa) started his speech by providing the current situation faced by South Africa. South Africa is facing a food security problem and it will be a tough time for them to get in line with their INDC. Due to economic recession, South Africa cannot afford renewable energy as the country needs to domestically purchase vast amount of fossil fuel for electricity generation. Since the country is highly dependent on fossil fuel, this gives the coal based industries higher influencing power to reject the adoption of renewable energy. In order to tackle this, Hilton stated that the country is undergoing independent researches on decarbonisation at the same time without jeopardizing the economy. He also believes that going green will create more job opportunities.

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Navroz Dubash (Centre for Policy Research, India) mentioned that India wants to develop climate policies that are driven by long term goals. In India, climate change is not a political issue but energy security. 300 millions of people in India do not have access to electricity and 10 to 12 million job need to be introduced to reduce poverty. On top of these, air pollution is also a persistent concern that will increase health risk of respiratory diseases. In order to reach a win-win situation, he states that India needs to take action to stop building highly reliant carbon future to prevent undesirable circumstances.


David Garcia (Project PlanCC, Peru) stated that Peru is focusing on an adaptation plan instead of a mitigation plan. From his point of view, it is a trade off between mitigation and adaptation when it comes to funding.The country is developing strong technical and practical data that can be used to convince policy makers. Working well with the government is the key for a better climate future. Moreover, he brought up that Peru wants to stop deforestation and has better waste management practices.


Written by: Thomas Yoke Hwa Lai

Edited by: Loh Rachel

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