Dr Deepa Pullanikkatil, NDC Coordinator for Eswatini
DAY 5 – 10th November
IRENA side event
I participated in a panel discussion on “Climate Plans for Energy Resilience in Africa and Small Island States”, which was facilitated by Simon Benmarazze from IRENA. The opening remarks were given by Gauri Singh who is the Deputy Director General of IRENA. The other speakers were from Jeff Bezos Earth Fund, EnAccess Foundation and Alliance for Rural Electrification. The panel discussed on ways to boost energy transition and improve the resilience of energy systems in developing countries. I shared experiences from Eswatini, where extreme weather events particularly cyclones had damaged energy infrastructure including transmission lines being uprooted and electricity being disrupted as a result. The award winning project from Eswatini which is “Strengthening Urban Resilience in Eswatini through Climate Proofing Green Grey and Blue Infrastructure” is an example of how the country aims to address the challenges of climate impacts in urban areas including damages to electricity infrastructure by taking a holistic approach and utilising nature based solutions. Eswatini imports over 70% of her electricity from South Africa and this agreement is ending in 2025. Which path way will the country take is influenced by availability of climate finance. If low cost (concessional) climate finance is available, it is possible for the country to move into a sustainable model, as the remaining 30% of the power generated in the country is through renewables using solar, hydro and biomass and it would be relatively easy with climate finance to move to 100% renewable energy.
Nicole Iseppi from Jeff Bezos Earth Fund said that theirs is a philanthropic fund that provides “catalytic” support to help countries transition into renewable energy and they have $10billion to do this. David Lecoque from Alliance for Rural Electrification talked about the need for a mindset change to encourage investors to take risks and said that this week their organization was supporting a training on climate finance in Eswatini. Vivian Barner from EnAccess said that their organization funds innovations such as “mesh grids” which are far more resilient to climatic shocks than centralised energy supply or mini/micro grids.
Tweets from IRENA on this event are available here:
Eswatini was invited to get in touch with Jeff Bezos Earth fund to explore catalytic funding to transition to a renewable energy pathway.
Bilaterals with funders
The Eswatini delegation had bilaterals with Green Climate Fund and Global Center for Adaptation on 10 Nov 2022.
Queen Mary University of London
We met with Fernando Barrio from Queen Mary University of London on a potential collaboration with the Climate Change Research Centre that has been established at UNESWA. There is potential to bring post-doctoral fellows, PhD students and undertake collaborative research with Eswatini, said Barrio.
Commonwealth Side Event
“Unlocking Private Sector Finance to Accelerate Climate Action in Small and other Vulnerable Countries” was held as a high-level side event hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with the Governments of Namibia, Saint Lucia, and Zambia. Eswatini was represented by Director of Meteorology and she presented on the private sector engagement as part of NDC revision process. She spoke about the risks of climate impacts on businesses in Eswatini and a summary of the private sector engagement strategy that was produced with support from Commonwealth for Eswatini.
The Chief Economist and I visited the Japan Pavillion where green hydrogen cells were exhibited. Panasonic has a factory that runs on 100% renewable through green hydrogen cells and solar panels. Another exhibit from JGC Holdings Corporation was on the use of plastic waste to generate hydrogen as an energy carrier (battery) and slug which can be used for making roads were displayed. This can help Eswatini for a circular economy pathway. We took contacts of both the private sectors who exhibited these innovative technologies for follow ups.
DAY 6 – 12th November
TNA Side event
Saturday 12 November was an action filled day with several events where Eswatini participated. The highlight of my day was the UNFCCC and UNEP COP-27 Side event, “Implementation of Technology Needs Assessments of Developing Countries”. It was such an honour to share the platform with UNFCCC Executive Director Mr. Simon Stiell, Ms.Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme and others. Here, I was able to share experiences of the TNA process in Eswatini and how it helped us for the NDC processes through capacity building and analytical information which guided the formulation of NDC contributions. Details of the event are here: https://unfccc.int/ttclear/events/2022/2022_event05
Eswatini and Taiwan share a side event
A side event was held on “Building an Enhanced Resilient and Sustainable Society by Net-Zero Transformation and Collaboration”. This event aimed to explore decarbonization solutions to integrate net-zero and resilience in a collaborative approach for developing countries. The discussion of demand-driven technological strategies in mitigation and adaptation will contribute to climate-resilient and low-carbon development. The Hon. Minister MTEA made opening remarks, Director of Dept. of Meteorology made a presentation on Eswatini’s NDC: aspirations towards resilience and net-zero and Khetsiwe Khumalo, the Climate Change Coordinator participated in a panel with Taiwanese and Indian delegates discussing on the following questions:
- What are the main challenges in achieving the NDC goal in Eswatini? And which technology development or cooperation project can solve these challenges.
- What are the achievements and models of international cooperation between Taiwan and Eswatini?
- How to build a climate-resilient agriculture system to achieve food security and enhance nutrition?
- What is the intention to use voluntary cooperation under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement for Eswatini and the current status?
Bilateral with NDC Partnership
Led by Hon. Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, the Eswatini delegation met with NDC Partnership’s Country Engagement Director- Mariana Panuncio-Feldman and John Heermans, Senior Country Engagement Specialist. We provided updates on progress of NDC implementation plan development, the support that Eswatini is receiving through NDC Partnership Action Fund ($450,000 in total) and received information on new support for Long Term Low Emissions Development Strategy (LT LEDS) as well as for NDC Investment Plan development.
IFAD Side event
Hon. Minister MTEA was part of a panel discussion organized by IFAD on “Greening the Drylands in Africa”. Resilient Food Systems enhance dryland productivity and investments for advancing the food security and livelihoods of those exposed to climate change. This event highlighted innovative approaches and successes in Niger, Tanzania and Eswatini. Minister talked about the ESWADE project and how simple interventions of planting trees and supporting farmers in irrigation and climate smart agriculture will enhance livelihoods. The video of the event is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EeMtAa11Uo
NAP Global Network side event
Khetsiwe Khumalo was a panelist at the NAP Global Network side event on “Capturing and Showcasing Progress in Adaptation and the Sustainable Development Goals” at the SDG Pavilion. More and more countries are developing and implementing National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) to advance policies and strategies that lead to both resilient and sustainable development. Yet examples showcasing progress in adaptation and development action are still limited. During this event, countries shares how they have defined progress in adaptation across priority development sectors, along with tools and processes they have used to capture and communicate progress. Defining and capturing resilience outcomes across different sectors and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is critical to provide evidence to further adaptive policies. It is also key to reinforce existing national monitoring, evaluation and learning systems, along with informing policy conversations around the Global Goal on Adaptation and the Global Stocktake. Khetsiwe gave examples from Eswatini where indigenous knowledge on climate change adaptation was documented.