The Consultation discussed the experience of developing SAPCCs and challenges including the question of financing SAPCCs. Peter Saille (GIZ), Amit Anand (UNDP) and Papiya (TERI University) shared their experiences and observations on SAPCC. Lokendra Thakkar (EPCO, GoMP) shared experience of developing SAPCC of Madhya Pradesh. Ajay Jha spoke on Beyond Copenhagen’s experience with the SAPCCs and financial aspects of the NAPCCs and SAPCCs. Representatives of the DFID, SDC and CDKN also participated in the discussion.
Lokendra Thakkar shared the experience and challenges in developing MP SAPCC. He said that MP has been one of the states which have developed the SAPCC in a participatory manner organizing 29 consultations (stakeholders as well as ACZ wise). He added that MP has also conducted vulnerability studies which significantly enhanced the implmentability of the plan. He underlined that MP has a very realistic proposed budget for the implementation and emphasis is on the highly vulnerable sectors like agriculture and livestock, forests and water, which affect the majority of population in the state. He said that post SAPCC development MP has set up State Knowledge Management centre for climate change, which will be nodal agency for SAPCC. He added that the Plan has already been rolled off with incorporation of strategies in the forest working plans, and GHG inventorization and Marginal Abatement Cost Curves study. He emphasized that MP has the advantage of having an institutional structure already in place, which has been strengthened with setting up of SKMCCC. He concluded with proposals for legislative and policy changes including incentivizing mitigation in industries, introducing green tariff to promote renewable energy and enhancing RPOs as per the national guidelines.
GIZ had helped developing SAPCC in 8 states. Peter Saille said that lack of decentralized and disaggregated data has been the most significant challenge in developing SAPCCs. He added that many of the states do not have any emission data, and vulnerability assessments and in their absence SAPCCs which have been developed remain only a statement of intention from the states. He reminded that a lot of work needs to be done in the context of developing SAPCCs and it is important to make them dynamic so that they could incorporate critical information as they come in and continue to adapt strategies accordingly. He identified that political leadership is the most critical element for a successful implementation along with adequate finances.
Amit Anand from UNDP said that while developing SAPCCs, what they have been able to achieve is the orientation of states towards their vulnerability and need for action. He also lamented lack of critical data on emission, vulnerability of sectors, climatic zones, and social groups etc. He highlighted that states will have to own the plans and move forward. In terms of availability of finances, he added that UNDP has provided and will continue to provide financial support for capacity building and research, but UNDP will not be able to bridge the funding gap for the SAPCC implementation and states will have to look for their own resources through adopting innovative financial instruments.
Papiya shared the provisional findings of a six state study on States’ Preparedness on Climate Change done by TERI University and EPCO. The scoping study was a part of Climate Change Innovation Programme supported by DFID for facilitating implementation of SAPCCs in states of Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Odisha and Maharashtra in March to July 2014. The study assessed these states on five key dimensions of institutional capacity, leadership, institutional arrangement, prioritization and accountability demonstrated towards climate risk management, coordination, and evidence building and management of information. She said that each state varied significantly from each other on these indicators. She added that while Odisha emerged strongest on each of these indicators, Assam was good on evidence building, prioritization and information. While Kerala showed good development on each indicator; Maharashtra fared better than rest of the two on prioritization and evidence building. Chhattisgarh fared average in leadership, prioritization and coordination, while in Bihar things are still in infancy stage. She noted that some of the states have appreciable achievement in specific areas viz. disaster preparedness in Odisha, e-governance in Maharashtra, solar home systems in remote Chhattisgarh, farmers Training (Kisan Pathshalas) in Bihar, Flood early warning in Assam, and R&D on urban transport in Kerala, which can add to their capacity for implementation. She identified five areas as critical need of these states for implementation of the SAPCCs as (i) sensitization of the political leaders and government officials at all levels, (ii) convergence of activities across government departments (e.g. high level monitoring committee in Odisha), (iii) mobilization of finance and a framework for climate budgeting, (iv) local scale data generation, compilation and feedback to State level planning (M&E), (v) communication and knowledge management. Their key strategic knowledge requirements were listed as (i) Database on climate change impacts, (ii) Emission inventories, (iii) Adaptation and mitigation project database, (iv) Sources and mechanisms on financing, (v) Compendium of best practices and case-studies.
Ajay Jha shared that Beyond Copenhagen has been trying to democratize the process of SAPCCs development in 9 states (Manipur, MP, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, UP, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Karnataka). He said that they have observed that SAPCCs are mainly externally driven with very little ownership of the states, and states lack capacity to comprehend how core sectors can respond to climate change. He added that in the absence of emission inventory and vulnerability studies, SAPCCs have very little connection with science, and therefore, lack concrete ideas on either mitigation or adaptation. Many states also lack institutional mechanism for implementation as well as resources. However, he added that most important shortfall in the plans are that they have no role for people and communities, and this issue definitely needs proactive role for the communities, he added. Coordination with MoEF has also been problematic, with no clarity on finances; states have construed SAPCCs as another centrally sponsored scheme and therefore, provided estimates which are at times absurd. He gave an idea of cost estimates of different SAPCCs, and explained that while Himachal asked for 1560 Crore, MP asked for 4653 Crore, Uttarakhand asks for 8758 Crore, Odisha wants 17000 Crore, West Bengal requires 30000 Crore, while Haryana asks for an astronomical 50,000 Crore. He clarified that many of the states do not have the capacity to absorb such an enormous fund. He also added that very few states have actually adopted fiscal instruments which can support implementation of the SAPCCs. The states which have adopted are still dependent on the first generation financial tools and have done it mainly to support renewable energy solely to the exclusion of all other sectors and completely independent of the SAPCC. He elaborated that Sikkim has adopted an environmental cess and ecology fund, which levies a cess on all non biodegradable material entering the state, 1% on manufacture and retail, and 5% on hospitality industry. Maharashtra has levied a load management charge, and Gujarat has put a green cess on electricity from non renewable sources. He added that the most popular has been green tax on motor vehicles, which may states including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Bihar have imposed; while Himachal has made this voluntary. He concluded by saying that states need to look for innovative fiscal tools to support SAPCCs
The Consultation ended with a donors’ roundtable on financing MP SAPCC chaired by Minister, Housing, Urban development and environment, GoMP, which was attended by relevant officers from several departments, EPCO and donors including UNDP, DFID, SIDA, CDKN and GIZ.
Major recommendations from the Consultation
• SAPCC lack ownership by the states, states must own the SAPCC, which has been conceived only as a document till now.
• SAPCC must have greater clarity in its goals, objectives and targets/indicators and must prioritize actions rather than taking omnibus approach, they must incorporate participatory review and evaluation mechanisms.
• The SAPCCs must be understood as a dynamic document and should be build further on improved integration with science and society, vulnerability analyses must incorporate social dimensions
• The MOEF must declare a timeline for completion of SAPCCs and must provide greater clarity of financial arrangement.
• Most of the states have no institutional mechanism for implementation, they must respond to this critical need immediately.
• States must look into their own resources for convergence in implementation of SAPCCs rather than depending on the central government.
• State must also think of adopting new fiscal tools to generate resources, and learn from the experience of states which have done it.
• Financial support must also cover critical sectors where private resource generation is not possible (viz. adaptation) rather than only incentivizing renewable energy.