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View the documentImplementing the UN FCCC - Results of the german support programme

Implementing the UN FCCC - Results of the german support programme

by Holger Liptow

Climate protection must be understood and handled as a cross-sectoral task. This is to say that it needs to be integrated into the sectors energy, transportation, industry, waste management, agriculture and forestry.

Climate protection is everybody's business, because each and everyone of us, each and every family and private household, does things that affect our climate to a greater or lesser degree. Like environmental protection and the conservation of resources, practical climate protection often equates to an exercise in self-restraint.

Like foregoing the fast satisfaction of wants and needs in favor of long-term imperatives; above all else, it means seeking out alternative options (action-pattern variables) that do not consume irretrievable resources. On the other hand, systematic climate protection does not equate to total inactivity.

The only logical consequence is to at least be sparing and efficient in our consumption of irretrievable resources, though it would be better still, of course, to rely more on renewable resources. This would make it easier for the majority to adjust and adapt as necessary, while only a minority would have to radically alter their behavior.

For the purposes of the German Support Programme to Implement the Framework Convention on Climate Change, we have decided to concentrate our efforts on the polluters at the source, especially the consumers of fossil fuel, including motor vehicles. Germany's relevant technical co-operation includes a number of other programmes and projects devoted to the preservation of sinks, most notably in the form of tropical forests.

Back home in Germany after the 1992 Rio Conference, GTZ together with other donor organizations had just begun work on the Environmental Manual, which was not finished until early 1996. That manual is now also available in the form of a computer programme for use in determining the environmental impacts of power generation and distribution, including GHG emissions.

Basic data needed

We soon discovered that national specialists in a surprisingly large number of countries were already drawing up initial inventories of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while others had already begun to study their options for reducing such emissions. This reinforced our inclination to make such options the main thrust of our programme - as a point of departure for rapid assistance in reducing, or at least decelerating the increase of, GHG emissions.

Project selection

Which activities have we decided on? What did we see as the main objective of our planning and implementing activities? At first, our programme gave rise to certain individual measures, because we were aiming for broad dissemination of information about the assistance Germany has to offer. Thus, those initial measures consisted extensively of inventory studies and country studies on reduction options (Colombia, Pakistan, Zambia, Tanzania).

Once the programme achieved a certain "awareness rating", both within the scope of German Technical Cooperation (TC) and internationally, we were better able to identify approaches with a more sectoral or regional (country-specific) thrust.

In our view, this improves our chances of actually achieving the planned results (pertinent examples including activities in China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Zimbabwe).

As a large organization engaged in development cooperation activities in more than 120 countries, we naturally make use of our existing connections to ongoing projects and familiar partners. In addition to providing approaches for enabling activities, this also yields synergistic effects with ongoing German technical cooperation in the energy sector.

For example, in close cooperation with our rationaluse-of-energy specialists, we derived some concrete, practical options for demandside management from a sincecompleted TC project in the Philippines. Similarly, ways of enhancing energy efficiency in industrial facilities and buildings are being pursued via an ongoing TC project in Thailand.

Efficiency measures

In Zimbabwe, we have integrated the "Reduction Options within the Framework of Southern African Power Pooling" measures into the local GTZ-supported energy programme.

And in Bangalore, India, we are expanding our cooperation with TERI beyond the present energy conservation and efficiency enhancement scope for the local industry to include a climate protection project. In that project, we will explore the available alternatives for environmentally and climatically correct planning and implementation in the fields of transportation and waste management.

Frequently, the final, exact formulation of projects has emerged from intensive dialogue with our partners. In our opinion, such dialogue constitutes the first advisory input on the way to achieving adequate accordance with the international Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Regrettably, there were some requests that we were unable to support, either because they were not in line with the exigencies of the convention or because they were situated too far away from our programme's focal area. International co-ordination of country measures thanks to the initiative of the Climate Change Secretariat, the measures being supported by the various donor organizations have been internationally well coordinated.


Redundancy was effectively avoided, and the limited funds available to the individual donor organizations precluded all competition concerning the "best" projects. On the contrary, every effort was made to round out one's own approaches, one example being our co-operation with the US Country Study Programme in Thailand, Zambia and South Africa and with the AsDB's ALGAS project in Pakistan.

We helped achieve good coordination by informing CC:INFO about our own activities and by actively participating in the CC:FORUM's meetings. This general exchange of views and information led to concrete agreements with various donors most intensively with the US CSP.

Subsidization of the climate secretariat's information activities has made it possible for each and every country to present their climateprotection activities in a uniform manner on the Internet's World Wide Web.

We have designed our advisory, upgrading and on-thejob training activities around both German expertise and the knowledge of specialists from other countries with intensive experience in the field of climate protection in emerging countries. United Nations Colaborating Centre on Energy and Environment in Risp/ Denmark, for example, helped local specialists in Tanzania and Zambia draft a set of reduction options; in doing so, the team showed a depth of commitment that often far exceeded the contractually binding scope.

Arranging South-South cooperation

We also helped arrange direct South-South co-operation. The team from the Ministry of Energy and Mines in Caracas, Venezuela, was a great help to the team in Bogota in preparing an inventory study for Colombia. Together with UCCEE, the Southern Centre of Energy and Environment in Harare, Zimbabwe, provided general support and their own experience to the same Zambian team we were assisting.

What have we actually achieved? Let me give some extremely condensed sampling of results from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Tanzania. Our pamphlet entitled "Measures to Prevent

Climate Change" provides information on our programme's results to date and additional data documenting how climate protection is already being built into GTZ's energy projects. And for anyone interested in specific cases, we will be glad to provide copies of studies we have conducted in various partner countries naturally only to the extent that the measures in question have been completed.


Above and beyond the country's already environmentoriented energy planning, there are still other win-win options that could help reduce GHG emissions. In the end-use sector, these would include advanced lighting systems, energy-conserving refrigerating equipment and variable-speed motors. And in the power sector, highly sophisticated options like pressurized fluidised-bed combustion and gas-fueled fuel cells have emerged as additional options for enhancing established technologies.

The Philippines

According to the results of the GTZ-assisted study in the Philippines, there are two options for substantially reducing C02 emissions in the energy sector: by improving the gross heat rate in power generation and by reducing transmission and distribution losses. The use of natural gas, hydropower and geo-thermal energy can further reduce emis signs by significant degrees. With the aid of the aforementioned Environmental Manual we also conducted a pilot project in which the environmental impacts of the entire power-generating sector were investigated and scenarios developed for engaging in least-cost forms of environmental and climate protection.


In Tanzania, the options for reducing GHG emissions are limited more by market and institutional barriers than by any lack of access to appropriate technologies. Indeed, the industry has numerous technological winwin options to offer - like efficient combustion, powerfactor correction and efficient motors. The power sector also has some latitude for contributions toward climate protection, one example being the intensified use of hydropower. Conversely, the large number of people who would have to be involved in measures geared to private households and agriculture would make them difficult to implement.


In most of the surveyed industrial operations and commercial buildings there were identifiable win-win options (that is, options with payback periods of up to 4 years) that would make climate protection attractive and reduce CO2 emissions by seven to ten percent. Now, the decision makers have to be persuaded to make use of the available opportunities. As already mentioned above, the longterm German technical cooperation project aims to followup and to help achieve that goal.

Planning-stage approaches

We all use energy to heat and light our homes, cook our meals, power our appliances and we are expending more and more energy - trends increasing particularly in the socalled emerging countries - to get from one place to another by motorcycle, bus, airplane or private motor vehicle - the latter being characterized by more prestige but less efficiency. And while our mobility is increasing, we note that motorists in Bangkok average about seven kilometer an hour, whereas a bicycle would get us there twice as fast and help keep our CO2 balance more in equilibrium.

Options for reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions in the Philippines

For our general country studies, we have begun to accentuate energy-sector reduction options in certain sectors and certain regions of large countries. In doing so, we "discovered" the major cities, where people often and increasingly suffer under the intolerable noise levels and exhaust-gas pollution of motorized traffic, ubiquitous garbage heaps, and emissions from uncounted stoves, household and commercial chimneys and industrial smokestacks.

Motor-vehicle emissions

As local pollution worsens, so do the GHG emissions from motorvehicle tailpipes, and the mountains of refuse continue to grow menacingly. Since the needs of local and global environmental protection once again happen to coincide, we are aiming our initial minor attempts in both directions: in the State of Karnataka, India, and the booming City of Bangalore, with the Asian Energy Institutes for Asian Cities and, with a TC project entitled "CO2 Reduction in the Transportation Sector of Surabaya, Indonesia".

At GTZ, people are well aware of the fact that climate protection begins at home. We try to follow the well known motto: think globally and act locally. Then again, as a TC organization, we have our own way of looking at things: for us, "local" means a co-operative in Central America, a Technical College in Southern Africa or a railroad workshop in Southern Asia.

Nevertheless, GTZ is trying to be active, one example being its participation in a new initiative by climate-conscious European companies who have grouped together under the name of "European Business Council for a Sustainable Energy Future" to lobby for implementation of the Framework Convention on Climate Change - as opposed to the kind of foot dragging the coal and oil lobby.

Once our ongoing activities have been brought to conclusion in the course of the next two years, we will be able to pursue new, even more tangible climateprotection activities in connection with TC projects in the energy and transportation sectors, as well as in the preservation of tropical forests and in other areas.

Holger Liptow works at the GTZ department on Energy and Transportation in Eschborn, Germany