Vanuatu is a small island nation in the South Pacific with negligible contribution to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (0.0016 percent of world emissions), while quickly being one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change. This did not hold us back from embracing ambitious emission reduction targets under the Paris Agreement on climate change: we are aiming to transition to close to 100 percent renewable energy in the electricity (energy) sector by 2030.
This would entail a shift from fossil fuels - which are currently imported, and support 100 percent of our energy demand - to locally produced coconut oil fuel. Long-term contracts with the farmers would ramp up coconut production, thus for the first time creating a local coconut market and more secure livelihoods.
Looking at the size of our energy sector one might think that the transition is an easy goal to achieve. However, the lack of required resources - technical, financial, social - makes it a very ambitious target for us. There is a strong need to enhance our ability and capacity to achieve our emission reduction commitments along with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Tracking our progress towards the goals is an important step of the process. This is why we developed a first of its kind Integrated Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system and tool, which enables us to gauge our progress not only in terms of GHG emissions, but also in terms of the development impact of climate actions, climate finance flows and progress towards the SDGs.
Our integrated MRV system is not only robust but also flexible to accommodate the needs of government and stakeholders, keeping in mind the constraints in capacity and resources. The key advantage of the integrated approach is that it’s modular and can be tailored to align with the changing policy environment for climate change and development and other domestic and international reporting frameworks. The integrated MRV system also fulfils the requirement for transparency under the Paris Agreement and can be used under market and non-market approaches under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
The ability of the integrated tool to track the SDG impacts of each mitigation action at the project/programme level will immensely assists us in aligning climate actions, including those for the Paris Agreement, with our SDGs by linking the policies and priorities for climate change with the national sustainable development goals.
We strongly believe that the integrated MRV system adopted by Vanuatu has great potential for replication in other regions. Other countries could benefit from developing such a system to track the progress of climate actions, emission reductions and related SDG impacts in an effort to achieve the ambitious goals under the Paris agreement.
In partnership with UNDP, through its NDC Support Programme, we are hosting a webinar to further explain our MRV system, register via the link here.
Although we are a small island nation, we are committed to do our best in combating global climate change threats. Through the Ministry of Climate Change, our government is actively cooperating with United Nations agencies and international partners to assess these effects and develop appropriate plans through climate change adaptation and mitigation. This integrated MRV system offers one big step in the right direction.
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