All COBENEFITS countries

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The Inter­na­tion­al Cli­mate Ini­tia­tive (IKI) and the COBENEFITS team have invit­ed India, South Africa, Turkey, and Viet­nam to become COBENEFITS part­ner coun­tries. In addi­tion to that, the project car­ries out a num­ber of activ­i­ties in oth­er coun­tries around the world. Cli­mate and ener­gy poli­cies in the COBENEFITS part­ner coun­tries are cur­rent­ly at a cross­roads: with ener­gy demand increas­ing sharply, deci­sions on ener­gy invest­ments must now be made with the poten­tial to cre­ate path depen­den­cies that will endure for decades.
Co-ben­e­fits lend weight to the argu­ment in favour of increas­ing renew­able ener­gy gen­er­a­tion capac­i­ties. More­over, they can play a pos­i­tive role in fos­ter­ing tran­si­tions to sus­tain­able, cli­mate-friend­ly devel­op­ment pathways.


Chi­na is in the midst of an ener­gy rev­o­lu­tion and rapid­ly increas­ing the share of renew­able sources. Its 13th Five-Year Plan pre­pares the polit­i­cal ground to seize the social and eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ties pre­sent­ed by renew­able ener­gy and to mit­i­gate the harm­ful impacts of the fos­sil ener­gy world.
Since 2014, the IASS Pots­dam and the Insti­tute for Applied Ecol­o­gy in the Chi­nese Acad­e­my of Sci­ences (CAS-IAE) have worked togeth­er to explore the mobil­i­sa­tion of the co-ben­e­fits of cli­mate change mit­i­ga­tion, and renew­able pow­er gen­er­a­tion in par­tic­u­lar. Read about COBENEFITS events with a focus on China:

IASS-GIZ Expert Round­table in Pots­dam (March 2018)
GIZ/IASS Expert Round­table in Bei­jing (March 2017)
IASS – CAS/IAE Sci­ence-Pol­i­cy Round­table in Shenyang (Sep­tem­ber 2016)


In 2000, Ger­many decid­ed to con­duct a fun­da­men­tal ener­gy sys­tem trans­for­ma­tion, the so-called “Energiewende”.
Efforts for reduc­ing depen­dence for fos­sil fuel imports in face of the 1970s oil crises, resis­tance against haz­ardous nuclear pow­er (start­ing in 1970/80s), a broad move­ment towards sus­tain­abil­i­ty and to com­bat­ting cli­mate change (start­ing in 1980/90s) pro­vid­ed a firm readi­ness and sup­port for this trans­for­ma­tion in Germany.



Indi­a’s geog­ra­phy is very diverse, from vast coast­line to the great Himalayan moun­tain range in the north. The coun­try accounts for about 17.5% of the world’s total pop­u­la­tion, and over 2.4% of the total sur­face area.
India has con­sid­er­able nat­ur­al and min­er­al resources. How­ev­er, it is still grap­pling with sev­er­al devel­op­men­tal chal­lenges such as pover­ty, the pauci­ty of basic infra­struc­ture, and lim­it­ed ener­gy access. 30% of India’s pop­u­la­tion is still extreme­ly poor, about 20% lack prop­er hous­ing, over 25% lack access to elec­tric­i­ty and about 70% lack access to safe drink­ing water.

To bal­ance its eco­nom­ic objec­tives with cli­mate change con­cerns, India aspires to enhance its Human Devel­op­ment Index (HDI) from 0.586 in 2015 to 0.9 in the future while lim­it­ing per capi­ta ener­gy con­sump­tion to 1.5 – 2 toe/year, in con­trast to devel­oped coun­tries where high HDI lev­els are typ­i­cal­ly accom­pa­nied by per capi­ta ener­gy con­sump­tion lev­els of at least 2.5 – 3 toe/year.



We are hap­py to announce Kenya as our new COBENEFITS part­ner country!
More infor­ma­tion on our part­ners and planned activ­i­ties to fol­low soon.



In an affil­i­at­ed project in part­ner­ship with GIZ and the CONECC project, the Mex­i­can gov­ern­ment rep­re­sent­ed by SEMARNAT, IASS Pots­dam is coor­di­nat­ing a series of assess­ment stud­ies on the social and eco­nom­ic co-ben­e­fits of renew­able ener­gy and ener­gy effi­cien­cy for Mex­i­co (Co-Ben­efi­cios Mex­i­co).
Read more about the project and co-ben­e­fits assess­ments in Mexico:

Co-Ben­efi­cios: Con­tribu­ción de la Tran­si­ción Energéti­ca para el Desar­rol­lo Sostenible en Méx­i­co [Español]

Conectan­do co-ben­efi­cios a las pri­or­i­dades sociales, económi­cas y ambi­en­tales de Méx­i­co
Doc­u­men­to infor­ma­ti­vo de los avances de co-ben­efi­cios Méx­i­co (05÷2019)


South Africa

As a devel­op­ing coun­try, South Africa has no legal­ly bind­ing tar­get under the UNFCCC to reduce its green­house gas (GHG) emis­sions but the Gov­ern­ment has vol­un­teered to reduce the coun­try’s emis­sions by at least 34% in 2020 and 42% by 2025.
But a large pro­por­tion of these emis­sions emanate from the wide­spread use of South Africa’s abun­dant coal stocks, and it can be safe­ly assumed that coal will con­tin­ue to be the pri­ma­ry ener­gy source for many decades to come. To achieve ener­gy secu­ri­ty and ener­gy access in the coun­try, the gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to invest into nuclear pow­er and has iden­ti­fied the tran­si­tion to a “green econ­o­my” as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to devel­op new indus­tri­al and tech­no­log­i­cal capa­bil­i­ties to sup­port eco­nom­ic growth and employment.



In only 12 years, Turkey’s elec­tric­i­ty con­sump­tion dou­bled. The indus­try sec­tor is the largest con­sumer of ener­gy in Turkey, with 36.1% of the final con­sump­tion by end-users (TFC) in 2014. House­holds account­ed for 22.3% of TFC.
While ener­gy demand in house­holds has increased by 5.8% since 2004, demand in the com­mer­cial sec­tor grew by 105.4%, more than in any oth­er sec­tor. Ener­gy use in trans­port accounts for 24% of TFC. Turkey will like­ly see the fastest medi­um- to long-term growth in ener­gy demand among IEA mem­ber coun­tries. Accord­ing to the gov­ern­ment pro­jec­tions, it is esti­mat­ed that TFC will more than double.



At the invi­ta­tion of the Amer­i­can Coun­cil on Ger­many (ACG), COBENEFITS project leader Sebas­t­ian Hel­gen­berg­er gave a series of talks in the US on the social ben­e­fits of renew­able ener­gies, shar­ing inter­na­tion­al expe­ri­ences from the COBENEFITS project as well as lessons learned from Germany’s Energiewende.



In Viet­nam, a rapid indus­tri­al­iza­tion process fol­low­ing eco­nom­ic reforms in 1986 led to a sharply grow­ing ener­gy demand. As a result, ener­gy pro­duc­tion quin­tu­pled and pri­ma­ry ener­gy use sup­ply quadru­pled between 1986 and 2015, while ener­gy sources were diversified.

In 2015, coal and oil hold the largest shares of Vietnam’s ener­gy sup­ply (33,9% coal and 25,5% oil). Ener­gy from bio­fu­els and waste fol­low on the third posi­tion with 21,1%. With 13%, nat­ur­al gas is the fourth impor­tant ener­gy source, (most­ly large) hydropow­er con­tributes with 6,6% to the pri­ma­ry ener­gy needs. Renew­able Ener­gy Sources are to date still neg­li­gi­ble but devel­op very dynam­i­cal­ly. A fore­cast for the Ener­gy demand that was recent­ly pub­lished by the Min­istry of Infra­struc­ture and Trade (MOIT) and the Dan­ish Ener­gy Agency pre­dict­ed an increase from 54 MToe in 2015 to pos­si­bly 81–93 MToe in 2025 and 112–156 MToe in 2035. Vietnam’s Nation­al­ly Deter­mined Con­tri­bu­tions (NDCs) to the UNFCCC include the reduc­tion of 8% of its GHG emis­sions in 2030 com­pared to its BAU (uncon­di­tion­al con­tri­bu­tion), and a reduc­tion of 25% of its GHG emis­sions in 2030 com­pared to its BAU (con­di­tion­al contribution).