Working closely with partners in government departments and agencies, COBENEFITS connects the social and economic opportunities of renewable energies to climate change mitigation strategies. The project aims at building strong alliances and lowering political barriers.
COBENEFITS aims at strengthening the ability of government departments and agencies in charge of climate and energy issues in the target countries to advise ministerial clients on the co-benefits of renewable power generation in order to spur the ambitious and effective implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) adopted under the Paris Agreement.
Understanding the co-benefits of climate change mitigation – in particular those with immediate or near-term effects – enables policymakers to formulate, promote, and implement ambitious climate policies. By fostering cross-sectoral cooperation for the implementation of NDCs, COBENEFITS bolsters efforts to close ambition gaps. COBENEFITS also works to integrate and mainstream co-benefit assessments in national and international UNFCCC Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) mechanisms. In addition, we expect the project to contribute to efforts to achieve the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs) and activate financing mechanisms such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
How we work
COBENEFITS facilitates international mutual learning and capacity building among policymakers, knowledge partners and multipliers through a range of measures. In a first step, country-specific assessments of the available opportunities to harvest the social and economic co-benefits of renewable power generation are prepared in order to shape appropriate policy action. Secondly, training materials, online courses and face-to-face training are used to disseminate these new insights within the target group and beyond. Thirdly, political dialogue sessions will enable political leaders to focus their attention on pathways to overcoming barriers to progress. And finally, COBENEFITS will identify strategies to connect the co-benefits of climate change mitigation with climate action plans, the Paris Ambition Mechanism and Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) schemes to support the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
In order to facilitate local implementation and foster political ownership among key political stakeholders, two principal bodies have been established: COBENEFITS Focal Points and the COBENEFITS Councils.
The national COBENEFITS Focal Points are key implementation agencies of the COBENEFITS project in India, South Africa, Turkey, and Vietnam. They include independent research organisations and think tanks in the partner countries with broad expertise in climate and energy policy. The COBENEFITS Focal Points provide organisational support at local level, foster political ownership, and generate country-specific knowledge, in particular through networking, trust-building measures, country-specific communication, and policy and media monitoring.
In each of the partner countries, the COBENEFITS Council is responsible for providing orientation and setting priorities for co-benefits-related activities in view of the political relevance and impact of the project’s output. It has a clear opportunity orientation and creates common ground for collaboration across ministries/government agencies and their particular agendas. Its members represent governmental portfolios related to climate and energy policies in the target countries, as well as ministries/governmental agencies that are likely to benefit from social and economic co-benefits and, as such, potential supporters/enablers of an ambitious climate and renewable energy agenda. A COBENEFITS Council typically counts representatives from the ministries of economic affairs, health, industry and finance among its members as well as policymakers from the fields of energy and climate protection.
Learn more about the COBENEFITS approach of Strategic Co-Benefit Assessments [PDF].