On the outskirts of Marrakesh’s historic medina, amid bustling construction and new housing developments, the Partnership for Market Readiness’ governing group gathered this month for its final meeting of 2013.
After nearly three years of operation, this group of 30 countries has much to be proud of.
So far, nearly $30 million in grant funding has been allocated to 16 nations to support the design and development of market approaches to greenhouse gas emission reductions. A one-of-a-kind platform to exchange ideas and lessons on market approaches to mitigation has been created. And a technical work program has been launched to support country implementation of critical tools such as data management systems, offset standards, and policy mapping exercises.
To leverage this early success, countries were eager to discuss what comes next. A central theme of the meeting in Morocco was the Partnership’s strategic direction. Early ideas focused on adding more donors or recipient countries to broaden the partnership’s scope, and on providing more support to existing member countries, including exploring new ways to share and leverage knowledge.
Another idea discussed in Marrakesh was to pilot a carbon asset purchasing mechanism for credits generated as part of the Partnership’s activities.
With a number of ideas on the table, country participants did what they do best at these meetings: brainstormed, discussed and – most importantly – listened. In the coming months, specific proposals for broadening and deepening the scope of the partnership – including the pilot purchase mechanism – will be presented. The Partnership Assembly plans to make a decision on the strategic direction of the partnership at its next meeting in Mexico City in March 2014.
The Marrakesh meeting also got down to business.
Indonesia was awarded $3 million to support a greenhouse gas data monitoring, reporting and verification system for the power and cement sectors, as well as an analysis of options to introduce a carbon pricing instrument for low-carbon development.
Kazakhstan was awarded up to $1 million over three years to support technical projects associated with the implementation of its existing emissions trading system; the first country to receive grant funding for such targeted technical assistance.
Thailand, meanwhile, presented a draft of its energy-efficiency trading scheme; it is on track to receive funding for the scheme in March 2014.
The Partnership capped its time in Morocco with a one-day workshop to share experiences and lessons learned on stakeholder engagement and communication strategies for introducing climate and carbon price policies. Many participants noted just how critical this can be, especially with an often controversial topic such as climate change.
Failure to fully engage with a stakeholder – because a particular group is left out all together or because information is not available in a transparent and digestible way – has cost many a country good policy, participants agreed.
The Marrakesh gathering brought lively discussion, energetic networking, and a feeling that the Partnership for Market Readiness is on solid footing as the year comes to a close. Our 2014 agenda is packed with training workshops along with the anticipation to allocate an additional $28 million in funding to the final seven implementing countries.