The UNEP/GEF Project "Economics of GHG Limitations" and Parallel Country Studies

The limitation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a complex issue, intimately connected with economic development at local, national, regional and global levels. Key economic sectors such as energy, agriculture, industry and forestry all produce GHGs, and are likely to be affected directly and indirectly by any mitigation policy. The UNEP Greenhouse Gas Abatement Costing Studies, initiated in 1991 and coordinated by UCCEE, attempted to address these complex issues, developing a methodological framework and testing it through practical application in ten countries. The results of Phase Two were published in 1994 and described in earlier issues of c2e2 news. A third phase, extending the approach to other gases and sectors, and applying it in two countries, was completed at the end of 1995.

In 1996 the UNEP Centre launched a new project entitled "Economics of GHG Limitations" comprising eight national and two regional studies in parallel with a methodological development programme. The project is financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through UNEP, and the UNEP Centre is responsible for coordination of the individual studies as well as development of the methodological framework, working in close collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The national and regional studies are carried out by centres and government agencies in the participating countries and regions. Participating countries are: Argentina, Ecuador, Estonia, Hungary, Indonesia, Mauritius, Senegal and Vietnam. The two sub­regional studies will focus on the SADC (Southern African Development Community) countries in southern Africa and the Andean Group countries in South America. The participating countries were chosen, from among a number of national requests, to represent the three primary developing regions (Africa, Latin America and Asia) as well as Eastern Europe. Of these countries several have already embarked on or completed CC mitigation studies, while others have yet to gain experience in the procedure.

In parallel with this UNEP/GEF project a number of other country studies have been initiated. These comprise Botswana, Tanzania and Zambia in Southern Africa (financed by Danida), Peru (also financed by Danida) and Egypt and Jordan (financed by GEF through UNDP).

The new studies will take full advantage of existing or ongoing studies, for example those conducted under the US Country Studies Program, in order to avoid overlap, exploit synergies and gain as much capacity building experience and useful information as possible.

Thus a total of fourteen countries, spanning the three "developing" continents, Africa, Asia and Latin America, and also including former centrally planned countries, are following a common set of assumptions and methodological guidelines, over the same time schedule, with coordinated project management and support from the UNEP Centre and LBNL.

The fourteen countries represent a wide mix of systems with respect to energy and other sectors, and in terms of level of development, rural/urban mix, availability of natural resources, etc. This diversity facilitates the broad development of methodological guidelines to treat a variety of circumstances and settings. In particular, the broadening of the analysis from simply energy, as in the early phases of mitigation studies, to treat forestry, land­use and agriculture introduces significant challenges.

The Methodological Guidelines being followed by the country teams are generally an extension of those developed in the UNEP GHG Abatement Costing Study. These have been enhanced and extended with respect to forestry and land­use mitigation options, macroeconomic assessment and multi­criteria assessment. The Guidelines document is supplemented by handbook material on special topics. This methodological development activity is being carried out by staff at the UNEP Centre and LBNL in parallel with the country study execution, and results are presented at methodological workshops attended by representatives of all country teams.

This supplement to c2e2 news no. 9 presents brief profiles of the countries taking part in the parallel set of country studies.

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Last updated: 30 July 1997
UNEP Centre Systems Analysis Department Risø