Success Factors for Mitigation Initiatives

Through analysis and assessment of the 21 cases included in the Partnership's Good Practice Analysis a range of activities (and their impacts) across varied regional and country contexts were contemplated. All the cases exhibit many of the aspects of good practice identified in the criteria, and while not all approaches are readily transferable to every context, the case studies provide rich insights to guide others designing or implementing similar activities. With this in mind, dedicated summaries on lessons learned and replication are included in each case to guide the reader considering undertaking similar activities elsewhere.

By exploring the practical challenges faced in designing and implementing mitigation actions across themes including: capacity, information, institutional, financial and socio-cultural, a range of successful approaches to overcoming these barriers have been identified across all of the 21 country cases studied. This provides the reader with practical insights to aid them in replicating the success achieved in each case.

While cases were selected as exhibiting elements of good practice, some are a work-in-progress and the final impact of mitigation activities may not yet be clear. A few cases rely to some extent on relatively unique context factors (e.g. such as the governance context in China or the large renewable energy potential in India) which may not be readily transferable. However, all the cases assessed provide useful, practice-based insights into effective approaches to achieving mitigation at the country level and many offer useful, transferable approaches.

The following pages provide a summary of conclusions drawn from the case-based analysis of the 21 country examples, presented as key success factors to provide orientation for the design of similar interventions elsewhere. Each individual case study also includes further detail on lessons learned, key factors for replicating specific activities, along with further contacts and links to more information.


1.  Leadership and political commitment

Most (18) cases identify strong, high level leadership and political commitment as a key success factors. This includes support from both political leaders such as the President or Prime Minister (e.g. Indonesia, South Korea, and Ethiopia) or other senior officials (e.g. support of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources in Kenya). The role of subnational leadership such as city Mayors was also highlighted in several cases (e.g. Georgia, Colombia, and Thailand). Successful leadership and political commitment was manifested in various ways across the cases studied, including:

  • Promoting a vision for the country: In cases such as South Korea, Mexico and Ethiopia, political leaders articulated a strong national vision for the country involving mitigation actions (e.g. the Korea Green Growth Strategy and the Ethiopian Climate Resilient Green Economy). 
  • Creating new institutions: In some cases political commitment led to the creation of whole new institutions such as in India where a Ministry for New and Renewable Energy was created, signalling the political importance at the Federal level. Similarly, in the Philippines the President established a national Climate Change Commission to oversee mitigation and adaptation activities.
  • Providing visible proximity to leaders: In the Dominican Republic, the Office of the President directly hosted consultation meetings on the Climate Compatible Development Plan in the National Palace, many of them introduced by the Vice-president in person. Similarly in the Philippines, the Presidential Palace provided initial logistical support for the Climate Change Commission and in Ethiopia, the Prime Minister’s Office chairs the country’s high level environment council.


2. Engaging and managing stakeholders

Eighteen (18) countries highlight the importance of effectively engaging and managing stakeholders in the design, development and implementation of mitigation activities. This includes:

  • Raising awareness: Investing in awareness raising activities to increase stakeholders’ support for, and engagement with activities is highlighted in several cases. For example in Kenya, Indonesia or Peru where considerable effort has been made to raise awareness of climate mitigation activities. In some cases awareness raising is focussed on specific programmes and activities such as energy efficiency in Vietnam, where frequent awareness raising events are carried out including: workshops and competitions and sharing information via radio, television and internet targeting both the national and provincial levels.
  • Facilitating dialogue: The importance of enabling effective communication between stakeholders (e.g. sectors and levels of government) is highlighted as important for improving transparency and enabling stronger trust and collaboration. For example the dialogue across sectors in the development of the South Africa Long Term Mitigation Scenarios (LTMS), in prioritising NAMAs in Tunisia or between national and subnational government in Colombia.
  • Collaboration across government stakeholders: For example, in Lebanon, effective, on-going collaboration between the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Finance has strengthened the process of developing NAMAs.
  • Engaging the private sector: For example, in developing mitigation actions focussed on the cement industry in Tunisia, the effective sharing of data between cement companies and the government made an important contribution to the design of effective interventions to reduce GHG emissions. Engaging private real estate developers in Colombia for developing a Transit-Oriented Development NAMA and working with energy intensive industries in China, Korea, Chile and Vietnam have been essential to designing and implementing effective mitigation activities.
  • Ownership by stakeholders: This has been achieved in a variety of ways. For example, through technical processes such as involving stakeholders in a NAMA prioritisation process in Lebanon; or through stronger involvement and empowerment of key actors, such as the involvement of states and municipalities in the federal strategy to reduce deforestation in Brazil. Many cases emphasised the importance of strong ownership by the country government and ensuring strong participatory approaches to engaging key actors, for example in development of a national climate change strategy in Peru, the LTMS in South Africa and through established forums such as the Philippines Development Forum or the Bhutan Mainstreaming Reference Group.


3. Mainstreaming and institutionalising

Eleven (11) countries highlight the importance of integrating climate change activities into the plans and activities of national institutions. These include:

  • Building on existing activities: In Tunisia, NAMA concepts were identified based on earlier Technical Needs Assessments while in Colombia, the implementation of the Transit-Oriented Development NAMA benefits from the country’s previous success in implementing Bus Rapid Transit and integrating efforts between the national and subnational government.
  • Embedding into existing strategies and plans: In Kenya, both mitigation and adaptation activities have been integrated in the country’s mid-term development plan. In India and China, mitigation activities have been integrated into the 5-year planning processes. In both Tunisia and Korea, climate mitigation planning is closely aligned with energy planning.
  • Embedding in established institutions: For example in Indonesia, mitigation activities have been led from the national Planning Ministry which has helped ensure integration into traditional development planning activities. In Bhutan, a dedicated Mainstreaming Reference Group has been key to integrating gender issues into mitigation activities.
  • Vertical integration: Several cases cited the importance of effectively integrating efforts between national and subnational levels of government, particularly where actions are implemented at subnational level (e.g. transport in Colombia, energy in Georgia and preventing deforestation in Brazil).
  • New legislation: For example, the creation of a climate change law in Mexico, which provides a strong (and politically durable) mandate for mitigation action and the need for MRV. Legislation focussed on specific issues is also highlighted, such as the 2003 Electricity Act in India to support renewable energy deployment or the establishment of the Korean Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) Act to support the implementation of new market-based mitigation mechanisms. Implementing legislation at subnational level also has a key role to play. For example, new legal powers given to subnational government in Brazil through the Public Forests Management Law, Complementary Law and the new forestry law have played an important role in the success of the country’s efforts to reduce deforestation.
  • Piloting: Piloting concepts can provide strong evidence on how to scale-up and/or integrate activities into mainstream development. For example, the successful piloting of the ETS in Korea and the Top-1,000 enterprise programme in China have provided important information for the countries to then confidently scale-up these activities.


4. Finance

Seven (7) countries highlight the importance of adequate financial support and mechanisms to effectively manage and coordinate dispersal of finance. Examples include:

  • Domestic budget support: The Philippines set up specific funds to support different types of climate programmes, projects and activities provided through budgetary provisions and disbursed via local government units.
  • Dedicated finance facilities: To support the delivery of activities under Ethiopia’s Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy, a dedicated finance facility was established (the “CRGE facility”). The purpose of the facility being to provide a single pool of funds making it easier for the government to coordinate activities and disbursal of funds in accordance with identified priority areas.
  • International financial support: The role of international sources of finance in developing and implementing mitigation actions was highlighted in several cases. For example, international support was provided to support the preparation of Sustainable Energy Action Plans in Georgia, and the implementing of the national energy efficiency programme in Vietnam.  


5. Technical capacity

Six (6) country cases highlighted the importance of involving personnel with sufficient technical skills and capacity to support mitigation design and implementation. This ranged from:

  • Domestic capacity: Strong domestic government knowledge of sectors was highlighted as an important success factor in a number of cases. For example, good understanding of their sectors enable government agencies in Tunisia to more easily develop inventories and MRV data for mitigation actions. In Indonesia, a good understanding of NAMAs and LEDS at the operational level, provided bottom-up technical insights and background information which lay the ground work for later high-level political support. At subnational level, the presence of motivated and capable personnel in municipal government was highlighted as an important factor in enabling Georgian cities to develop their Sustainable Energy Action Plans.
  • External expertise: For example, the MAPS programme (developed in South Africa) collaborates with focus countries to bring in international and regional expertise to strengthen national capacity on complex topics around mitigation scenario building and economic modelling.


6. Target, incentivise and enforce mitigation actions

Six (6) cases emphasised the importance of designing and implementing effective incentives and enforcement measures targeting mitigation actions. These include:

  • Targeting: The importance of effectively focussing activities to target significant mitigation potential is highlighted in numerous cases. For example, the Top 10,000 programme in China targets large enterprises that are major energy consumers and have both mitigation potential and capacity to implement. In Thailand, mitigation actions targeted the problem of high volumes of waste which had already been identified as a major domestic environmental challenge, hence the action to reduce waste found greater acceptability among various stakeholders.
  • Incentives: Employing incentives which sufficiently motivate engagement with mitigation activities is identified as a key success factor in a number of cases. For example, in Chile, the importance of effective incentives for the involvement of the private and public sector in a voluntary carbon management programme is identified as an important factor. In the Dominican Republic, providing international visibility for the national climate compatible development strategy created an incentive for national actors (especially the government) to maintain momentum and deliver a significant result. In Brazil, the disclosure, on the internet, of properties embargoed due to illegal deforestation enabled beef and soy traders to avoid the purchase of raw materials from these areas, thus impacting demand and creating a disincentive to pursue illegal deforestation in the future. Furthermore, market based mechanisms such as Korea’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) or programmes such as China’s Top 10,000 company programme, provide powerful financial and reputational incentives to encourage mitigation activities across a range of actors.
  • Enforcement: Effective enforcement of policies or laws is highlighted as a key success factor in a number of cases, most notably in Brazil, where improvements in enforcement (e.g. embargoes of products or confiscation and removal of equipment) has resulted in significant reductions in deforestation rates.


7. Process and framework

Five (5) cases highlight the importance of having a clear process or framework to guide activities and the roles of different stakeholders in what are often complex efforts of coordination. These include:

  • Having a clear roadmap: Providing a clear process “road map” is cited in several cases as an important factor to enable effective coordination of multiple partners such as private sector participants in China’s Top-10,000 programme or Chile’s national voluntary carbon management programme.
  • Mandates and tasks: Ensuring stakeholders and partners are clear on how they should engage with the process is also cited in several cases as an important factor for efficient delivery. For example, in Peru’s PlanCC, participating institutions are provided with clearly defined mandates and tasks, ensuring they focus on their role and the tasks assigned to them, reducing the potential for duplication of effort.
  • Realistic timeframes: A further important factor is that of timing. For example, during the development of Peru’s PlanCC, the process anticipated and allowed time for key activities to be undertaken such as capacity building stakeholders and developing the evidence-base.


8. Transparent, verifiable information

Five (5) cases also emphasised the importance of ensuring transparent, verifiable information which provides the basis for the selection, design and implementation of activities. This was highlighted as important for:

  • Credibility: Ensuring the use of transparent, verifiable information was highlighted in numerous cases to strengthen credibility of decisions. For example, in Costa Rica and Chile, using international information standards has been important to provide confidence of the product offered (e.g. guarantee of no double counting and delivery of planned impacts).
  • Transparency around prioritisation processes: For example, in Lebanon, openness in the NAMA prioritisation process (particularly the criteria) demonstrated that the leading Ministry (of Environment) was not pushing one or other approach or agenda, ensuring greater engagement and acceptance of the conclusions.


See more information on background and methodology of the Good Practice Analysis here.
See individual case studies at: