Publications and Tools

Multi-level climate governance in South Africa: Catalysing finance for local climate action.

South Africa is both vulnerable to climate change impacts and a major greenhouse gas emitter. In its transition towards a low-emission society, national, provincial and local governments will need to strike a delicate balance between the country’s mitigation commitments, adaptation needs and ambitions to create an inclusive economy. How can South Africa coordinate ambitious climate action across sectors and governing levels? How can sub-national governments finance and implement climate action?

Multi-level climate governance in Vietnam: Bridging national planning and local climate action

Vietnam is particularly vulnerable to climate change and faces new challenges as it continues its development journey. The rapid growth of the country’s economy, population and cities is resource intensive and leading to increased GHG emissions. To respond to climate change and steer the country towards green growth, the government has designed a comprehensive set of policies. How can Vietnam’s climate policy framework enable transformative climate action? How can stronger vertical and horizontal coordination bridge policy and practice?

QUẢN TRỊ KHÍ HẬU ĐA CẤP ĐỘ TẠI VIỆT NAM - Kết nối lập kế hoạch quốc gia và hành động khí hậu ở địa phương

Cộng hòa xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam đặc biệt dễ bị tổn thương bởi biến đổi khí hậu và đang phải đối mặt với những thách thức mới khi tiếp tục hành trình phát triển của mình. Sự tăng trưởng nhanh chóng của nền kinh tế, dân số và đô thị quốc gia tốn kém nguồn lực dẫn đến tăng nhu cầu năng lượng và phát thải khí nhà kính. Nhằm đối phó với rủi ro biến đổi khí hậu và hướng đất nước tới tăng trưởng xanh, chính phủ Việt Nam đã thiết kế một bộ chính sách biến đổi khí hậu toàn diện. Việc kết nối các kế hoạch quốc gia và hành động khí hậu tại địa phương sẽ vô cùng cần thiết trong việc duy trì lợi ích phát triển của đất nước và thúc đẩy quá trình chuyển đổi sang một tương lai phát thải thấp. Khung chính sách khí hậu của Việt Nam có thể tạo thuận lợi cho hành động khí hậu mang tính chuyển đổi như thế nào? Làm thế nào để sự phối hợp mạnh mẽ hơn theo chiều dọc và chiều ngang có thể gắn kết chính sách và thực tiễn?

Multi-level climate governance in the Philippines: Shaping connections for climate action

The Philippines is a global leader in responding to climate change with a complex governance system to coordinate cross-sector and multi-level action. As communities across the archipelago experience the effects of climate change, local and regional governments are grappling with how to translate national polices into local action. How can the Philippines coordinate ambitious climate action across sectors and governing levels? How can local governments respond to risks while simultaneously investing in low-emission development?

Multi-level climate governance in Kenya: Activating mechanisms for climate action

Kenya has the potential to be a frontrunner in climate resilient development: It has a strong policy framework and system of institutions aimed at advancing the country’s climate change response. In parallel, based on the constitutional precept that “all sovereign power belongs to the people”, the country has embarked on a devolution process which could provide the structures for localising the climate agenda. How can Kenya achieve policy coherence and coordination that foster transformative action? How can policy and practice for local climate action be bridged?

City-Wide Mitigation Potential for South Africa

 This report provides an update on a 2016 modelling exercise that was undertaken to provide an overview of the energy consumption and energy-related greenhouse gas emissions of urban centres in South Africa, and to determine the extent to which these cities can reduce their emissions into the future, based on various energy efficiency and renewable energy interventions. The report was published by Sustainable Energy Africa.

Water and the city: Where adaptation and mitigation converges

One of the most essential elements of human life, water, is also one of the resources most impacted by climate change. The management of our water resources brings to light the limitations of the dominant, short-termist approach to resource extraction and utilisation. Managing water with a higher degree of respect for natural systems and human rights, would demonstrate the transformative shift that is needed to address the increasing development pressures of population, urbanisation, inequality and climate change. A shift in resource management practices would also ensure that water is able to enhance adaptation and mitigation outcomes, thus indicative of a shift in values and world views needed to face the climate crisis. This brief uses the South African example to illustrate a global issue. It will provide an overview of the links between water, adaptation and mitigation; and present an alternative approach to water planning at multiple levels.

Local climate action toolkit

This Training manual helps users build climate-resilient projects and plans with sustainable impacts. The Training manual also includes simple checklists to ensure that development activities don’t increase people’s vulnerability to climate change. It provides guidance and recommended tools for all stages of the project cycle, as well as tools, resources and practical examples from projects around the world. This interactive Training manual is designed to be flexible. Users can tailor the process to meet their needs, priorities and available resources.


Devolving Climate Change Governance in Kwale County

This climate governance guide for Kwale County clarifies the role of county governments in managing climate change at the local level. It seeks to simplify climate change terminology as well as give practical methods for enhancing knowledge transfer between different stakeholders. The guide is intended to serve as a reference for sustainable resource planning and a basis for the training of relevant stakeholders on local climate change issues.

Adopted Good Practice: How Imus City in Cavite is curbing its plastic waste problem

V-LED Good Practice Paper, 2018, Manila.

Working-Paper: How to Facilitate Dialogue Processes

V-LED Working Paper, March 2016, Berlin, Germany

Dahmen, A. & Strauch, L. 2017. Climate Action Starts with Dialogue.

Paper presented at the Interconnections Conference 2017, 12-13 May 2017.

Andreas, M. & Bellali, J. 2017. Common but differentiated learning.

Paper presented at the Berlin Conference on Global Environmental Change 2016, 23-24 May 2016.

Sustainable Energy Solutions for Local Government - A Practical Guide

This is the third iteration of a practical how-to handbook for local municipalities on the roll-out of sustainable energy measures. The first section focuses on municipal sustainable energy initiatives (e.g. solar water heating, efficient buildings, sustainable transport, etc.);  the second on macro developments (e.g. smart grids, concentrated solar, ocean energy, etc.) and the third on governance and legislation (e.g. mandates, green procurement, institutionalising of sustainable energy concerns, etc.). The guide was produced by Sustainable Energy Africa.

Sustainable Energy Africa. 2016. Energy Scenarios for Urban South Africa

South African cities hold substantial power and opportunity to transform the energy profile of the country. Sustainable Energy Africa has undertaken an extensive comparative study, assessing the energy consumption and carbon emissions of key sectors in 27 major South African cities. The report concludes that urban sectors bare a huge potential for mitigation if the country invests in energy efficiency and implements local electricity generation from renewable energy sources.

Read the summary and technical report.

Lessons Learnt - How can Municipalities Diversify their Energy Mix?

SALGA, GIZ and SEA have developed a series of case studies on municipal renewable energy projects. These case studies identify the processes followed focusing on regulatory processes, and the success factors of each project.

Let's Respond Toolkit and Guide

The Let's Respond Toolkit and Guide support municipalities in taking appropriate account of the effects of climate change and the need to limit greenhouse gas emissions in their planning processes. The toolkit was developed in 2012 by Sustainable Energy Africa and the Palmer Development Group for the Department of Environmental Affairs, the Department of Cooperative Governance and SALGA. The V-LED project will build on and expand the Let’s Respond Toolkit and organise trainings for municipalities.

Wolpe, P. & Reddy, Y. 2015: The contribution of low-carbon cities to South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.

South Africa is currently 65% urbanised and growing. If the country is to move towards a low-carbon trajectory, cities have to be at the heart of that change process. In this briefing paper, Peta Wolpe and Yachika Reddy from Sustainable Energy Africa, explore how South African cities can decouple their economic growth from energy consumption and contribute to national GHG reduction goals.