Cities and the private sector represent a great opportunity for Colombia to meet its goal of reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 51% by 2030.
When Colombia ratified the Paris Agreement in 2018, the country established an initial NDC which would be the national commitment to reduce GHG emissions. This first goal was a 20% reduction in estimated 2030 emissions. In 2020, the country updated its goal, increasing its ambition to a 51% reduction in emissions by 2030.
Although international commitments and agreements have been led by national governments, the unprecedented challenge of reaching ambitious emission reduction goals also involves efforts from other parties such as local governments, cities, and private actors.
In this context, the ICAT project in Colombia has implemented the ICAT Non-state and Subnational Action Assessment Guide and quantified the aggregate impact of mitigation actions carried out by private sector and city-level actors. The aim was to support the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS) in decision making at the regional and national level, help inform the updated NDC, and further the development of protocols for the monitoring, reporting, and verification of actions. The project was carried out in parallel with the update of the Colombian NDC and as a complement to this process. It is also the first exercise of this type to be carried out in the country.
In response to MADS needs, the project focused its analysis on direct emissions and electricity consumption from companies in Colombia. For territories, the analysis was focused on the transport sector at the urban level. This resulted in the modeling of 25 private sector actions and 23 transport actions implemented in Colombian cities that achieve a reduction of 3.5 million tCO2 in 2030. Additionally, some hypothetical cases were evaluated that quantified what would happen if 14 departmental capitals electrified 10% of their public transport fleet and if the 100 most populated cities in the country increased their cycle infrastructure. In these cases, reductions of an additional 231,000 tCO2 would be achieved in 2030.
The project involved significant efforts in gathering information from different actors and harmonizing information in order to present an aggregate result. These efforts resulted in some lessons and recommendations for future exercises that will improve protocols for registering mitigation actions in the country. Although the results presented here do not constitute the totality of the actions of non-state and subnational actors that are being carried out in Colombia, this exercise is an important step in the harmonization of quantification of measures aimed at reducing GHG emissions in Colombia.
For more information about the ICAT project in Colombia, please contact Paula Alexandra Ridriguez from WWF Colombia.