Summary of Sida/World Bank Conference
Summary of Conference Proceedings
The World Bank Group has launched consultations to gather input for a new energy sector strategy, which is expected to be completed in early 2011. The consultations are part of a broader effort to gather input from a wide range of perspectives on how the World Bank Group can best help developing countries improve the access and reliability of energy while helping facilitate the shift to a more environmentally sustainable energy development path.
On the 23rd of February 2010 the World Bank met with the Swedish stakeholders to discuss the new energy strategy.
Recognizing their common mission to help low income countries to achieve sustainable economic development for poverty reduction, participants at the Conference presented and exchanges viewpoints on the issues, challenges and lessons learned in the implementation of relevant energy policies, strategies and programs.
Session 1: Issues and Challenges
- Jamal Saghir, Director (Energy, Transport and Water), Sustainable Development Network, World Bank; and Johan Schaar, Department Head (Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Services), Sida.
Mr. Saghir’s presentation – “The Dual Challenge of Development and Sustainable Energy Service Provision – The Coming Energy Strategy of the World Bank” – outlined key features of the dual-track strategy being formulated through a global consultation process.
The overall intent is to better position the World Bank to help its client countries achieve the twin objectives of expanding energy access and improving the reliability and quality of energy service delivery, while also facilitating the global shift to a more environmentally sustainable energy development path.
Mr. Schaar’s presentation – “Securing a Climate Adaptable Global Energy Supply: Issues and Options” – introduced key principles underlying Sweden’s “Draft Policy Framework for Environment and Climate Change” and the embedded “Draft Energy Policy Framework”.
Sida is working to better alogn its development assistance in key areas (agriculture/forestry/marine ecosystems; water resources management; energy; and urban development) to the emerging policy framework.
For energy, Sida intends to pursue a dual-track strategy to support (i) expanded access to modern energy services based on low-carbon options, and (ii) scaled-up deployment of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures.
During the discussion period, exchanges between presenters and participants revealed a broad degree of convergence between the energy assistance strategies being formulated at the World Bank and Sida: both developmental partners recognize the need to pursue a two-prong strategy involving scale up of assistance to low-income countries, especially those of Sub-Saharan Africa, to “close the energy access gap” alongside support for low-carbon energy development to address the climate change challenge.
- Xiaodong Wang, Senior Energy Specialist (World Development Report), World Bank; Anders Wijkman, Tallberg Foundtation; Ousmane Dione, Lead Water Resources Specialist (South Asia Region), World Bank; Lasse Gustavsson, Secretary-General, WWF for Nature, Sweden.
Ms. Wang emphasized the importance of collective action without delay by all nations to contain global warming within the two-degree target, stressing the need for a paradigm shift (incorporate low carbon energy options into city development plans), climate-smart policies (embedding greening opportunities into national economic recovery/growth initiatives), deploying low carbon technology based on common but differentiated responsibilities, and scaling up of financing.
Mr. Wijkmann recalled previous proposals, such as the “Energy After Rio Report”, which had already presented compelling reasons for countries to act collectively to “Do Energy Right”, including health and gender equity co-benefits. He emphasized the importance of placing “Electricity Access/Connectivity” at the core of climate change deliberations, going forward. In particular, he advocated the need for all stakeholders to work towards adopting a “No Regrets Strategy” to reinforce linkages between poverty reducing economic development and climate change –for a start, explicit targets for energy access need to be adopted at the upcoming MDG Conference in 2010.
Mr. Dione’s presentation covered the merits of identifying and promoting a benefits sharing approach to achieve local, national and multi-country “buy-in” for integrated river basin-wide development of water and energy resources.
He presented compelling case studies from West Africa (Senegal River Basin and Niger River Basin) to highlight critical success factors at the technical, institutional, environmental/social and financial levels, that secure benefits for the different stakeholders groups.
In the ensuing discussion period, Lasse Gustavsson posed the following challenges for further consideration during subsequent phases of the World Bank energy strategy formulation process: (i) How can the new World Bank energy strategy spur on sustainable reductions in the carbon intensity of the entire World Bank lending portfolio?; and (ii) how can the new World Bank energy strategy assured the sustainability of client country eco-systems? In terms of moving ahead on the basis of “common but differentiated responsibilities”, a consensus emerged among participants about the need to overcome underlying tensions between short-term perspectives of some key stakeholder groups (politicians, conventional suppliers of energy services/fossil fuels) and longer-term horizons needed to achieve transformational changes that would accompany low carbon development paths.
Session 2: Exchange of Implementation Experience
Energy and Climate Change: Presentations by the World Bank team covered two pilot activities involving a “learning-by-doing” approach to foster on-the-job transfer of know-how to client country counterpart professional, thereby enhancing institutional capacity to tackle key challenges inherent in climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.
- Assessing Country Energy Sector Vulnerability to Increased Climate Variability: Jane Ebinger, Senior Energy Specialist (ESMAP), World Bank.
Jane Ebinger facilitated a video presentation to illustrate the consultative processes used for the ESMAP co-sponsored pilot activity – a climate vulnerability assessment of Albania’s hydropower dominated electricity supply system. This series of pilot assessments activities, which are intended to inform the design of climate change adaptation measures, is being replicated in Uzbekistan and other states of Central Asia, the Caribbean sub-region, and possibly, Africa.
- Exploring Country-specific Low Carbon Growth Options: Todd Johnson, Lead Energy Specialist (Latin American and Caribbean Region), World Bank.
He presented the Mexico study, one of a series of country-specific pilot studies (covering Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland and South Africa) sponsored by the World Bank/ESMAP under the Clean Energy Investment Framework (CEIF).
The pilot studies have contributed to ongoing deliberations by policy-makers in each country to ascertain the following: (i) What does low carbon development look like? (ii) How much might low carbon development options cost? (iii) Which near term (low carbon development) measures can be done based on existing technology? (iv) Why are (low carbon development) measures not being put in place at a faster pace?
A key lesson to be drawn from the above exchanges of implementation experience is that there is much that can be done by countries to begin addressing the (adaptation and mitigation) challenges to climate change with available technology and know-how.
Energy Access and Renewable Energy Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: Presentations were made by Tjaarda Storm van Leeuwen, Advisor (Africa Region Energy Team), World Bank and Anne-Lie Engvall, Programme Officer – Energy (Department for Long-term Programme Cooperation), Sida.
- The World Bank’s Africa Energy Access Scale-up (AFREAS) Program: This highlighted ongoing and planned technical assistance activities (co-funded by ESMAP and Russia Trust Funds), that are helping to build institutional capacity in the region to address the challenge of expanding energy access following environmentally sustainable approaches. A key feature is the option to extend recipient-executed grants to augment technical assistance capabilities of rural energy agencies in about ten countries of Sub-Sahara Africa.
- Energy and Sida’s Country Program for Tanzania: This elaborated the comprehensive scope of institution-building support for energy sector development in Tanzania, and also highlighted steps underway to maximize collaboration on energy access expansion activities with other development partners.
Both presentations identified situations in which renewable energy options already represent least cost approaches for diversifying energy supply and closing the energy access gap in Sub-Saharan Africa.
During participant discussions with presenters, there was consensus on the need to avoid duplication of efforts among development partners. Furthermore, institutional capacity building efforts were key to the design of national strategies and programs to scale-up energy access and accelerate deployment of renewable energy technologies.
The four Panelists representing different Swedish corporate perspectives – Anders H. Nordström, ABB (private sector), Östen Ekengren, Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Göran Ek, Swedish Society for Nature Conservancy and Anders Nordström, Sida – concluded the day’s deliberations by reflecting on and sharing their viewpoints about the multiple challenges that development partners face going forward as they strive to scale-up support to low-income countries to secure climate adaptable energy services for poverty reducing economic growth.