The international negotiations on climate change at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) resulted in a historic agreement in Paris in December 2015 called the ‘Paris Agreement.’ This agreement invited all the countries party to the UNFCCC to adopt public policies to restrict global temperature increase to 2°C or even 1.5°C by 2100. To achieve this objective, all parties to the convention are called upon to establish, communicate and update their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) every five years. The NDC is the policy instrument that officially reflects each country’s commitment to contributing to the international effort to combat climate change.
Tunisia submitted its first NDC in September 2015, the objective of which was to reduce carbon intensity in all sectors of the economy by 41% in 2030 compared to 2010 levels. Energy is at the heart of the priority sectors for mitigation, with a contribution of 75% towards the overall mitigation objective of the Tunisian NDC. Energy efficiency and renewable energies are the two main levers for achieving the energy sector objectives, which aim to reduce carbon intensity in the energy sector by 46% in 2030 compared to the 2010 level.
In October 2018, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) special report on the consequences of global warming of 1.5°C confirmed that the commitments of the Paris Agreement presented in the NDCs will not be sufficient to achieve the objectives of the Agreement. It warned that with the current rate of emissions, warming would exceed 1.5°C sometime between 2030 and 2052. Hence the need to reduce net global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by about 45% by 2030, compared to 2010 levels, and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Profound changes, mainly in the energy sector, must be initiated quickly to close the gap between the targets set by the Paris Agreement and current trends in the development of greenhouse gas emissions.
In Tunisia, the update of the NDC and the development of a National Low Carbon Strategy, initiated in 2020, represent an opportunity to give new impetus to Climate Change mitigation policy in all sectors of the economy activity. This is particularly true for the energy sector, with the need to accelerate energy transition policy, and at the same time, respond to the challenges of both climate change and energy security.
With a mandate to implement state policy in the field of energy management, as well as coordinating mitigation activity in the energy sector, ANME has initiated the necessary measures in order to meet the requirements of a low-carbon energy transition in accordance with the recommendations of the Paris Agreement.
Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Energy Sector
As the cornerstone of its work on mitigation, ANME has compiled an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in the energy sector for the period 1980-2012, and an inventory of estimated emissions for the period 2013-2019. Moreover, at the beginning of 2020, ANME started a new project to draw up an inventory over the period 2010-2019, according to the new (May 2019) IPCC methodology.
Update of the NDC and Development of a National Low Carbon Strategy for the Energy Sector
These are the two main instruments of Tunisian climate policy. The development of the NDC and the National Low-Carbon Strategy (Stratégie Nationale Bas-Carbone – SNBC) in the energy sector offers an unprecedented opportunity to define an ambitious climate vision in the medium- and long-term, based on low-carbon development and a change in the energy landscape to meet the energy, climatic and socioeconomic challenges of the period, 2030 – 2050.
Development of a Methodology for Monitoring NDC in the Energy Sector
The development of a monitoring and evaluation methodology should make it possible to monitor and evaluate progress made in achieving the mitigation objectives of the NDC in the energy sector and to meet the requirements for transparency of Article 13 of the Paris Agreement.