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Country platforms for climate action: something borrowed, something new?

Emerging analysis

Written by Sierd Hadley, Shakira Mustapha, Sarah Colenbrander, Mark Miller, Adriana Quevedo

Image credit:PublicDomainPictures Image license:CCO Pixabay

Climate finance continues to fall short of developed countries' commitments and developing countries' needs. Against this backdrop, the announcement of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) in South Africa offers the promise of a step change in climate action enabled by large volumes of concessional finance.

The JETP is a “country platform” for climate action. The idea of a "country platform" has been used in international development cooperation for some time, but the JETP has caught international attention because its scale and scope suggest the potential to deliver urgent national goals - reliable power, job creation, debt management - while slashing emissions from electricity generation. It has created optimism in other countries such as India, Indonesia and Viet Nam about international support for phasing out coal and scaling renewables.

We explore different visions for "country platforms" and propose a new taxonomy to understand how specific visions for a country platform might compare. We chart past development initiatives and prospective climate opportunities against this taxonomy, based on the scale of their goals (from narrow to broad) and type of financing involved (from mostly public to mostly private).

Drawing on decades of development cooperation, we conclude by offering lessons for climate-oriented country platforms on three fronts: (i) securing and maintaining political agreement; (ii) coordinating public finance from multiple donors; and (iii) harnessing private investment.