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One size won't fit all: Designing country platforms for different political contexts

Working paper

Written by Tim Kelsall, Sarah Colenbrander, Nick Simpson

Hero image description: Electrical transmission towers in Viet Nam Image credit:UN Photo/Kibae Park

Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETPs) in South Africa, Viet Nam, Indonesia and Senegal provide promising examples of how climate-related country platforms can tackle past failures in the climate finance architecture.

However, the success of a country platform hinges on how well it fits into the specific national context. Aligning the goals of stakeholders within this context to achieve genuine country ownership is far from straightforward. A sophisticated assessment of the motivations, power, and capabilities of a diverse set of stakeholders is crucial to a just and successful energy transition.

This policy brief explores how to deliver a country platform that aligns with the needs of multiple stakeholders and facilitates action across diverse political contexts. Through the lens of political settlements- an understanding among a society's powerful groups about the rules shaping politics and economics- the brief delves into the internal politics and characteristics shaping the credibility of existing country platforms. While only very few political settlements provide optimal conditions for country platforms, applying this theory can help navigate the challenges that can arise across various power configurations and social foundations.

By providing a reality check on the design and implementation of JETPs, the authors provide a sounding board for domestic reformers and international partners when developing country platforms that effectively considers the nuanced dynamics within both the energy sector and the broader geopolitical context.