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Jordan’s transition to a low-carbon economy: a lesson for other developing countries

Jordan, like other developing countries, faces serious challenges related to climate change. To address this, the country has developed an end-to-end digital infrastructure to monitor and support the process of reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions based on the recommendations of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. As the first developing country to create and test this digital infrastructure, Jordan is now an example for other countries. But what exactly is its transition to a low-carbon economy?

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions becomes more urgent as the global effects of climate change worsen rapidly.

Carbon markets are considered essential elements in the fight against climate change. They help nations mobilize resources and reduce the costs of implementing their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – climate action plans to reduce emissions and adapt to climate impacts that signatories of the Paris Agreement are required to submit – enabling countries and businesses to smoothly transition to a low-carbon economy. low carbon emissions.

Carbon credit trading is expected to more than halve the costs of implementing NDCs, with savings of up to 250 billion dollars by 2030.

How Jordan developed its first digital infrastructures

According to world Bank, Jordan is the first developing country in the world to have built digital infrastructure including monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) systems that link greenhouse gas emissions and emission reduction data to registries national or international. MRV and GHG systems will monitor emissions in several sectors, including energy, transport and agriculture. The MRV system now includes 22 ministries and agencies.

“Jordan is a pioneer in the climate space” – says Harikumar GaddeSenior Climate Change Specialist at the World Bank.

The country is facing a series of extremely serious climatic challenges, such as rising temperatures, lack of rainfall, increasing droughts and water shortages. Additionally, Jordan still relies heavily on imported fossil fuels, has limited natural resources and an extremely limited water supply.

To address these climate challenges, the Asian nation enacted climate change regulations in 2019 to establish an institutional and regulatory framework on climate change, developing its first MRV system to track emissions in sectors such as energy, transport and agriculture, calculate emissions and reductions, and link the results to its NDC. The system helps track and report on the country’s progress in reducing the impacts of climate change across all sectors, including transport, energy and agriculture.

The MRV system has three key functions:

  • Track GHG emissions in the National GHG Inventory.
  • Measure the reduction of GHG emissions from implemented climate change mitigation projects.
  • Save financial and technical support.

The system operates at four levels – project or programme, ministries or agencies, sector and national levels.

“The digital revolution contributes significantly to climate action and is an integral part of solving environmental challenges” – said Celina Varouqa, a Jordanian computer and technology expert in an interview with Jordan time. “The project combines the environmental and digital sectors, in which the Kingdom has historically made significant commitments.” – she added.

Jordan only contributes to 0.04% of total global CO2 emissions, much less than other developing countries such as Brazil (0.96%), Nigeria (0.23%), Kuwait (0.17%), Turkey (0.64%), Saudi Arabia (0.96%) and Chile (0.17%). Nevertheless, the Kingdom is working on a long-term, low-carbon strategic plan to achieve sustainable low-carbon economic growth by implementing a National 10-year energy sector strategy reduce its carbon emissions by 10% by 2030 and reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels. Indeed, Jordan only generates 12% of its energy locally.

Jordan’s other strategy to achieve carbon neutral by 2050 is to increase investment in renewable energy. Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Dr. Saleh A. Al-Kharabsheh said that by 2030, the country aims to increase the share of renewable energy sources in its overall energy mix by 50%. Currently, Jordan generates approximately 1,645 megawatts (MW) of energy from solar panels and 625 MW from wind farms, representing 26% of the country’s total energy production.

Where are other developing countries in terms of transitioning to a low-carbon economy?

One of the most interesting aspects of the Jordanian MRV system software is that it is open source, which allows any interested country to freely adopt it. With the help of the Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR)the system is already replicated for the West Bank, Gaza and Sri Lanka.

According to world Bank, many other countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, Africa, Latin America and Asia have also expressed interest in open source registry and MRV systems. Additionally, countries like Chile, Ghana, Singapore, and Vanuatu are already building state-of-the-art end-to-end digital infrastructure to support their participation in international carbon markets.

It is hoped that more developing countries will follow Jordan’s lead in taking this monumental step.

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