Ethiopia has submitted its INDC (Intended National Determined Contribution) on the 10th of June. It contains the goal to limit greenhouse net gas emissions including emissions or removals from land-use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) to 145 MtCO2e by 2030. This represents a reduction of at least 64% below the Ethiopian business-as-usual (BAU) scenario by 2030, where net emissions are projected to reach 400 MtCO2e. The corresponding GHG emission target for 2030 excluding LULUCF is -40% below BAU, or 185 MtCO2e, which is the level used to rate the emission reduction target. The INDC implementation is conditional to support in terms of finance, technology transfer and capacity building. We rate this mitigation target “Sufficient”.
The mitigation efforts will focus primarily on the forestry sector, which is expected to contribute with a reduction of 130 MtCO2e. The forestry sector is not included in our rating as it is difficult to analyse it with effort sharing approaches (due to data uncertainty and dependency on country-specific circumstances). Ethiopia intends to use international carbon credits to meet its target.
Ethiopia’s INDC is based on the Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy (CRGE) strategy, which is integrated in its national development plan (Second Growth and Transformation Plan). The national development plan is not delivered yet and the full implementation of the INDC is conditional to support.
According to its INDC, Ethiopia intends to limit the country´s GHG emissions in 2030 to 185 Mt CO2e excluding LULUCF or lower, which represents a reduction of at least 40% under the BAU. In the long term, the target of Ethiopia is to become a carbon-neutral economy while attaining the status of a middle-income country. The INDC does not specify a target year for the carbon neutrality goal.
The full implementation of the INDC is subject to an ambitious multilateral agreement that enables Ethiopia to receive international support. Ethiopia intends to use international carbon credits to achieve its Green Economy Strategy. The INDC does not state the size of expected support nor of the amount of carbon credits.
Under the Copenhagen accord, Ethiopia proposed some Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) that focus primarily on the electricity and transport sector.
We rate Ethiopia “sufficient”. As a least developed country with low historic responsibility and capability, its INDC is more ambitious than most effort sharing approaches would suggest. This means, that Ethiopia’s INDC is consistent with the global target to hold temperature increase below 2oC. If the target were unconditional to international support, we would rate Ethiopia “role model”. Ethiopia could also become “role model” if the unconditional targets are quantified and fall within the "role model" range.
Ethiopia is experiencing high economic growth, with rising per capita incomes, and reducing poverty. On average, GDP grew at a rate 11% during the period 2004-2013, and projections from the Government envision sustained economic growth up to 2030 (set at 11% per year). Ethiopia’s long-term vision focuses on eradicating poverty with the aim of becoming a middle-income economy. In such a context, the agricultural sector is pivotal for reducing poverty (Diao and Pratt 2007). In fact, the aim of the Government is to build an economy based on a modern agricultural sector, with the industrial sector also playing a leading role in the economy. Notably, an agricultural sector resilient to climate change impacts is also important for the future of the economy (Evangelista et al. 2013; Mideksa 2010, Robinson et al. 2012).
Climate change-driven droughts can be also detrimental for the electricity system, which is highly dependent on hydropower facilities (Asress et al. 2013). Current electricity consumption amounts to 4 TWh per year, but it could increase up to 77 TWh in 2030 (CRGE strategy), driven by enhanced rural electrification (estimated in 30 TWh) and the rapid growth of industries.
Access to electricity is less than 16% today (Bekele and Tadesse 2012). Measures have been adopted to increase energy access in the country: Ethiopia participates in the SREP (Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Program) Investment Plan, which is embedded in the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP). The aim of the SREP is to increase power generation capacity up to 10 GW in 2015 and 22 GW in 2030. This also entails additional investments to expand the transmission and distribution system.
The key goal is to enhance access to grid connections up to 75% in 2015 and to nearly 100% by 2020. The government also plans to become an exporter of electricity and a green hub in east Africa in the coming years (REEP policy database, 2014). This goal hinges on new hydropower projects, including the Grand Renaissance, the Gilgel Gibe III and the Gilgel Gibe IV dams, with an estimated capacity of 9.4 GW (WEO 2014).
In order to facilitate the investments in new renewables, a feed-in-tariff scheme is under discussion, although not implemented yet (Climate Scope, 2014). The government is fostering the development of wind turbines (1.1 GW by 2015). The aim is to reach a five-fold increase in renewable energy production during the period 2011-2015 (Asress et al. 2013).
As a result, under a current policies scenario, future electricity demand will be met mostly with renewable sources of energy. This will keep emissions from the electricity sector constant.
The largest contributors to future GHG emissions will be agriculture (emissions are expected to reach 185 MtCO2e in 2030) and the industry sector (70 MtCO2e in 2030). Also, emissions from buildings are bound to increase (because of the rise in waste and off grid-energy), along with the forestry sector (mainly as a consequence of deforestation and degradation).
Currently, the majority of the population still relies on biomass to fulfil its energy needs (Mulugetta 2008), albeit a fuel-transition towards modern sources of energy seems promising (Guta 2014). The biomass use puts high pressure on forests, where emissions from deforestation have increased significantly over recent decades. Indeed, the most efficient way of reducing emissions is to reduce fuel-wood consumption, by using efficient stoves and modern (e.g. electricity based) cooking technologies. Overall, the mitigation planned in the CRGE in the LULUCF sector amounts to 130 MtCO2e in 2030 (emissions from forestry are projected to reach 90 MtCO2e in 2030).
Emissions from the Forestry sector can be tackled via REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) initiatives, and Ethiopia has already put in place the second-largest afforestation and reforestation programme in the world.
GHG emissions excl. LULUCF in Ethiopia are expected to reach 310 MtCO2e in 2030 under current policy projections (excl. LULUCF), compared to 2010 GHG emissions excl. LULUCF of 95 MtCO2e. The projected emissions growth is limited significantly by Ethiopia’s targets for electrification and renewable energy that envisage the emissions intensity of grid-connected power generation remains at its current levels close to zero.
Our analysis assumes that GHG emissions will grow according to a BAU scenario (source: CRGE Strategy and INDC), as specific measures for reducing emissions have not been implemented yet. Specific measures concern the electricity sector that will remain a low emitter, due to the reliance on hydropower.
The partner organisation Ecofys has provided technical support to the Government of Ethiopia during the development of the INDC and has therefore not been involved in the INDC rating performed by the Climate Action Tracker.
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Bekele, G., G. Tadesse, L. Hogan (2012). "Feasibility study of small Hydro/PV/Wind hybrid system for off-grid rural electrification in Ethiopia". Applied Energy Volume 97, September 2012, Pages 5–15.
Diao, X., A.N. Pratt (2007). "Growth options and poverty reduction in Ethiopia – An economy-wide model analysis". Food Policy Volume 32, Issue 2, April 2007, Pages 205–228.
Evangelista, P., N.Y. Youn, J. Burnett (2013). "How will climate change spatially affect agriculture production in Ethiopia? Case studies of important cereal crops". Climatic Change August 2013, Volume 119, Issue 3-4, pp 855-873.
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The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (2015): “Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) of The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia”. Submitted to UNFCCC on 10th June 2015.
WEO (2014), “Africa Energy Outlook – a focus on energy prospects in sub-Saharan Africa” World Energy Outlook, special report – OECD / IEA 2014.