Currently energy policies in industrialised countries are predominately driven by the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However measures under the Kyoto Protocol to mitigate the climatic impacts of energy production have failed to take into account the full impact of increased climatic variability: flooding, seasonal droughts, storm surges, landslides, extreme wind speeds, freezing conditions, heat waves. Adaptation efforts are therefore urgently needed—not only in geographically-vulnerable countries such as Bangladesh, Central Africa or Tuvalu—but everywhere, as climate change is a global phenomenon.
Compared to mitigation—where a common metric in terms of “ton of CO2 equivalent reduced” has traditionally been used—identification of adaptation measures is still in its infancy. There are no commonly accepted parameters and indicators to compare adaptation needs and the effectiveness of adaptation measures. Given energy’s importance in the economy and in the promotion of ecodevelopment, it is vital that vulnerabilities within the energy sector itself be substantially reduced.
Proposed adaptation measures must also support ecodevelopment goals if they are to be reached.
The Result...HELIO has developed a series of indicators to measure the vulnerability of energy systems and identify possible adaptation efforts. These indicators have been applied to ten Sub-Saharan African countries.
- Systematically assess and monitor energy systems to ensure that they are robust enough to adapt to anticipated climate-related impacts
- Expand the current assessment process for new energy systems
- Develop a medium- to long-term strategy to move toward a safer, decentralised, low-carbon energy supply system
- Implement energy demand management as an adaptation measure
- Cultivate in-country capacity to evaluate and respond to energy needs from a climate perspective
- Invest in ecosystem services that support existing and planned energy production
- Establish transparent technology transfer and financing procedures
- Develop participatory energy governance to cultivate first-hand knowledge of energy needs and to mobilise vital support from beneficiaries
A new World Bank publication that uses HELIO's vulnerability and
adaptation indicators to illustrate how to climate- proof energy
HELIO's work on electricity sector vulnerability is used in this work.