In 2008, the government established a Climate Change Secretariat and later a National Climate Change Policy which, not surprisingly, highlighted adaptation as a national policy priority. Through the ratification of the Paris Agreement and submission of its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), Sri Lanka committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions against a business-as-usual scenario by 20 percent in the energy sector and by 10 percent in other sectors – including transport, industry, forests and waste – by 2030.
With the momentum and desire to deliver on its commitments, Sri Lanka partnered with the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT) in 2018 to design a national Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system for the transport sector and revise transport related NDC actions.
Central to all ICAT projects, broad consultation with national stakeholders took place to identify the country’s most pressing climate action transparency priorities. These discussions highlighted strong progress on tracking and reporting climate action in the energy sector, but identified the transport sector as an area in need for further support – the transport sector is Sri Lanka’s second highest greenhouse gas emitter throughout the country.
With no historical transport data sets available, the development of the country’s first ever monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system for climate change is a necessary first step to enable the government to collect the required data which originates from several different ministries and agencies.
To support efforts to improve the availability and quality of climate-related data and build a robust MRV system for Sri Lanka’s transport sector, ICAT and its partners began work immediately.
In partnership with the Climate Change Secretariat of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, and the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, ICAT initiated a review of existing data and institutional arrangements within the transport sector. Extensive consultations with stakeholders, including all relevant ministries and institutions, contributed to the design of a centralized MRV system, assigning relevant roles and responsibilities, and developed a roadmap to operationalize the new system.
To ensure the impact of the project in Sri Lanka is sustained over the long-term, there was a heavy focus on awareness creation and capacity building. Through an additional three consultation workshops, ICAT provided an opportunity for national and subnational stakeholders to share information on data availability and collection, discuss revised transport NDCs and indicators, and validate institutional relationships for MRV.