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Since Lao People’s Democratic Republic joined the CCAC in 2015, the country has taken important steps to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). Supported by national planning work, Laos’s priority lies in the waste sector.
Laos is part of the CCAC-funded activity Advancing the Clean Air, Health and Climate Integration Agenda in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Region. This project provides targeted support to the ASEAN community and individual member states to integrate air pollution and climate change actions into relevant institutions and policies by delivering a mix of quantitative modelling and qualitative policy and institutional analysis. This will help fill critical knowledge gaps about integrated climate and clean air solutions, an important pre-requisite for effective policy-making.
Under the CCAC’s national planning work, Laos was involved in several regional institutional strengthening workshops and trainings aimed at scaling up action on SLCPs by fostering peer-to-peer exchanges and building analytical as well as public policy capacity. This work links to Laos’s efforts to mitigate climate change, especially by increasing renewable energy sources. In its INDC (2015), it set a target to achieve 10% biofuels for transport fuels by 2025, and intends to install a 25,500 MW of hydro power plants (5,500 MW by 2020 and 20,000 MW after 2020). Mitigation targets in the updated NDC (2021) build on this priority. Furthermore, Laos plans to introduce 50 000 energy-efficient cook stoves in three provinces – a great opportunity to reduce black carbon and CO2 emissions simultaneously.
For the transport sector, the NDC foresees the installation of a new Bus Rapid Transit system in the capital city Vietnam and associated Non-Motorized Transport component, which can significantly improve air quality while providing climate benefits. As a conditional target, Laos also commits to reach 30% electric vehicles for both 2-wheel and passenger cars in the national vehicles mix.
Laos also recognises the high methane mitigation potential of the agricultural sector in its NDC. Proposed measures aim to reduce anaerobic decomposition of organic matter in rice cropping soils. While agriculture is the country's second most carbon intensive sector, applying this water management practice on 50 000 ha land as outlined in the target, can mitigate methane at 128 ktCO2e/y equivalents until 2030.
Another of Lao's conditional NDC targets addresses the methane emissions from the waste sector. The associated mitigation measure aims to implement a sustainable municipal solid waste management project treating 5000 t of waste per day. This can reduce methane emissions associated with open burning of waste and disposing of organic waste without landfill gas capture.
All the above efforts build into the key strategic priorities that Laos identified for climate change mitigation and adaptation in its 2010 Strategy on Climate Change. The objectives herein are to reinforce SDG action with low-carbon economic growth, increase the resilience of key sectors (incl. agriculture, energy, transport, forestry and land use), enhance national and international cooperation, and improve public awareness.
Learn more about climate and clean air action in Laos:
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