Private Sector Engagement in Green Growth and Climate Change in Laos

By: Johanna Klein

Tackling climate change issues and the broader green growth agenda requires transitioning from the current development pathway to a low-carbon and climate resilient one. This in turn needs significant investment and innovation. Engaging the private sector to mobilize resources, knowledge and novel ideas to address climate change and promote green growth, therefore, is imperative.

GlobalCAD, in partnership with Emerging Market Consulting (EMC), has been selected by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) to carry out a study on „Promoting Private Sector Engagement in Climate Change and Green Growth in Lao PDR“. The four months assignment started at the end of July 2019 and ended in November 2019. The project is a part of the Readiness Support grant from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) which was provided to the Department of Climate Change (DCC) under Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Lao PDR, through GGGI. Its aim is to enhance Lao PDR’s readiness to access climate finance for implementing its priority projects/programs in the areas of Green and Climate Resilient Cities.

Three months after conducting the study, GlobalCAD and EMC presented their results to the stakeholders in Lao PDR in a one-and-a-half-day event – a half day dissemination workshop, followed by a full day of capacity building for the private sector on its potential contribution to tackling climate change and driving green growth. 

The dissemination workshop took place on October 29th, in Crowne Plaza Hotel, Vientiane, and was attended by a total of 67 participants from private sector, government and international organizations. It was opened by Mr. Siamphone Sengdara, Deputy Director of Climate Change Department at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Jason Lee, Country Director of GGGI, who served as the chairs and guided participants through the workshop. GlobalCAD and EMC presented the identified challenges in engaging the private sector, including MSMEs, as well as the recommendations to leverage the private sector’s ability to invest in and mobilize finance for Lao PDR’s GCF Country Program priorities. The recommendations included concrete proposals in the area of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Market Linkages for organic agriculture and the development of Project Developer Services. 

The capacity building took place on October 30th and was attended by 36 participants from private sector, government and international organizations.  It aimed at increasing the understanding of Green Growth and Climate Change, particularly what it means for Lao PDR and its private sector. Moreover, the capacity building provided input on how the private sector can contribute to Green Growth and combating Climate Change. Improving the private sector’s capacity towards assuring more sustainable and greener production processes as well as empowering them to develop green businesses can help leveraging their contribution to green growth and tackling climate change in that businesses become more environmentally aware, provide new green jobs, products and services, and limit pollution and GHG emissions. 

A systematic series of further capacity building workshops of this kind, especially targeting MSMEs, will be helpful to further increase awareness and improved understanding for the business opportunities that come along with green growth and climate change action.