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The second annual NAMA Fair on 2 December in Paris, showed how developing countries are taking the lead in using a flexible and powerful tool created under the UN climate change regime to reduce and limit greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs, and improve living conditions for their people.

The UN climate change secretariat hosted the fair to learn from developing countries that are taking the lead in the design and implementation of nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs). (For many more stories and analysis please see the UNFCCC's NAMA News)

According to a new video narrated by activist and musician Akon, NAMAs are “country-driven initiatives that developing nations are implementing to green their economies and contribute toward global efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The video, a collaboration between Akon Lighting Africa and the United Nations Climate Change secretariat, tells the story of how NAMAs are being implemented in developing countries around the world –from Costa Rica to Gambia to Thailand.

The Fair was opened by COP 21/CMP 11 President, H.E. Minister Laurent Fabius. Global Green Growth Institute Director General Yvo de Boer and H.E. Minister Gabriel Vallejo Lopez, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia and Akon, the founder of Akon Lighting Africa, also spoke at the opening.

Minister Fabius stated “that developing countries are contributing towards global efforts in addressing climate change while reaping sustainable development benefits.” He also stressed that NAMAs are expected play an important role in the implementation of national climate action plans communicated to the UNFCCC.

Following the screening of the video, Akon spoke about how 600 million people in Africa still don’t have access to electricity. To meet these challenges, Akon, together with leader Thione Niang and entrepreneur Samba Bathily, created Akon Lighting Africa to provide African villages with access to a clean and affordable source of electricity.

Akon speaking at NAMA fair

In less than one year, a wide range of quality solar solutions, including street lamps, domestic and individual kits, have been installed in 14 African countries. As a result, a number of households, villages, community houses, schools and health centres located in rural areas have been connected to electricity for the first time ever.

The event also showcased how governments are utilizing the potential of NAMAs to move their countries on low emissions development pathways.

Key international organizations such as the National Agency for the Development of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ADEREE), Morocco, the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECFREE) or the Climate technology Centre and Network (CTCN) discussed the role of technical and financial support in the design and implementation of NAMAs.

Mr. de Boer focused on the crucial issue of how public and donor support can be structured to attract private investment needed for NAMA implementation.

Remarking on the impact of NAMAs, Akon said “when I look at how NAMAs are helping in developing countries, I think it will be a real savior.”

(NAMAs) began as a way for developing countries to contribute towards global climate change efforts while moving their economies on sustainable development pathways. NAMAs have since become recognized as a powerful agent for transformational social, economic, and environmental change.

Innovation has become a keyword for describing NAMAs, both in terms of the financing models used to fund them and the low-emissions development strategies introduced by them. Successful implementation provides scalable and replicable models for other countries to follow, saving vital time and resources in the efforts to address climate change.

For more information about NAMAs, follow Nama News on Facebook, Twitter and namanews.org.

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