Best Practice Report


Integrating subnational action / Joint action / Developing and implementing national strategies, policies, and regulations

Developing and implementing national strategies, policies, and regulations

Engaging subnational government closely in the development and implementation of new national strategies, policies, and regulations increases policy coherence and helps take account of important information about subnational delivery needs and conditions to ensure strategies and polices are more effective.

The French Regional Climate-Air-Energy Plan (SRCAE) is an example of how a regional government has worked together with national governments and pro-actively developed a holistic green growth plan. Instead of requiring regional governments to develop a plan independently, SRCAEs are co-developed by the central government and the regional councils (Case 6).

In Nepal, vertical integration of the planning process ensured that local information informed the preparation of the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA). Nepal’s NAPA used novel approaches to consultations to promote integrated, cross-sectoral adaptation strategies and aggregate information from the local level to inform national-level priority setting. Local Adaptation Plans of Action (LAPAs) were designed to help the implementation of the national plan (Dixit, 2011).

In Costa Rica and Brazil, the involvement of subnational government has played a key role in implementation of command and control measures to prevent deforestation (UNEP, 2012).

Indonesia’s direct cash transfer program was implemented jointly by national and local organizations – the ministries of health, education, social affairs and planning agencies at the central level, national statistical agencies, local institutions including post offices and local administrators (UNDP, 2009). Direct cash transfer was provided to 19.2 million households at a cost less than a quarter of the savings from reduced fossil fuel subsidies. An important factor for the success of such programs was the coordinated use of the capacity across agencies to support planning, co-ordination, and delivery and selection of appropriate institutions (DFID, 2011). The experience suggests that such cash transfer programs need good preparation, along with deployment and monitoring mechanisms in order to effectively assist the poor (Beaton and Lontoh, 2011). 

Case 6: The French Regional Climate-Air-Energy Plans

The French Regional Climate-Air-Energy Plans (Schéma Régional du Climat, de l’Air et de l’Energie, SRCAEs) were created under the Grenelle II Law (passed in 2012) for the purpose of guiding climate and energy policy in the 26 French regions through to 2050 (de Charentenay et al,, 2012).

The approach to develop the SRCAEs was a hybrid one involving:

  • A top-down approach whereby the development of the SRCAEs was imposed by the national government on the regions, through the Grenelle Law.
  • A collaborative approach, where the SRCAEs were co-authored by Regional Prefectures (state representatives) and Regional Councils (subnational representatives).
  • A bottom-up approach, where regions were given ownership of the SRCAE process, and the freedom to choose their methodologies for conducting GHG inventories and scenarios. Findings were then fed back to the top for policy decisions and energy laws, as well as for measurement against national and EU targets.

Contribution to national energy plans: The SRCAEs aim to contribute to the European Union’s 2020 Renewable Energy Directive in the short term, and the targets for 2050 in the long-term.

Regional ownership of GHG inventories and scenarios: The responsibility of conducting regional GHG emissions’ inventories falls on the Regional authorities, thereby allowing them to identify sectors that generate most GHG emissions, and therefore enable targeting of green growth actions and policies for emissions reduction. The resulting plans, with input from both the Regional Council and state representatives, take into account regional needs and means – as identified by the region. In order to enable regional comparison or a consistent national overview, however, some form of standardization is required.

Engaging stakeholders: Regional conferences and debates on the transition to renewable energy and energy efficiency were organized, and actively involved private actors from the energy sector, experts, elected and non-elected officials, and scientists resulting in 123 proposed actions for the transition to renewable energy and energy efficiency. This process of active and democratic stakeholder engagement ensured that voices from diverse backgrounds and fields were heard and taken into account5.


5. Based on email questionnaire responses by Philippe Robert SAT/ Joëlle Colosio DR-IDF (July 2013).