Bottom up and country led: A new framework for climate change action
As delegates gather for the Climate Change Conference in Cancun in late 2010, they can benefit from familiarizing themselves with the set of tools available for mitigation and adaptation, as well as how these tools can fit together to form holistic low-emission development strategies. By creating and implementing holistic adaptation and mitigation plans at the regional or national level, countries can transition strategically to low-carbon economic development while bolstering their resilience to the effects of climate change.
Bottom up & country led A new framework for climate change action
São Paulo Arthur Ramos Partner +55-11-5501-6229 arthur.ramos @strategyand.pwc.com
This report was originally published by Booz & Company in 2010.
It is clear that combating climate change will require unprecedented global commitment, energy, and cooperation. As delegates gather for the Climate Change Conference in Cancun in late 2010, they can benefit from familiarizing themselves with the set of tools available for mitigation and adaptation, as well as how these tools can fit together to form holistic low-emission development strategies. The funding that is currently available to combat climate change represents a tremendous opportunity for transformation — provided countries take robust, immediate action to access it and put it to use. By creating and implementing holistic adaptation and mitigation plans at the regional or national level, countries can transition strategically to low-carbon economic development while bolstering their resilience to the effects of climate change. Going forward, the nations that seize these opportunities will emerge as leaders in the international arena, while better defending themselves against the encroaching impact and consequences of global climate change.
• Though progress has been slow, clear frameworks and tools are in place for combating climate change. • By designing and implementing low-emission development strategies (LEDS) that include tools for mitigation (NAMAs) and adaptation and resilience (NAPAs), countries can create a holistic approach to combating climate change. • The current funding landscape offers exciting opportunities for transformative action — provided countries seize them now. • Countries should take a holistic approach to building the capabilities they need to improve their resilience to the effects of climate change. • A clear, globally consistent NAMA framework is key to providing consistency across a vast range of different countries’ situations and needs. • A country’s ability to report on its actions and output at each stage of the funding process is critical; both qualitative and quantitative techniques are useful.
An opportunity for transformation
Shivering in the cold, the thousands of global leaders who streamed into Copenhagen in December 2009 for the annual gathering of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) faced a daunting task: the creation of a binding pledge to tackle global climate change. While the Copenhagen Accord — the nonbinding interim agreement that resulted — fell short of expectations, it included a target limit of 2 degrees Celsius for average global temperature increase. It also established a US$30 billion “fast start” fund for developing nations, providing them with an enormous incentive to take action — or risk lagging behind. Since the Copenhagen conference, delegates have been meeting to hammer out a solid negotiating text for the next UNFCCC gathering — in Cancun starting in late November. Progress has been slow. Complex jargon, splintered working groups, and competing political interests frustrate delegates and prevent them from developing an integrated view of the issues being discussed. But there are also reasons for optimism. The current negotiating text contains a number of tools that represent a significant transformational opportunity for nations. These tools, which include National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPAs) and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), can facilitate real action — the type required if the catastrophic effects of climate change are to be prevented and the global economy is to be transformed into an engine of sustainable growth. By understanding how to use these tools, delegates can capitalize better on the growing opportunity to access funds. In doing so, they can set their countries on a more sustainable path.
LEDS: Holistic strategy for a stronger future
Governments must wage their battle against climate change on several fronts. A country’s sustainability strategy — its battle plan — must include tactics designed to strengthen both its ability to prevent and respond proactively to the threat of climate change (resilience), and its ability to adapt to that threat over time. In addition, each country’s strategy must include actions that mitigate the harmful effects of its CO2 emissions. These adaptation and resilience strategies (NAPAs) and mitigation strategies (NAMAs) fit together to create such a battle plan — a holistic approach that is known as a low-emission development strategy, or LEDS (see Exhibit 1, next page). By creating and implementing a LEDS at the regional or national level, a country can establish a comprehensive, integrative plan that will steer its transition to low-carbon economic development. Ideally, designing a LEDS should be a country’s first step, laying the foundation for its future activity. However, few countries to date have followed this approach. Instead, they have prioritized securing funding and taking specific actions. A LEDS is a long and evolving process; it will be fleshed out over the coming months and years. Going forward, countries may overlay the LEDS approach as they go along, weaving it into existing activity and using it as a basis for future growth. Actual transformation must occur on the ground, on a country-bycountry basis. Indeed, while a top-down, internationally directed approach has value, nationally driven strategy is the most realistic and viable approach to combating the effects of climate change. With that in mind, a government must tailor its strategies to the country’s specific needs and leverage its unique resources. For example, as a newly industrialized country, South Korea grapples with an overreliance on fossil fuels and fast-growing carbon emissions. As such, it was motivated to create a “low carbon, green growth” LEDS that includes mitigation efforts such as emission reducing activities, a
Exhibit 1 The high-level architecture of LEDS
National/regional low-emission development strategies
diversification of energy sources, emissions trading, and the development of green technologies and value-added low-energy industries. In addition, the nation identified adaptation efforts such as disaster prevention and response and a major river restoration project. South Korea’s LEDS is aimed at positioning the country as a green growth leader, reducing expenditure associated with disaster recovery, increasing its economic competitiveness, and creating jobs. In contrast, Guyana’s LEDS reflects its concern with deforestation. The nation’s forests have strong economic value, and its current rate of deforestation both diminishes that value and creates significant levels of carbon emissions. In addition, the country’s LEDS is driven by the fact that much of its population and economic activity exist at or below sea level, which creates extreme vulnerabilities in the event of a natural disaster. Improvements are also needed for healthcare, safe and affordable water and electricity supplies, security, and poverty reduction. Taking this into account, Guyana has proposed mitigation activities such as reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), investments in renewable technologies such as bioethanol and low-carbon economic infrastructure, and the development of a clean transportation program. It has also recognized the need to implement adaptation measures. If successful, Guyana could attract large-scale private investment to generate low-carbon economic development, establish a competitive position in agricultural development, sustainably extract value from its forest resources — and provide the world with a scalable, replicable model for REDD. Though both of these examples of national LEDS are positive indications of their nations’ motivation to respond to the threat of climate change and tailor their mitigation and adaptation activities to their specific needs and resources, they — like the majority of countries — are only in the early stages of LEDS development, limited to technical studies and other early-stage research or planning efforts. It is a step in the right direction, but real transformation will require energetic and tangible action. Going forward, governments must mobilize their countries to establish “facts on the ground” in areas such as capability, strategy, and adaptation — and they must do it quickly.
Most countries are only in the early stages of LEDS development, limited to technical studies and other earlystage research or planning efforts.
NAPAS: Seizing the opportunity
As tools for adaptation, NAPAs should clearly identify the changes that countries must make in order to prepare for and respond to the environmental, economic, and social effects of a changing climate. The aim of a NAPA is to develop and maintain the most cost-effective and successful mix of capabilities for adapting to the effects of climate change. NAPAs generally include a detailed assessment of a country’s situation, and identify or propose a number of strategies or actions to adapt to the expected impacts of climate change. A clearly articulated NAPA improves a country’s decision-making process by increasing vision, strength, visibility, and communication. The NAPA process should be informed by threats and driven by capabilities, building on a country’s current strengths while reducing risk. Planning should be in line with a nation’s specific priorities. What’s more, a NAPA should focus on measures to improve a nation’s resilience — its fundamental capacity to rebound from disaster and respond to urgent needs. Adaptation vs. resilience Adaptation is widely perceived to be a longer-term challenge than mitigation — an evolution of sorts that must take place, country by country, around the world. There is no way around it: Nations must adapt to cope with the enormous threat posed by climate change. Yet there is an increasing awareness that while adaptation is a fundamentally necessary process, it is not the kind of call to action that climate change requires. Even with the most careful and thoughtful planning, adaptation will take time. Meanwhile, the nature and pace of climate change grow more severe by the day. Increases in the frequency and severity of extreme weather
events and temperatures lead directly to drought, flooding, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, forest fires, severe storms, and natural disasters. Indirectly, climate change leads to crop failure, food and water shortages, loss of land and infrastructure, disease, and political instability — in essence, the destruction of the basic building blocks of our societies. The safety and security of our communities are at grave risk. Clearly, there is immediate work to be done. As such, there is a growing sense of urgency around resilience. Nations must be resilient in the way they recover from and respond to the changing environment and climate change–related events, and they can — and must — take specific and immediate actions to bolster that resilience. A holistic climate change resilience model By strengthening their resilience, nations can enable themselves to prevent and respond to disaster in ways that draw on their resources and compensate for their vulnerabilities. With that in mind, we have developed a holistic, capabilities-driven framework for resilience (see Exhibit 2, next page). The resilience capabilities and measures within this framework should be well integrated and span the breadth and depth of the nation and its region. The elements of this framework include the following: Impact and risk assessment: Critical vulnerabilities, resources, and services are mapped out at the national, regional, and local levels, and national adaptation priorities are defined. Risk management: The threats and potential impacts of climate change are understood, and risk management strategies are prioritized and developed. Risk is identified, communicated, and addressed through contingency planning. Adaptation and development: Long-term strategies for adapting to a changing climate are developed. Implementation programs are designed and carried out. Response management: Risks are clearly understood, and management strategies are put in place to manage their impacts. Incidents are managed in an integrated way with well-developed interagency coordination. Plans are tested and exercises conducted to gauge readiness and to guide future planning.
Exhibit 2 A climate change resilience model
Infrastructure & services security Environmental science Impact modeling Monitoring, prediction & warning Prevention & protection Risk management Impact & risk assessment Adaptation & development Future state deﬁnition Program development & implementation Management, capability & preparedness Governance
Emergency & disaster management Infrastructure & services continuity
Test & exercise
Prevention and protection: Climate change risks are reduced to the maximum extent practicable. Integrated measures protect essential infrastructure, services, and resources. Management, capability, and preparedness: Stakeholders work together to proactively identify, assess, and address climate change risks and define strategies that promote resilience. Performance measures are in place; the right people are in the right roles. Governance: Roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities are clearly defined and understood. Governance structures and processes are adhered to throughout disruptive events.
Some nations are advanced in their approaches to building resilience, but others lag behind. In more developed nations, resilience through detailed planning and preparedness is a common practice, particularly with issues such as national security, critical infrastructure protection, and emergency and disaster management. However, even these nations must review and strengthen their resilience planning in light of the growing impact and consequence of climate change. Less developed nations, which are often less advanced in their resilience capabilities — and which face added difficulty in implementing their strategies — can benefit significantly from the use of a climate change resilience model and the development of NAPAs. For example, the developing small island state of Cape Verde has created a livelihood-centered approach to adaptation. A fragile nation poor in natural resources, Cape Verde’s main vulnerabilities are an insecure and exploited water supply, an agricultural deficit, and a damaged coastal area. As a result, Cape Verde’s NAPA proposes the promotion of integrated water resources management, the modernization and diversification of agricultural production, and the integrated protection and management of coastal zones. If put in place, these measures will enhance the country’s capacity to resist climate change and increasing climate variability, while strengthening its resource base. In contrast, Egypt’s NAPA focuses on food security. Rising oil prices and the demand for alternative energy crops such as corn have drastically driven up food prices in recent years. Sudden, steep price increases triggered mass domestic unrest and strained government coffers as the cost of food subsidies skyrocketed. In addition, the country’s large population and densely populated Nile Delta create massive vulnerabilities around climate change, with implications for water resources, overpopulation, and public health. In response, the country has identified potential adaptation measures such as improving and conserving soil, enhancing irrigation efficiency and/or expanding irrigation, and developing new crops. It is also focusing on increasing water supply by using groundwater, building reservoirs, improving watershed management, and expanding desalination initiatives. Such efforts, if enacted, will make Egypt much more resilient to the effects of climate change, while improving its citizens’ quality of life and health.
Egypt’s NAPA could make the nation much more resilient to the effects of climate change, while improving its citizens’ quality of life and health.
NAMAS: Forward-looking mitigation strategies
NAMAs can take a wide variety of forms (see “The Diversity of NAMAs,” page 15). They can occur in any sector and can vary in terms of scale, approach, and the extent to which they are used to implement change. No formal definition of NAMAs exists, which makes quantifying their resulting emission reductions extremely challenging. The NAMAs produced to date (and submitted to the UNFCCC) tend to represent “statements of intent” — commitments or ambitions to reduce emissions, whether in a physical or policy-driven framework. They may be government endorsements, or pledges that something will happen once regional or global policies are further developed or better understood. While these commitments represent very positive and meaningful starts, they often do not clearly articulate how action will be achieved or implemented, or explicitly outline how and when funding will be spent. Indeed, few of the NAMAs proposed to date have shown the detail necessary for implementation. Setting out this detailed “nuts and bolts” type of information will be essential to overcoming inertia and enabling action. Though many countries may already be involved in a range of mitigation actions such as the ones described above, a great deal of confusion exists. This is largely because there is currently no official definition as to what constitutes a NAMA. Without a definition, countries are unsure if their mitigation actions qualify as NAMAs, and this may result in these countries missing out on accessing the significant levels of funding available. A clear NAMA framework is key to providing consistency across a vast range of different countries’ situations and needs. As the following examples illustrate, countries must design their NAMAs within their unique parameters.
NAMAs can occur in any sector and can vary in terms of scale, approach, and the extent to which they are used to imple ment change.
In Mexico, where transport is the largest and fastest-growing source of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, one of the nation’s proposed NAMAs focuses on optimizing the conventional bus transit system in order to make it more cost-efficient and sustainable. By developing a solid institutional framework that can efficiently plan, regulate, manage, and monitor the transport system at large, this NAMA aims to reduce pollution and its related health consequences, improve the system’s design, and increase the region’s economic competitiveness. If successful, it also has the potential to enhance the effect of other climate-related measures that are already in place. Transport-related emissions are a major issue in China as well. The opening up of the country’s economy has led to a major increase in the transport of goods, and 1,200 cars are added each day to the streets of Beijing alone. In response, the Chinese government has adopted ambitious measures to improve energy efficiency and reduce local pollution from the transport sector, including the expansion of highspeed railways and public transport in urban areas and the adoption of a strict timetable to phase in vehicle fuel efficiency standards. In designing its NAMA, China compared a range of possible transportsector mitigation options, weighing their pros and cons. Ultimately, decision makers settled on a form of nonbinding emission targets that encourage sector-wide reductions, for which developing countries voluntarily propose a sector-crediting baseline that is negotiated at the international level. Reductions below the baseline generate credits issued to the government, but no penalties are accrued if the target is not met for the sector at large. As such, assessing the success of China’s NAMA will require looking at the overall deviation of transport emissions from the sector’s crediting target. Since nearly all current reduction efforts in China’s transport sector rely on administrative measures that can be strengthened with additional financing, it will be critical for the country to pursue some of the funds and support that are increasingly becoming available.
The diversity of NAMAs
The following are examples of possible NAMAs: • Introduction and enforcement of minimum standards for the energy performance of new buildings • Modernization of solid waste management processes and facilities in a major metropolis • Feed-in tariffs for large-scale renewable energy facilities • Education programs to improve herd management and productivity in a dairy-intensive region • Distribution of efficient lightbulbs to low-income households • Financial and technical support for the investigation of energy efficiency opportunities in energy-intensive sectors • Enhanced labeling and specification standards for cement to enable the increased use of blended cement and substitutes • Early retirement of low-efficiency power generation facilities • Public–private partnerships for the rollout of improved public transport systems • Economic diversification initiatives for forest-dependent communities to reduce clearing of standing forests • Removal of fossil fuel subsidies to increase realized energy prices and reduce demand
Framework for enabling action
As the international community moves into the next round of detailed talks, we offer the following framework for delegates to consider as a mechanism to enable action. 1. Establish a solid understanding First and foremost, governments must understand the overarching framework for action that is proposed. Without a basic understanding of the structures and tools in place, countries cannot create the kind of tailored, targeted mitigation and adaptation plans that are necessary to prevent and fight the encroaching effects of climate change. The sharing and exchange of information is key: By asking questions and speaking to others who have already taken action and received funding, governments can better understand what they need to do in order to get support, take appropriate action, and increase their resilience. This is true for countries in all stages of development, wherever they are in the process of NAPA, NAMA, or LEDS creation. Climate change is a global issue with profound local implications. In our interconnected world, information sharing is critical. 2. Evaluate the impact Second, governments must evaluate how these tools and frameworks for action can be leveraged to achieve the maximum impact for their countries. As such, the risks to a country’s economy, political structure, geography, and population must be clearly understood. Appropriate NAPAs, NAMAs, and LEDS cannot be identified and designed if a country’s most pressing mitigation and adaptation pain points — its urgent risks — have not been accurately diagnosed. Delegates should ask questions like these: Which part of the economy is responsible for the most emissions? Where are the opportunities? Where could mitigation and adaptation tools achieve the “biggest bang for the buck”? What has been done in other parts of the world to reduce emissions in these sectors? Which sectors are at risk of locking in high emissions?
Climate change is a global issue with profound local implications. In our interconnected world, information sharing is critical.
Ideally, these diagnoses should be supported by robust data, including emissions projections and vulnerability assessments. However, qualitative assessments can be extremely powerful, and countries should not delay in evaluating impacts due to an inability to paint a comprehensive quantitative picture. 3. Capture the opportunity Once a country’s risks have been identified and assessed, whether quantitatively or qualitatively, the next step is to understand how to seize the opportunity and implement real action. The process is similar to carrying out a gap analysis: The country should evaluate what it has and what it needs. Decision makers should evaluate whether there are appropriate governance structures in place to apply for and distribute funding, as well as to implement project activities. Relevant questions include these: How can we drive this process? Do we need to set up new entities? What kind of funding is available, and how can we get what we need? How do we design, develop, and implement NAMAs, NAPAs, and LEDS? What reporting is required? Capacity building and technology transfers should be integrated into the plans, since these will impact all stages of the “action value chain” — from assessing problems, to defining what can be done, to applying for funding, to reporting on progress. When applying for international funds, it is imperative for countries to provide very explicit details of why the money is needed, how much is needed, and how the funding should be staged. It may be prudent to provide evidence that domestic funding alone is insufficient. In addition, countries should clearly indicate how they intend to monitor progress. 4. Realize the benefits Once countries seize the opportunities available, they can realize the benefits. For example, by sharing ideas and best practices, countries can enhance their credibility and standing within their region as well as internationally. Efforts to pinpoint strengths and diagnose weaknesses can ultimately lead to improved governance and accelerated development around energy and sustainability, which creates enduring economic and environmental benefits. In addition, countries should capitalize on opportunities to earn revenues from crediting schemes, monetizing emission reductions if possible. Money must be viewed as a catalyst for transformation: By capitalizing on the opportunity to access funding, a country can ensure a more sustainable future.
The role of funding and reporting
The current funding landscape is exciting and complex. Various bilateral, plurilateral, and multilateral funds are now available, and the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund has the potential to act as an important financing mechanism. In addition, the fast-start funding promised in Copenhagen is now very real and has begun to move through existing channels. However, while a significant amount has already been pledged, very little has so far been deposited or spent. Why isn’t the money flowing? First, there may be a lack of visibility. Fund allocation and interaction may not be transparent enough. Second, certain countries may fear that they will not get a fair deal, or they may have a poor understanding of who makes allocation decisions. Third, countries may not be providing enough detail when justifying why funding is needed or how it will be spent. This information is essential and is similar to the type of information that any business or organization is required to provide to a bank or investor to receive funding. Countries trying to access funding must prepare and present robust plans. Unless they are properly targeted and pursued, funds will remain locked up in international coffers, and countries will not be able to use them as a catalyst for transformative action. Yet countries seeking to tap into these funds must be aware that there is a certain “chicken and egg” dynamic at play. The dynamic consists of both “push” (“Here is the money to do X”) and “pull” (“We would like some money to accomplish Y”). On one hand, there is no question that progress requires capital. It is difficult to create plans without money, and negotiations can hit a real stumbling block without it. On the other hand, funders will not be inclined to grant money until plans seem actionable or some plans are in place. This dynamic creates a kind of impasse, so countries should keep both aspects of the equation in mind.
Unless funds are properly targeted and pursued, countries will not be able to use them as a catalyst for transformative action.
Staged funding and reporting Even if an action receives funding, that money will probably not become available all at once. Instead, it is likely to be dispersed at various milestones or stages as the initiative progresses from concept to reality. This is similar to the flow of funds for any large-scale infrastructure project, and it is common practice in major companies. As such, the ability to report on actions and output at each stage of the process is critical. Funders want to ensure that initiatives — whether NAMAs or NAPAs — are progressing in a successful way and are deserving of continued support. The ability to report on action and output at each stage of the process also signals to the international community that action is under way. There are two distinct options for reporting: tracking reporting and review (TRR) and measurement reporting and verification (MRV). TRR and MRV serve different purposes (see Exhibit 3, next page). MRV is best suited for providing quantitative information on the emission reductions associated with an action. TRR, on the other hand, is most effective for providing qualitative information on how an action is performing or progressing. Projects may initially rely on TRR for receipt of additional batches of funds in staged funding. In some cases, the method of reporting would transition from TRR to MRV. This process can be compared to the rollout of wind farms, whose outcome cannot be measured until the turbines produce power that is fed into the grid. Before that point, design and construction progress can only be tracked, reported, and reviewed. MRV is likely to be a prerequisite for a mitigation action to be recognized under a NAMA crediting scheme. Going forward, strongly defined MRV frameworks will be key enablers for NAMA crediting, since they provide standards for environmental integrity and quality of the credits. However, many countries may not be able to implement a fully quantitative approach. While robust, quantifiable data is ideal, good results can be obtained through qualitative assessments. Quantitative gaps should not preclude the pursuit of funding or taking action. On the contrary, countries should prioritize immediate action and take advantage of the opportunity to capitalize on available funds. Governments must take action — strong goals and forward-looking plans are more important than perfect data.
Exhibit 3 Defining and differentiating TRR and MRV
Tracking reporting & review (TRR)
– Qualitative assessment of an action – Used when an action is not eligible or not designed for a crediting mechanism – Provides a method for illustrating progress whose output may not be easily measurable – Could be used as an interim measure for an action that is domestically funded but will eventually enter an international crediting mechanism
Measurement reporting & veriﬁcation (MRV)
– Quantitative assessment of an action – Used for NAMA crediting when the output of the action is a measurable emissions reduction – Should be deﬁned and applied consistently internationally to enable conﬁdence in the environmental integrity of an action’s resulting emissions reductions – May be a prerequisite for international recognition and private-sector investment
Packaged funds and flow Going forward, existing bilateral, plurilateral, and multilateral funds servicing mitigation, adaptation, REDD, capacity building, and technology transfer will likely be consolidated into two primary channels — one for mitigation and one for adaptation (see Exhibit 4, next page). However, funding should be based on the proposed action itself rather than the category in which it seems to fit best. Unnecessary “red tape” and arbitrary allocations across funding objectives create roadblocks that delay countries from pursuing real action. Going forward, there will be significant demand for funding from a number of developing (and least developed) countries, each potentially with a diverse collection of NAMAs and NAPAs. There are various options on the table for the governance structures of these funding bodies. While some delegates in recent meetings have referred to a Green Bank Board, the details of precise responsibilities, accountabilities, and other technicalities are still in the process of being fleshed out. Another option that the international community may want to consider is a decentralized governance structure that disperses money directly from the packaged funds to each country. This is similar to the recent reforms in the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The process of funding is dynamic and will continue to evolve over the coming months and years. Governments should take a proactive approach, pursuing the funds that will help them create a more sustainable and resilient future for their citizens — even as the exact template for that future remains uncertain.
Exhibit 4 Flow of funds to NAMAs and NAPAs via two “buckets” for mitigation and adaptation
Bilateral funds Plurilateral funds Multilateral funds
Existing funds for mitigation, adaptation, REDD, capacity building, technology transfer
Mitigation (incl. REDD) focus
Adaptation & resilience focus
Packaging of funds
Toward a sustainable future
As the international community enters yet another round of negotiations to carve out a battle plan for fighting climate change, governments should arm themselves with the knowledge and tools necessary to capitalize on the unprecedented funding that is currently being made available. By understanding the tools available to effect real change, governments can competitively position themselves in the dynamic and important negotiating landscape and tap into growing coffers. Commitments and intentions to fight climate change are an admirable and necessary start, but the clock is ticking, and governments must now take action. By preparing and implementing robust and actionable plans for adaptation and mitigation that take a holistic view of their unique needs and challenges, countries can increase their resilience, arming themselves against climate change’s myriad impacts and consequences while laying the foundation for a more sustainable economic and environmental future.
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This report was originally published by Booz & Company in 2010.
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