Nationally Determined Contributions - NDCs

Written by Robert Watt

Friday, 03 November 2017 00:00

implementing NDCs diversity of actors and actions COP23 event promo

Side event: Implementing NDCs: Diversity of Actors and Actions

6 November, 15:00-16:30, Meeting Room 4 (100), Bonn Zone

To understand, interpret and implement the ‘Paris Agreement’ it is essential to understand the diversity of actors and their actions. This will have bearing upon governance structures and implementation models. This event will explore these issues and possible solutions.

This event is a partnership between TRANSrisk and the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). Two TRANSrisk case studies will be presented during the event: biogas applications in Indonesia, and decarbonizing oil sands and its impact on Indigenous people in Canada.


the NDC SDG connections tool event promo COP23

Side event: Launch of the NDC-SDG Connections Tool

7 November, 09:00 - 11:00, DIE interconnections

How do Nationally Determined Contributions contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals? To help answer this question, DIE and SEI have created a unique visual tool to explore the links between climate change and sustainable development. Join us for the launch!


SDGs and the Paris Agreement COP23 event promo

Side event: Interconnections between climate change, Agenda 2030 and national development priorities – future directions for the SIDS

17 November, 10:00 - 11:30, Nordic Pavilion

In 2015, nationally determined contributions (NDCs) became a key driver of a breakthrough in the global climate negotiations and one of the essential instruments for implementing the Paris Agreement. In the same year, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are meant to be implemented through national strategies for sustainable development. Both NDCs and SDGs are universal and implemented through a “bottom-up” process where countries set their own priorities and ambitions. This allows opportunities to explore a country-driven agenda.

With a focus on the Small Island Developing States (SIDS), this event will highlight the links between climate change and sustainable development and their connection to national development priorities. It will visually present findings with help from the NDC-SDG Connections Tool, a joint project between the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the German Development Institute (DIE), where actions from all countries’ NDCs have been coded against SDG targets, climate actions and synergies. In addition, SEI will present analysis on the link between SIDS’ NDCs and their national development priorities, and the extent to which these plans appear to be mutually reinforcing. Through an interactive Q&A session with country representatives from three SIDS countries, the event will then discuss the experiences of these vulnerable countries. This will be done in consecutive 10-minute ‘stations’, during which the national context and experiences of each country will be put centre stage. Following this, a panel discussion with SIDS regional organisations and negotiators from Sweden (Lars Ronnås, Swedish Climate Ambassador) and Germany (TBC) will discuss the overall implications of the new climate and sustainable development agendas for SIDS and international development cooperation – and future directions.

What are NDCs?

Under the Paris Agreement, more than 150 countries have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that are ambitious and progress over time. But commitment is just the first step; preparing, financing and meeting NDC goals present unique challenges for every country.

Why do they matter now?

The NDCs are the most complete set of national pledges ever made to take concrete action under a multilateral agreement. But the aggregate ambition of all the plans needs to rise quickly because it is still indicating a 3°C degree average temperature rise – which can mean a devastating several degrees higher for the most vulnerable areas of the world. What’s more, the policies and interventions set out in NDCs need to be coordinated with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Under the Paris Agreement, countries can work together to reduce emissions, including through market mechanisms. In other words, an overachieving country can transfer its excess mitigation to an underachieving one. The Partnership for Market Readiness is working with SEI to find ways to ensure robust accounting – and environmental integrity – for NDCs and international transfers under the Paris Agreement.

Many countries need help to set and achieve goals through analysis, dialogues, capacity building and interactive tools. The NDC Explorer gives policy makers a cross-cutting, birds-eye view of NDCs.

Accessible to all, this interactive tool puts NDCs in context, showing how countries are tackling high-emission sectors, adaptation and mitigation. SEI worked with the German Development Institute and the African Centre for Technology Studies to build the database and then analyse ambitions and priorities across countries. Researchers found trends that offer insights on the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.

  • Many countries, for example, set targets for specific sources of renewable energy. But as few as 4 NDCs include agriculture as a priority area – despite its importance as a source of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Poorer countries tend to focus more strongly on adaptation. Many developing countries make the implementation of their mitigation target partly or fully conditional upon receiving international support.

The NDC Explorer has now been taken a step further, with the NDC-SDG Connections Tool. This tool shows how joint implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement can be coordinated to best effect. The tool is based on a comprehensive global analysis of all NDCs, identifying ways joint implementation offers potential synergies.

The Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning system (LEAP) is used by more than 20 countries when developing their NDCs. Policy-makers can use the system to test out mitigation strategies, analysing what policies are both feasible and achieve GHG abatement targets.