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A novel feature of the Paris Agreement is that it is the first time that developing countries and emerging economies, beside industrialised countries, made a commitment to submit Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). In them, countries set out their plans for curbing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change.
While the NDCs are at the very heart of the Paris Agreement, those submitted to date do not go far enough to allow the Paris climate goals to be reached. They therefore need to be made increasingly ambitious over time, bringing the international community closer to achieving the agreement’s goals. To achieve this, the parties to the agreement have committed to submit new NDCs with a higher level of ambition every five years, starting in 2020.
To advance swift implementation of the NDCs in line with the development goals of the 2030 Agenda, Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) joined together in 2016 with the Federal Environment Ministry (BMUV) and other partners to establish the global NDC Partnership.
The NDC Partnership at a glance
The NDC Partnership (External link) has 219 members (as of October 2023). Of these, 124 are countries, 54 are international organisations or development banks, and 41 are associate members (such as research institutes, international partnerships and globally operating associations). The Partnership’s work is facilitated by a Support Unit hosted by the World Resources Institute (WRI) in Washington D.C., the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), again in Bonn.
The aim of the NDC Partnership is to align the goals of the Paris Agreement with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and to work on achieving them in a coordinated way with the help of bilateral and multilateral donor programmes. Particular attention is paid to the issues of gender equality and youth engagement.
When an emerging economy or developing country joins the NDC Partnership, it can lodge with the Support Unit a request for the type of support it requires to implement and advance its NDC priorities. Based upon these requests, the Partnership’s development partners and implementing organisations offer a tailor-made package of advisory instruments, technical assistance and financing. Non-state partners such as non-governmental organisations, research institutions and the private sector are involved in this process.
To facilitate NDC implementation, it is essential to translate climate goals into concrete policies, budget items and investment plans – for individual sectors such as energy and water, and also for the regional and municipal levels. The decisive aspect here is not only that investments made in line with the NDCs contribute to a country’s climate-neutral and climate-resilient transformation, but also that they promote sustainable development for local communities.
A continuous exchange of knowledge and experience takes place within all NDC Partnership processes. Thus all participants can learn from each other and share successful approaches.
More than 90 member countries use the opportunities provided to mobilise support for their national climate contributions via the NDC Partnership. Other countries have also lodged requests for assistance.
The Paris Agreement set 2020 as the first deadline for submission of updated NDCs. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, many countries could not produce updates before 2021 or 2022. Through the Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP) (External link) the NDC Partnership has supported 63 countries in submitting a new or updated NDC.
Germany was one of the NDC Partnership’s founding members in 2016 and provides the largest financial contribution in support of partner countries (over 600 million euros to date). With its seat on the Steering Committee, Germany contributes to the strategic direction of the Partnership. Germany’s goal in these activities is to serve the climate and development needs of member countries through rapid, streamlined assistance to bring about transformative change.
Countries across the world have planned, or are already implementing, economic stimulus packages totalling around ten trillion US dollars in response to the COVID-19 crisis. It is important to ensure that these packages contribute to the goals of the Paris Agreement and that they make the world more resilient to future crises. This is another area in which the NDC Partnership is supporting its member countries. Through its Economic Advisory Initiative (External link) it has sent economic advisors to finance and planning ministries in a total of 34 member countries. The German government has provided direct support in 24 of these countries through its various implementing organisations.
With a view to the upcoming round of NDC updates in 2025, the NDC Partnership has set up a Thematic Call (External link). This provides targeted support to partner countries for preparing, updating and refining NDCs and long-term low emissions development strategies (LT-LEDS). Programmes financed by the BMZ, such as the UNDP’s Climate Promise (External link) and the World Bank’s Climate Support Facility (External link) (CSF), respond in targeted fashion to requests for support within the Thematic Call. In parallel, the BMZ is funding further projects as contributions to the NDC Partnership that are being implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the World Resources Institute (External link) (WRI). In this way, numerous countries worldwide are receiving the support they need for NDC implementation.
As at: 01/11/2023