NDC Partnership

Two employees between solar systems at Talek Power solar power plant in Kenya

Global partnership for climate change mitigation and adaptation

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are at the heart of the Paris climate agreement. In these NDCs, both industrialised and developing countries specify their emissions reduction and adaptation targets for the period up to 2030. Starting in 2020, the NDCs are to be reviewed and updated every five years.

However, the measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions set out in the existing NDCs are not sufficient to limit the global rise in temperatures to well below 2°C, and if possible, to 1.5°C, as envisaged in the Paris climate agreement. It is vital, therefore, to see to it that the NDCs are not only implemented swiftly but are also gradually made more ambitious.

Support for NDC implementation and ambition raising

Climate change mitigation and adaptation are closely connected to practical issues like energy supply or water supply. So that the NDCs can be implemented, the climate goals need to be "translated" into concrete policy approaches, sets of rules and regulations, public budgets and investment plans – also at the sectoral and sub-national levels.

It is crucial then that all investments are climate-sensitive and contribute to a country's climate-friendly transformation. Additional investments in climate measures will be of benefit for sustainable development and will improve people's living conditions.

In order to promote NDC implementation in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals set out in the 2030 Agenda, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), together with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Moroccan government and the World Resources Institute (WRI) initiated the global NDC Partnership. This Partnership was launched in Morocco at the Marrakech Climate Change Conference in late 2016.

Logo: NDC Partnership
The NDC Partnership

The NDC Partnership at a glance

The NDC Partnership brings together industrialised, emerging and developing countries and regional organisations, UN institutions, multilateral development banks and non-governmental organisations.

By January 2019, the Partnership had grown to more than 100 members, including 87 countries, 20 international organisations and nine associated members. The Partnership is open to new members that endorse its goals and principles.

The Partnership is assisted in its work by a secretariat ("Support Unit"), which is headquartered at both the WRI in Washington D.C. and the UNFCCC Secretariat in Bonn.


The aim of the Partnership is to assist member countries in aligning their climate and their development agendas and working towards them in a coordinated way with the help of bilateral and multilateral donor programmes.

The Partnership therefore focuses on three fields of activity:

  • improving access to technical support for NDC implementation
  • facilitating access to financing for NDC implementation
  • enhancing knowledge management through the dissemination of analytical and advisory instruments

Above all, the NDC Partnership seeks to improve coordination and collaboration between the various players in the climate and the development field. To that end, it supports an exchange of ideas and experiences within countries and at the international level. In this way, successful approaches can be shared and disseminated quickly, and partners can avoid repeating others' mistakes.

Furthermore, the Partnership supports member countries in updating their NDCs ready for the next round of submissions in 2020. Since the climate summit in 2019, countries now have a new instrument, the Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP), which they can use to seek further support for the forthcoming revision of their NDCs.

The first countries have already begun to raise the ambition of their NDCs. The first support measures for the fifty-odd countries that applied for CAEP funding in the initial round will begin at the end of 2019.

Infographic on the topic of "NDC Partnership"

German activities

The BMZ finances advisory services provided under the NDC Partnership via global and bilateral projects and programmes implemented by GIZ and through international organisations like the World Bank Group, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). These measures primarily support practical NDC implementation in member countries.

Germany has provided 500 million euros in funding for these programmes since the Partnership was launched. Seven million euros in funding is being provided to support the new instrument, the Climate Action Enhancement Package, and a total of twelve million euros is being provided to support the Secretariat of the Partnership.

Furthermore, all of the climate funding and climate-relevant development financing provided by the BMZ is directed comprehensively towards NDC implementation, with coordination at country level within the framework of the NDC Partnership playing a pivotal role. In 2018, just from the German Climate Technology Initiative, the BMZ made more than 400 million euros available for projects under the NDC Partnership.

Through its activities, the BMZ is supporting swift and effective NDC implementation and ambition raising in its partner countries, strengthening collaboration between national and international climate and development players, and working to bring about a transformational change towards climate-proof and climate-resilient development.

German Development Minister Gerd Müller at the official founding of the NDC Partnership in November 2016 together with Hakima El Haite, Moroccan Environment Minister and COP22 President, and then German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks

How NDC support works in member countries

When a country joins the NDC Partnership, it may apply to the Secretariat for support in implementing its NDC.

As a next step the member country then identifies its specific needs, working in collaboration with donors, development banks and implementing organisations on the ground. Non-governmental partners such as NGOs, the academic community or the private sector are also involved.

A detailed Partnership Plan sets out each country's priorities for implementing their NDCs and lists the programmes by development partners that fit this purpose. The aspects covered include technical advisory services, process support and capacity building, but also infrastructure measures.

This process under the NDC Partnership also entails a continuous exchange of knowledge and experience to foster peer learning and knowledge sharing with all members.

The country work of the NDC Partnership was initiated in 50 member countries and in three regional initiatives in 2019; other countries have submitted requests for support.

Solar kiosk in Talek, Kenya

Examples of NDC support in practice

Kenya is drafting a new National Climate Change Action Plan 2018–2022 (NCCAP) for achieving low-carbon development. Germany is helping the East African country develop this legally binding framework for climate policy and NDC implementation.

In the Caribbean, support is being given for the development of a regional finance initiative which will assist the countries in the region in pushing through the implementation and more ambitious design of their climate goals. In the Pacific region, too, the BMZ works to help the island states threatened by climate change: through a regional centre under the umbrella of the NDC Partnership.

Pakistan is being assisted in strengthening its climate change ministry and in drawing up a road map with exact steps for achieving its climate goals. Pakistan is also pushing forward the expansion of renewable energies.

In Honduras, German development cooperation is serving to support the efforts of the government, including with a view to improving coordination between the sector ministries and key players, and making climate goals more ambitious.

  • Kenya: A group of farmers in Kirinyaga shows the place on the riverbank where water is diverted from a river to the fields of the farmers' cooperative Mitooini.
    Kenya: Cooperation in action

    Tackling water shortages and droughts

    Kenya is severely affected by the impacts of climate change. Economic losses due to crop failure and dwindling herds have a devastating impact on communities that are already vulnerable. Under the framework of the NDC Partnership, the BMZ is supporting the implementation of Kenya's National Climate Change Action Plan.

  • Diesel power plant plus solar photovoltaic and battery hybrid plant on the St. Vincent and Grenadines archipelago
    The Caribbean: Cooperation in action

    Regional climate finance initiative for more investment

    Small island states are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. With German support, a new finance initiative is assisting island states in the eastern Caribbean with the implementation of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

  • The district of Skardu in the north of Pakistan
    Pakistan: Cooperation in action

    Promoting the implementation of Pakistan's climate goals

    Pakistan is severely affected by climate change, but itself contributes little to global greenhouse gas emissions. Between 1994 and 2013, extreme climate events cost the country an average of almost four billion US dollars a year.

  • Flooding in settlements on the banks of the Ulua river in San Manuel, Honduras
    Honduras: Cooperation in action

    Swiftly mapping a route for climate action

    Since 2015, Honduras has been positioning itself as a regional climate leader. Through collaboration within the NDC Partnership, the government has appointed a special advisor to the president for climate issues and thus has been working, for example, on revising the country's climate goals.

Kenya: A group of farmers in Kirinyaga shows the place on the riverbank where water is diverted from a river to the fields of the farmers' cooperative Mitooini.
Kenya: Cooperation in action

Tackling water shortages and droughts

In Kenya more than half the population relies on farming to earn a living. With 98 per cent of agriculture depending on rain, droughts can quickly become a serious problem.

As climate change leads to more frequent and lengthier periods of drought, people's lives are at stake. Economic losses due to crop failure and dwindling herds have a devastating impact on people who are already vulnerable.

About 80 per cent of Kenya's land is arid or semi-arid, making water a very valuable resource. Energy supplies, too, are threatened by the increase in droughts, as hydroelectric power accounts for nearly one third of the country's electricity. Since the impacts of climate change on agriculture and tourism – Kenya's most important industries – are particularly severe, the government needs to take action.

In 2016, Kenya became one of the first African countries to pass climate change legislation, in the form of the Climate Change Act. Everyone is required to play their part in helping the country adapt to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

As part of this whole-of-government approach, dedicated climate units have been created in all national ministries, authorities and district governments. The Kenyan government wants to address climate change at all levels.

National Climate Change Action Plan

Within the framework of the NDC Partnership and with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) acting on behalf of the BMZ and from UNDP and USAID, the Kenyan government has developed its second National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP), a five-year plan running from 2018 to 2022.

In order to advance the implementation of this Plan, GIZ is assisting the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, for example, in a Joint Sector Working Group for Climate Change. The group coordinates the support provided by development partners and ensures that financial resources are aligned with the priority areas of the NCCAP. GIZ is also helping climate change units at the district level to report more precisely on progress. The private sector and civil society contribute to the reporting as well.

Adaptation to climate change is not the only focus of the country's NDC. Kenya also intends to achieve a 30 per cent reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 measured against a business-as-usual scenario. To this end, the president has declared that, by 2020, 100 per cent of the country's electricity supply will be generated from renewable energy sources. Kenya already has – also thanks to German assistance – the biggest geothermal power plant in Africa and, since June 2019, the continent's biggest wind farm. Kenya currently produces 80 per cent of its electricity from clean energy sources.

Kenya: Biogas plants convert slurry from livestock farming into energy and fertiliser.
Diesel power plant plus solar photovoltaic and battery hybrid plant on the St. Vincent and Grenadines archipelago
The Caribbean: Cooperation in action

Regional climate finance initiative for more investment

At the easternmost edge of the Caribbean Sea, the inhabitants of a string of small island states, from Grenada in the south to Antigua and Barbuda in the north, watch closely as a new tropical storm brews on the horizon. The 2017 hurricane season and the devastation wrought by hurricanes Irma and Maria are still a fresh memory. The island of Dominica in particular was hit very hard – with significant loss of human lives and damage amounting to more than 225 per cent of its GDP. The people of this region are having to think hard about how to survive in the face of climate change.

In response to these climate challenges, the member states of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) are being offered support for the implementation of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Assistance is being provided by the OECS Commission and the Government of Saint Lucia together with UNFCCC and the BMZ within the framework of the NDC Partnership. Compelled by the idea that more can be achieved if the region's small countries work together, the NDC Finance Initiative (NDCFI) offers a regional platform for exchange, capacity building and engagement with the public and private sectors.

The NDCFI's goal is to enable the countries in the region to respond better to the challenges of climate change, by catalysing investment in infrastructure projects, increasing the ambition of national climate targets and, ultimately, improving resilience to climate change. So far the NDCFI has focused on the energy sector (including transport), the water sector and critical infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, roads and coastal infrastructure.

For example, the NDCFI supports the development of investment-ready projects. Together with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), concept notes are developed to be submitted to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Adaptation Fund (AF) for financing. Furthermore, project proposals will be developed in cooperation with the EU-financed GET.Invest programme. Most of these proposals focus on promoting solar power, with volumes ranging from three to five million euros – for example a photovoltaic system for a local water supply system.

The OECS countries are working hard for adaptation and mitigation, but they still lack the resources they need to achieve their goals. As a next step, the NDCFI will therefore draft a communications strategy in order to raise attention for the challenges.

In March 2020, governments, the private sector and regional and international donors will come together in Saint Lucia to exchange experiences of ways to resolve the Caribbean's shared climate challenges.

The BMZ is working to support these highly vulnerable island states – and also to support island states in the Pacific region, through the Regional Pacific NDC Hub.

After a torrential rainfall, an access road in the Caribbean country of St. Lucia was washed away.
The district of Skardu in the north of Pakistan
Pakistan: Cooperation in action

Promoting the implementation of Pakistan's climate goals

According to the Global Climate Risk Index, Pakistan is one of the ten countries worst affected by climate change, but itself contributes only a small share of global greenhouse gas emissions. Studies carried out by the country's National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) show that, between 1994 and 2013, extreme climate events cost the country an average of almost four billion US dollars a year in economic losses.

In December 2016, Pakistan became one of the first members of the global NDC Partnership. With its membership the country wants to accelerate the implementation of its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) submitted under the framework of the Paris climate agreement. The country specifically wants to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 20 per cent by 2030 compared to business as usual and also to be better able to deal with the impacts of climate change. To do this, Pakistan needs massive support from the international donor community: according to its NDC, 40 billion US dollars will be needed for climate action and between 7 and 14 billion US dollars a year for adaptation to climate change.

A broad alliance for the climate

In order for these goals to be achieved, since 2017, the Secretariat of the NDC Partnership and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), acting on behalf of the BMZ, have been supporting the efforts of the Climate Change Ministry to play a leading role in the climate sector. The goal is to get the numerous national and international players that are involved in the implementation of Pakistan's NDC – from the country's energy ministry to the United Nations – to pull together.

In 2018, the Planning Ministry was also brought on board for the implementation of the NDC. This is meant to ensure that the provincial level in Pakistan is also included.

From energy generation to waste management

In order to move climate action and climate change adaptation forward, Pakistan is putting a strong focus on the energy sector, on industrial processes, on agriculture, land use and forest management, and on waste management in its NDC. Under the NDC Partnership the country drew up a precise road map in 2018 which describes the actions that need to be taken on the way to reaching these goals.

Building on this road map, an NDC Partnership Plan is currently being drawn up; it will harmonise Pakistan's climate priorities with the ongoing and planned support programmes of international donors. This Plan, which covers the next three years, thus sets out the framework for Pakistan's NDC implementation.

For example, GIZ, acting on behalf of the BMZ, is supporting Pakistani energy authorities in expanding renewable energies. As a result almost 2,000 megawatts of capacity has been installed and linked up to the national grid. Furthermore, thanks to new legislation, public and private consumers can sell surplus energy from solar installations to the energy companies. So far 1,500 licences have been issued for an installed capacity of 26 megawatts.

At the same time GIZ has been working since 2018 with the French development agency Agence Française de Développement (AFD) to improve the monitoring of Pakistan's greenhouse gas emissions and set up a monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system. Without reliable methods for calculating emissions, it is not possible to get exact figures for current or future emissions.

The city of Rawalpindi in Pakistan
Flooding in settlements on the banks of the Ulua river in San Manuel, Honduras
Honduras: Cooperation in action

Swiftly mapping a route for climate action

Before the age of smartphones, google maps and GPS, any good road trip began with a road map. The map laid the foundation for a successful journey. Without it, travellers ran the risk of getting lost or driving around aimlessly without ever reaching their destination.

In Honduras, a country continuously confronted with climate-related challenges ranging from hurricanes and flooding to droughts and landslides, government leaders today understand the value of a good road map as a means of providing direction for climate decision-making and action. At the international climate change conference in Paris in 2015, Honduras officially submitted its planned contributions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Since then, Honduras has been positioning itself as a regional climate leader.

Collaborating within the NDC Partnership, an initiative to help member countries around the globe reach their climate change commitments, Honduras became the first Partnership member to develop and finalise a road map for implementing its national climate change goals, which include reducing greenhouse gas emissions 15 per cent by 2030 and reforesting one million hectares of degraded land.

One road map priority is to increase the ambition of the country's climate change commitments, a process which is already well under way. A more ambitious set of climate change goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing adaptive capacity is expected to be finalised in early 2020, in key sectors such as energy, transport, waste and forestry. The country has succeeded in improving channels for communication and opportunities for collaboration among key ministries and the office of the president. Better awareness about the need to align climate targets with sectoral policies and plans is a key element of the road map.

The ongoing successes in Honduras highlight the importance of good planning and collaboration, as well as determination and communication. The journey is still in the early stages, but with a good road map, the country knows the direction it would like to go and is well positioned to show others the way.

Rural settlements in La Ceiba, Honduras


Video message from the NDC Partnership

Video message from NDC Partnership Co-Chair Parliamentary State Secretary Maria Flachsbarth on why the NDC Partnership is vital to address climate change

NDC Partnership in action: Uganda

In June 2018, Uganda launched the first NDC Partnership Plan for climate action, outlining priorities for implementation of the Paris Agreement to increase coordination and collaboration with national and international partners.

NDC Partnership in action: Fiji

Fiji is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change. The NDC Partnership is supporting Fiji in enhancing its NDC, designing roadmaps for NDC implementation, and supporting efforts to finance NDC investments.

NDC Partnership Knowledge Portal

The NDC Partnership's Knowledge Portal helps countries to accelerate climate action by providing quick and easy access to data, tools, guidance, good practice, and funding opportunities.

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