Climate Pledges: 5 Facts on Nationally Determined Contributions

Five facts about Nationally Determined Contributions for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are a key component of the Paris Agreement as they are the specific pledges made by each country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change under the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. As they are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and essential for the achievement of its long-term goals. Here are 5 facts on NDCs:

  1. NDCs cover mitigation and adaptation, as well as loss and damage

    In addition to reducing emissions, NDCs are also about adapting to the impacts of climate change. Countries are expected to outline both mitigation and adaptation measures in their pledges. Mitigation measures can include efforts to reduce emissions from various sectors such as energy, transportation and agriculture. Adaptation measures can include steps to build resilience to climate impacts, such as improving water management or planting mangroves for coastal protection. Countries can also choose to report on climate loss and damage.

  2. NDCs are submitted and updated regularly

    Countries are required to submit NDCs every five years, where the first round of submissions were due in 2020. Pledges need to reflect the countries’ highest possible ambition. The Paris Agreement also encourages countries to regularly update and enhance their NDCs over time, in order to reflect progress and increasing ambition.

  3. The success of the Paris Agreement depends on the implementation of NDCs

    Although a global framework for climate change action, achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals depends ultimately on the implementation of NDCs by individual countries. The implementation of NDCs requires the mobilization of financial, technological and capacity-building support, especially for developing countries. Therefore, international cooperation and partnerships are crucial for the successful implementation of NDCs, and for the success of the framework itself.

  4. NDCs can include measures for transparency and accountability

    Such measures include reporting on progress towards meeting emissions reduction targets, providing information on financial and technical support received, and sharing data and information related to climate action. The transparency and accountability measures are designed to build trust and confidence among countries and stakeholders, and to ensure that countries are held accountable for their climate commitments.

  5. The political and moral significance of NDCs are essential for their implementation

    The Paris Agreement does not impose top-down emission reduction targets on countries. NDCs are a demonstration of a country’s political will and commitment to addressing climate change. They also provide a basis for international cooperation to support countries in achieving their climate goals.