Experiences from the NDC update cycle

Trees from below with a view of the sky

The International Climate Initiative (IK) publishes a study with recommendations for 2025.

Kick-off meeting for the NDC Partnership Thematic Call.

Ahead of the NDC Partnership’s Thematic Call for Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategies (LT-LEDS) and ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), the IKI shares lessons learned and recommendations for the next NDC update cycle.

The UNFCCC’s synthesis reports paint a dire picture of current climate commitments. It is becoming clear that climate commitments made by countries worldwide could put the world on track for global warming of around 2.5°C, or – at worst – 2.9°C. These so-called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) set emissions reduction targets for 2030. However, the majority are not aligned with net zero pledges that many of the same countries have announced for around mid-century. This means that many countries are delaying important climate action past 2030, which led delegates at COP27 to call for scaled-up NDC implementation alongside increased NDC ambition. 

NDC Partnership Thematic Call on LT-LEDS and NDC Alignment, Update, and Enhancement 

On 8 November 2022, the NDC Partnership celebrated the launch event of a new Thematic Call. The call will support member countries in developing robust long-term low emissions and development strategies (LT-LEDS) for reaching net zero around mid-century and in ambitiously updating their NDCs for the timespan 2025-2035, including the design of effective implementation frameworks. 

The call was launched at an early stage before the submission deadline (2025) to enable countries to design the updating process at their own speed, aligned with national planning processes. It will match member countries’ priorities with support offers from implementing organisations and the international donor community, putting country ownership and capacity development at the centre of all efforts.

Looking back and learning for the future

The International Climate Initiative (IKI) can build on its substantial experience in supporting NDC update processes and LT-LEDS development. It has provided support in particular through bilateral and global programmes as well as through initiatives such as the Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP) of the NDC Partnership and the UNDP Climate Promise. These two comprehensive programmes were launched in 2019/2020 to support countries in updating their NDCs. Currently, the IKI supports 37 countries with activities related to LT-LEDS.

The lessons learned at different levels accompany the IKI’s direct country support. The recently published study ‘On the road to 2025 - Lessons for effective NDC Support’ brings together lessons learned from the 2020/21 process as well as providing concrete recommendations for the next update cycle. It is based on an extensive analysis and stakeholder interviews, including with government representatives. 

In line with the efforts of the recently launched thematic call by the NDC Partnership, the study recommends that NDC processes be aligned to and integrated into national development and climate plans. Other recommendations include the improvement of data availability and capacity development for national, climate-relevant institutions and their employees.

One practical tool to avoid information and data loss from one update cycle to the next is the NDC Handover Checklist, developed by the IKI. The checklist provides a template for governments to record all essential information relating to completed NDC update processes, including on data and methodologies used, access modalities for this data, stakeholders involved, and other key information. 

To learn collectively from past experiences, the IKI works closely with other partner institutions and implementing organisations to exchange information on best practices and challenges for effective country support. On 13 November, the NDC Partnership and the World Resources Institute (WRI) convened a workshop with country representatives and implementing partners to exchange experiences and discuss recommendations for LT-LEDS development and the next NDC update cycle. A representative of the BMWK shared insights from the IKI’s global activities, along with proposals for the way ahead.

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IKI Office
Zukunft – Umwelt – Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbH
Stresemannstraße 69-71

10963 Berlin


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