Nationally Determined Contributions
Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) or Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) are non-binding national plans highlighting climate actions, including climate related targets, policies and measures governments aim to implement in response to climate change and as a contribution to achieve the global targets set out in the Paris Agreement.
The NDCs combine the top-down system of a United Nations climate agreement with bottom-up system-in elements through which countries put forward their agreements in the context of their own national circumstances, capabilities, and priorities, with the goal of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions enough to keep global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius.(or below i.e. 1,5°C)).
The NDCs contain steps taken towards emissions reductions and also aim to address steps taken to adapt to climate change impacts, and what support the country needs, or will provide, to address climate change. After the initial submission of INDCs in March 2015, an assessment phase followed to review the impact of the submitted INDCs before the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
All countries that were parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) were asked to publish their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions at the 2013 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Warsaw, Poland, in November 2013. The intended contributions were determined without prejudice to the legal nature of the contributions. The term was intended as a compromise between "quantified emissions limitation and reduction objective" (QELROs) and "Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions" (NAMAs) that the Kyoto Protocol used to describe the different legal obligations of developed and developing countries.
After the Paris Agreement entered into force in 2016, the INDCs became the first NDC when a country ratified the agreement unless it decided to submit a new NDC at the same time. NDCs are the first greenhouse gas targets under the UNFCCC that apply equally to both developed and developing countries.
Collective INDC targets
Prior to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference a synthesis report was prepared that assessed the impact of all the published INDCs on expected global warming. This incorporated the impact of INDCs submitted for 147 countries, who comprised 80% of total global emissions in 2010. It concluded that if the INDCs were met this would slow the increase in emissions from the 24% increase between 1990 and 2010 to an increase between 2010 and 2030 of between 11% and 23%. However, emissions up to 2030 would amount to 75% of the total emissions that were consistent with limiting global warming to the target of 2°. Therefore, much greater reduction would be required after 2030 in order to reach this target.
The INDCs of the largest greenhouse gas emitters included China, which targeted a 60-65% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP by 2030, the United States, which targeted a 26-28% reduction by 2025, and the European Union which targeted a 55% reduction compared to 1990 by 2030. Scientists and environmentalist say the 55% target of the EU is not sufficient. And the European Parliament has called for a 60% cut. India submitted a target of 33-35% per unit of GDP, conditional on finance being made available by developed countries.
Research released by NewClimate Institute for UNFCCC and UNDP concluded that as of March 2015, one-third of the 81 surveyed countries had not yet begun their INDC. Approximately another third had started the national discussion, but had not proceeded to the technical design phase. Submission ambitions vary geographically; for instance, African countries often reported the latest intended submission dates.
On 27 February 2015, Switzerland became the first nation to submit its INDC. Switzerland said that it had experienced a temperature rise of 1.75 °C since 1864, and aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030.
India submitted its INDC to the UNFCCC in October 2015, committing to cut the emissions intensity of GDP by 33–35% by 2030 from 2005 levels. On its submission, India wrote that it needs "at least USD 2.5 trillion" to achieve its 2015-2030 goals, and that its "international climate finance needs" will be the difference over "what can be made available from domestic sources."
Of surveyed countries, 85% reported that they were challenged by the short time frame available to develop INDCs. Other challenges reported include difficulty to secure high-level political support, a lack of certainty and guidance on what should be included in INDCs, and limited expertise for the assessment of technical options. However, despite challenges, less than a quarter of countries said they had received international support to prepare their INDCs, and more than a quarter indicated they are still applying for international support. The INDC process and the challenges it presents are unique to each country and there is no "one-size-fits-all" approach or methodology.
Emission reductions offered of current NDCs
This section needs to be updated. The reason given is: China and USA net zero pledges.January 2021)(
NDCs are established independently by the parties (countries or regional groups of countries) in question. However, they are set within a binding iterative “catalytic” framework designed to ratchet up climate action over time. Once states have set their initial NDCs, these are expected to be updated on a 5-year cycle. Biennial progress reports are to be published that track progress toward the objectives set out in states’ NDCs. These will be subjected to technical review, and will collectively feed into a global stocktaking exercise, itself operating on an offset 5-year cycle, where the overall sufficiency of NDCs collectively will be assessed.
The information gathered from parties’ individual reports and reviews, along with the more comprehensive picture attained through the “global stocktake” will, in turn, feed back into and shape the formulation of states’ subsequent pledges. The logic, overall, is that this process will offer numerous avenues where domestic and transnational political processes can play out, facilitating the making of more ambitious commitments and putting pressure on states to comply with their nationally determined goals.
Through the Climate Change Performance Index, Climate Action Tracker and the Climate Clock), it can be continuously followed on-line on how well each individual country is currently on track to achieving its Paris agreement commitments. The Climate Change Performance Index, Climate Action Tracker and Climate Clock however only give a general insight in regards to the current collective and individual country emission reductions. They do not give insight in regards on the emission reductions offered per country, for each measure proposed in the NDC.
Achievement status and sufficiency for Paris Agreement warming thresholds
In 2021, a study using a fully statistical probabilistic model concluded that the rates of emissions reductions need to increase by 80% beyond NDCs to likely meet the 2 °C upper target range of Earth's Paris Agreement, that the probabilities of major emitters meeting their NDCs without such an increase is very low, estimating that with current trends the probability of staying below 2 °C of warming is 5% – and if NDCs were met and continued post-2030 by all signatory systems 26%. Experts have recommended fundamental structural changes of the socioeconomics of global civilization for a systematic "decarbonization" and related mechanisms – such as of work, accountability and resource-allocation – as well as pursuing a path for a maximum of 1.5 degrees of warming, rather than 2 degrees.
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- The Paris Agreement's long-term temperature goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C (3.6 °F) above pre-industrial levels; and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 °C (2.7 °F)
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- Registry with admitted NDC's by country
- "Synthesis report on the aggregate effect of the intended nationally determined contributions" (PDF). United Nations Climate Change Commission. 30 October 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "NDC Synthesis Report". United Nations Climate Change Commission. 26 February 2021. Retrieved 2 March 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Changing Transport blog with a link to a database of transport-related policies in NDCs