Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are commitments by parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Each party defines its own NDC, which in all cases includes mitigation-related goals and, in most cases, adaptation-related goals too. For most parties, the time horizon for implementing NDC goals is 2030.
By ratifying the 2015 Paris Agreement of the UNFCCC, parties commit to submitting revised NDCs every five years. The revised NDCs must have an implementation period of five years, and must be submitted five years in advance of the start date for implementation. The Paris Agreement further calls on parties to increase progressively the level of ambition of their NDCs.
Implementation of the first NDCs is to start in 2021. Delivering on this requirement and within this time horizon requires increased institutional capacities on the part of national governments. These capacities relate to six main sets of issues:
– Ability to launch and coordinate a whole-of-government process, incorporating contributions from all relevant governmental agencies, and non-governmental parties, as relevant.
– Capacity to integrate NDC priorities into sectoral and cross-sectoral programmes and projects, to ensure that the latter do not undermine efforts to achieve the former, or vice versa.
– Resources to train relevant government agency staff (and possibly non-government agency staff too), with a view to increasing the technical and managerial skills of these individuals.
– Capability to engage all relevant stakeholders, through consultations designed to elicit their input, so that it can be taken into consideration, thus increasing buy-in from stakeholders.
– Competence to conduct a regulatory framework revision, to streamline and complement existing laws and regulations, and strengthen related governmental processes and entities.
– Aptitude to monitor progress, and report on it, making best use of existing data collection mechanisms, and strengthening related capabilities wherever needed.