Ensuring Replicability and Continuous Improvement

About This Opportunity

Ensuring replicability, continuous improvement, and retaining knowledge within the framework of NDCs is important for advancing climate action. Each successive NDC will represent a progression beyond the previous one, and to do so it is important to build on previous processes, experiences and successes. Focusing on learning from each NDC implementation cycle can enhance future efforts and maintain a consistent progression towards climate goals.

There is an opportunity to ensure replicability, continuous improvement, and knowledge retention, through creating a dynamic and iterative process, where each NDC cycle is informed by the experiences of the past. This approach not only improves the technical and strategic aspects of NDCs but also strengthens the overall framework for climate action, making it more adaptive, inclusive, and effective in meeting global climate targets.

The following strategies could help to implement this Opportunity:

Ensuring a structured review process to learn from previous development cycles:
  • Parties can develop and employ a structured, dynamic learning and review mechanism for NDCs, which facilitates continuous updates and improvements based on evolving scientific knowledge, technological developments, and changes in socio-economic conditions. This process is important to ensure that NDCs remain relevant and effective in meeting ambitious global temperature goals.Establishing formal processes within national frameworks to continuously capture and integrate lessons learned from NDC implementation ensures that each cycle builds on the successes and challenges of the previous one.

This structured review process involves key steps such as evaluating the scoping of the NDC, external support procured for NDC revision, structure of the overall coordination of the NDC revision, stakeholder engagement, the technical analysis sections themselves for mitigation and adaptation, as well as the linkages with other processes, the drafting of the updated NDC document and finally the approval and submission of the revised NDC. Tools such as the NDC Handover Checklist (PATPA) can help to support this. This structured review process is designed to incorporate new information and adapt to changing circumstances, reflecting the dynamic nature of climate science and policy needs. The review cycles provide a formal opportunity for countries to enhance their commitments based on the latest available data and international developments. For more information see “Beyond ambition: increasing the transparency, coherence and implementability of Nationally Determined Contributions” (Pauw & Klein), and “Opportunity: Ensuring Effective Coordination Across Government”.

Ensuring thorough documentation and regular knowledge sharing:

Systematically documenting the NDC process and outcomes ensures that valuable data and insights are captured and preserved. Making this information widely available domestically supports broader understanding and engagement across all levels of government and among stakeholders. Clearly identifying and documenting the ownership, as well as the process and outcomes of NDC elements, facilitates traceability, which is crucial for accountability and transparency. This is particularly important for external parties such as financial institutions or support bodies, who may require clear records to provide funding or assistance.Designing transparent planning and reporting systems not only facilitates public scrutiny and trust but also strengthens the governance of climate action, making it more effective and responsive to changes.

Engaging stakeholders broadly and deeply:

It is useful to include a wide array of stakeholders in the NDC formulation and implementation process; engaging non-Party stakeholders (particularly civil society, business, financial institutions, cities and subnational authorities, Indigenous Peoples, local communities, youth and research institutions) ensures that NDCs benefit from a broader range of insights, capabilities, and resources, which can strengthen their ambition and accelerate implementation. ICAT provides a Stakeholder Participation Methodology to help Parties do this. See “Route: Mobilizes All-of-Government and All-of-Society”.

Best Practices for NDC Preparation and Implementation:

Parties should aim to incorporate best practices identified through previous NDC cycles into the planning and implementation phases. Below is a list of best practice approaches identified in the 2023 Synthesis Report (UNFCCC):

  1. Institutionalizing climate policy development within joint planning frameworks;
  2. Strengthening stakeholder capacity to participate more substantively in NDC preparation and implementation;
  3. Designing planning and reporting systems for transparency and public scrutiny;
  4. Incorporating experience and lessons learned from NDC preparation and implementation efforts;
  5. Conducting extensive stakeholder consultation and peer review to enhance their understanding of the NDC;
  6. Conducting a preliminary assessment of pre-2020 efforts to identify gaps and needs and develop an NDC road map;
  7. Mainstreaming NDC goals in existing strategies, plans and policies to obtain political support and benefit from existing arrangements;
  8. Partnering with regional and international organizations to develop a robust NDC;
  9. Establishing a scientific and quantitative system for analyzing and assessing progress of implementation

Country Examples

The Dominican Republic has established a National System for Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) as outlined in the Presidential Decree 541-20. This system is crucial for the structured review of NDC implementation, ensuring that mitigation actions and the support received are accurately accounted for and recorded. The MRV system supports the dynamic learning and review mechanism by providing a formal structure to enhance the commitments based on the latest international developments and available data. (Source: “NDC Checklist Dominican Republic Analysis,” WWF)

Panama conducted a broad, systematic consultation process for its NDC formulation, led by the Environment Ministry. Each commitment within the NDC was discussed, agreed upon, and validated with relevant sectoral institutions and non-Party stakeholders, including detailed disclosure of the consultation process. This method of openly sharing and documenting information supports the strategy of making valuable data and insights widely available, enhancing the governance and effectiveness of the NDC implementation. (Source: “NDC Checklist Panama Analysis,” WWF)

Further Resources

NDC Handover Checklist (PATPA, 2021)
This checklist helps countries prepare for the future NDC processes through recording all essential information of their recent NDC process. Using this Checklist, countries can collect all relevant information used for the NDC process, such as data and methodology used for mitigation targets and adaptation priorities, and access modalities for these data, stakeholders involved, and other key information required. The checklist also offers a space to document reflections on the process and recommendations for future NDC revisions. It may also be useful for other processes, such as reporting under the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) or the development of Long-Term Strategies (LTS).

Stakeholder Participation Guide (ICAT, 2020)
This guide can help countries enhance stakeholder participation in the design, implementation and assessment of climate policies and actions. The document provides practical guidance on planning and implementing effective participatory processes. It addresses the key elements of stakeholder participation, including planning, identifying and understanding stakeholders, establishing multi-stakeholder bodies, providing information to stakeholders, designing and conducting consultations, and establishing grievance redress mechanisms.

Beyond Ambition: Increasing the Transparency, Coherence, and Implementability of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) (Pauw & Klein, 2020)
This document focuses on improving the effectiveness of NDCs by addressing three core aspects: transparency, coherence, and enhance implementation. These improvements are essential for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. The document discusses the history and evolution of NDCs, highlighting the challenges and opportunities in increasing global ambition for climate action. It underscores the need for clear and consistent information reporting and a more coherent integration of climate action with broader policy objectives, such as sustainable development and poverty eradication. The paper stresses that while increasing ambition is crucial, the real effectiveness of NDCs will depend on their ability to enhance implementation, which requires adequate support, well-defined roles, and broad stakeholder engagement.

How This Links to Other Routes

Some specific linkages to other Routes that are particularly relevant include the following. Navigate to these to read more:

Route: Mobilizes All-Of-Government and All-Of-Society

Continuous improvements in NDCs can be supported by ensuring the NDC is owned by all government departments/ministries.

Support Opportunities

Support is available to countries to apply the learning from the navigator and develop ambitious NDCs 3.0.

Share Additional Resources

Contribute new guidance, tools and strategies to be reflected in the NDC 3.0.