Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

What are NDCs?

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) submitted by countries under the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) represent pledges on climate action that seek to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5 °C, over pre-industrial levels. While renewable energy is a mature and cost-effective climate change mitigation technology, its role in NDCs can be further strengthened to achieve objectives of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement.

Current Status

IRENA estimates that if renewable energy targets included in the NDCs were implemented, global renewable power installed capacity would reach over 3.5 terawatts (TW) in 2030. Although significant, this is not nearly enough to put the world on a pathway compatible with the objectives set by the Paris Agreement, which would require renewables to reach 7.7 TW globally by 2030.

Brochure

Climate Action With Renewable: Enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions

"The brochure presents the significance of energy transition as climate action with details on how countries are improving their climate pledges with enhanced NDCs through renewables. It presents perspectives on relevance of IRENA support from Africa, SIDS and LDCs. The brochure also covers IRENA's dedicated support to its members on enhancing and implementing their NDCs, either through direct support or via institutional partnerships with other international organisations."

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Renewable power components in the first round of NDCs

 Figure 1: Renewables in NDCs

IRENA work on NDCs

IRENA uses its considerable body of knowledge and expertise in different facets of the energy transition to support Member States develop and implement NDCs that reflect the cost-effective renewable energy potential of each country. These efforts can in turn provide the basis for enhancing the ambition of climate pledges ahead of COP26.

See IRENA work in the area of NDC enhancement

  • Data and statistics, including for monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) – repository of statistics on renewable energy capacity, generation, energy balances, finance and investments, and costs. Technical assistance and capacity building on collecting, analyzing, recording and reporting detailed and accurate data;
  • Policy advice – analysis of current policy and finance landscape to identify existing barriers to the deployment of renewable energy and policy recommendations to help attract investments into the sector;
  • Resource assessment - site assessment, suitability assessment, zoning assessment, SolarCity simulator as well as capacity building to assess the potential of renewable energy;
  • Long-term energy planning - enhancement of long-term renewable energy planning scenarios and capacity building for energy planning and modelling;
  • Power system flexibility - assessment of the flexibility of the power system and identification of cost-effective, flexible solutions for a greater integration of variable renewable energy integration and increase the share of renewables including energy storage, demand-side flexibility and sector coupling options (i.e. power-to-hydrogen, power-to-heat and electric vehicles);
  • Renewable energy roadmap - REmap assess renewable energy potential in power, heating, cooling and transport, and study possible technology pathways and other metrics like technology, costs, investments, externalities like air pollution, emissions, and economic indicators;
  • Renewable readiness assessment - a tool for carrying out comprehensive evaluations of the conditions for renewable energy deployment in countries that can inform the decision makers in scaling up renewable energy ambitions;
  • Climate innovation and technology capacity building - strengthening in-country expertise in power and end-use renewable energy technologies, greenhouse gas emission reduction actions, as well as climate adaptation and resilience measures;
  • Capacity building on policy and finance - support to countries in enhancing their capacity on different topics, including renewable energy targets, policies and regulations, financial instruments and investment frameworks;
  • NDC implementation plans - the Agency also works with countries in developing NDC implementation plans that takes stock of the NDC, assesses the extent to which it aligns with current national policies and priorities,  includes the latest data and information to enable informed,  and cost-effective implementation decisions, and describes steps, among other elements, to achieve the NDC's goals and respective timelines;
  • NDC implementation support - the Agency works with countries to support NDC implementation, including  associated investment frameworks and offers project facilitation and support on project development and implementation.
 

Partnerships

In addition to direct Member support, IRENA has partnered with UNDP Climate Promise Initiative, NDC Partnership’s Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP), UNFCCC Regional Collaborating Centres, and the Regional Pacific NDC Hub, to accelerate the enhancement of NDCs by countries.  IRENA also engages with the United Kingdom, as the incoming COP26 Presidency,to underline the role of the energy transition in climate action through several outreach events. IRENA’s role is to provide key inputs relating to renewable energy to support the acceleration of energy transitions and drive climate action while maximising the socio-economic benefits.

IRENA is also partner of the Climate Investment Platform (CIP).  Together with SE4All, United Nations Development Programme and in coordination with the Green Climate Fund the global initiative aims to scale up climate action and translate ambitious national climate targets into concrete investments on the ground.

Quotes from the high-officials acknowledging IRENA NDC support work

“Africa  suffers significantly from impacts of climate change. We would like all countries to increase their renewable energy ambition in their planned climate pledges and long-term emission reduction strategies. Gabon is working with IRENA on power sector analysis, as we aim to increase renewables in our energy system as part of our nationally determined contribution.”
Mr. Tanguy Gahouma-BeKale, Adviser to the President, Permanent Secretary National Climate Council, Gabon,;
Chair of the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change.

 

“SIDS are the frontline countries and they have special circumstances and needs arising from the adverse impacts of climate change and the resulting high cost.  An Energy Transition through renewables is a key mitigation and adaptation strategy for islands since it can contribute to a resilient energy system while allowing for the capturing of abundant solar and wind resources.  Antigua & Barbuda has been teaming up with our valuable partner IRENA on a decarbonization roadmap for the country as well as a just transition to a climate neutral future.”

H.E. Ms. Diann Black-Layne, Ambassador for Climate Change, Antigua & Barbuda, Chief Negotiator of Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Group on Climate Change.

 

“Least Developed Countries see renewable energy as a key remedy for climate change mitigation to achieve the Paris Agreement objectives. Bhutan has been working with IRENA on a Renewables Readiness Assessment and follow on actions to diversify our hydropower based energy system to include other renewable energy sources like solar and wind.”

H.E. Mr. Sonam P. Wangdi, Secretary of National Environment Commission, Royal Government of Bhutan and Chair of Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group on Climate Change.

 

For more information about IRENA’s work on NDC support, or to engage us to discuss collaboration, please contact us by e mailing: climateaction@irena.org.

Associated Publications


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