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The Paris agreement asks countries to update their NDC every five years. The first round of enhanced NDC was due in 2020. Each new round of updates is expected to ratchet up ambition through steeper emissions cuts and more expansive adaptation measures.

Nationally Determined Contributions (“NDC”) are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of its long-term goals. NDC embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Paris Agreement (Article 4, paragraph 2) requires each Party to prepare, communicate and maintain successive Nationally Determined Contributions that it intends to achieve. Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.

What is Nationally Determined Contributions?

Reporting frequency

Information to be provided in NDC report:

  • National circumstances and institutional arrangements (Annex to decision 18/CMA.1, Section III.A);

  • A description of the Party's NDC’s targets (Annex to decision 18/CMA.1, Section III.B);

  • Information necessary to track progress made in implementing and achieving NDCs (Annex to decision 18/CMA.1, Section III.C), including in a structured summary;


The iterative nature of Nationally Determined Contributions reports drives nations to increase their ambition in combating climate change. As countries progress through successive reporting cycles, they are encouraged to set more ambitious targets and demonstrate how they are aligning their actions with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. By regularly reviewing and updating their climate plans, countries can continuously raise the bar and inspire others to follow suit. The reports also serve as a tool for holding nations accountable for their commitments, as they provide a transparent record of a country's efforts over time.

  1. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”)
  2. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“UNFCCC”)

According to The Modalities, Procedures and Guidelines (“MPGs”), in their structured summary, a Party “shall” provide information on “indicators that it has selected to track progress towards implementation and achievement of its NDC under Article 4. Indicators shall be relevant to a Party’s NDC under Article 4, and may be either qualitative or quantitative.” (Annex to decision 18/CMA.1 III.C paragraph 65). In addition, Parties are also to report in this structured summary, information related to Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (“ITMOs”) and Mitigation Outcomes (“MO”) for Parties engaging “in cooperative approaches that involve the use of ITMOs towards an NDC under Article 4, or that authorize the use of MO for international mitigation purposes other than achievement of its NDC” (Annex to decision 18/CMA.1 III.C paragraph 77.d2). In addition to information on indicators and on cooperative approaches, Parties are to provide a description of the indicators used, of each methodology and/or accounting approaches and an explanation of how double counting of net greenhouse gas emissions reductions has been avoided.

The best NDC aim high and reach far. Grounded in sound analysis and data, they help countries begin a transformative shift to development that is greener and more sustainable. They guide needed shifts in different sectors of the economy and provide an opportunity for rethinking how a society produces and consumes. They can support greater social inclusion, such as through specific benefits for women, youth and indigenous communities. Some countries now make links between NDC and national development plans, including those to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Information on mitigation policies and measures (Annex to decision 18/CMA.1, Section III.D);

  • Greenhouse gas projections (Annex to decision 18/CMA.1, Section III.E).