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NDC Explorer


Resource:  NDC Explorer

Published by:  German Development Institute in collaboration with African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) and the UNFCCC Secretariat.  The initiative is a contribution to the NDC Partnership

Aimed at:  Policy Makers / Negotiators, Development Agencies, NGOs, Researchers, Academia, Think Tanks


NDC Explorer is an online tool that allows you to assess graphically the content of every NDC submitted to the UNFCCC.

The tool is organised under 5 headings: Mitigation, Adaptation, Finance and Support, Planning Process and the “Broader Picture”. The dataset was built using a counting system of mentions of different projects or initiatives in the INDCs, with a general hurdle of 15 countries mentioning a particular item earning a sub-category. Thus the Mitigation section has sub-categories such as renewable energy, REDD+, Market Mechanisms; while the Adaptation section has sub-categories such as the top five of most mentioned vulnerabilities and adaptation priority sectors; but also migration/relocation and quantitative adaptation targets. Interestingly, some potentially important topics, such as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), almost failed to make it to the categorisation because NDCs hardly include them.

The Finance and Support section uncovers issues such as conditionality of NDCs as to mitigation and adaptation, together with technology transfer needs, capacity building etc.

The Planning Process section covers matter such as how NDCs were prepared, how implementation will be co-ordinated and monitoring and review undertaken.

Finally, the “Broader Picture” section looks at the other policies surrounding NDCs in the national or global context, such as the SDGs, fossil fuel subsidy reform, disaster risk reduction etc.

The data can be accessed either regionally, or with countries grouped by income level.

Clicking on a sub-category will take you to a global map showing all the countries that mention the topic, and the level of focus on it. Clicking on a country will allow you to see all the actions mentioned in that country’s NDC.

Given the lack of uniformity in the NDCs, the categorisation process has been challenging und sometimes inevitably somewhat subjective. Pieter Pauw, who led the development of the NDC Explorer, mentions costs of mitigation and adaptation as examples. Only a share of the NDCs include cost indications, and these countries have typically been very vague on costs. A frustrating absence for financiers, if an inevitable one.

Pauw said that he hoped the tool would be useful for a wide range of interested parties. “For example,” he noted that climate change staff in a development agencies and banks are keen on using the tool to bring colleagues up to speed on the NDCs, and to help mainstream climate change actions into projects.” The team also sees applications for government planners and negotiators, civil society to keep their governments accountable, university teachers, researchers and other specialist observers.

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