It is crucial for the success of the Paris Agreement that the updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that countries submit build on and learn from the first round of NDCs. This special issue of Climate Policy aims to stimulate debate on how to make NDCs more effective.

The eight papers in the special issue cover mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation, and discuss key elements of the Paris Agreement and broader climate policy, including the Enhanced Transparency Framework and the Paris Committee on Capacity Building, as well as considerations of equity and development.

This editorial article first presents a short history of NDCs. It then describes the respective contribution of each of the eight papers in the special issue in terms of transparency, coherence and implementability, and summarizes their key insights. Finally, it recommends next steps.

Links to the articles in the special issue can be found below. Note that they will soon be made open access.