Research was quick to identify the “headline numbers” of NDCs: if these climate action plans were fully implemented, global mean warming by 2100 would be reduced from approximately 3.6 to 2.7°C above pre-industrial levels.
However, beyond these headline mitigation numbers, NDCs are more difficult to analyse and compare. UN climate negotiations have so far provided limited guidance on NDC formulation, which has resulted in varying scopes and contents of NDCs, often lacking details concerning ambitions.
If NDCs are to become the long-term instrument for international cooperation, negotiation, and ratcheting up of ambitions to address climate change, then they need to become more transparent and comparable, both with respect to mitigation goals, and to issues such as adaptation, finance, and the way in which NDCs are aligned with national policies.
Our analysis of INDCs and NDCs shows that they omit important mitigation sectors, do not adequately provide details on costs and financing of implementation, and are poorly designed to meet assessment and review needs.