In the run-up to COP26 under the United-Kingdom Presidency, this Policy Brief suggests three priorities to design NDCs that reflect countries’ ‘highest possible ambition’ as per the Paris Agreement, and are fit to address the current implementation gap.
- The next round of NDCs needs to not only be more stringent in terms of emissions’ targets and plans for low-carbon energy capacity, but also focus on areas where progress is most lacking, such as retiring fossil capacity, decarbonising transport, buildings and industry, increasing energy efficiency policies and better managing land.
- Long-Term Strategies and NDCs are distinct exercises, not just in terms of timescale. LTSs provide two specific opportunities to support the design and implementation of NDCs:
- The exploration of different economy-wide decarbonisation pathways with detailed options at the sectoral level. LTSs can identify short-term decisions that are robust in a context of uncertainty and avoid lock-ins incompatible with deep decarbonisation;
- The organisation of society-wide consultations to ensure economic and social factors are an integral part of the development strategy. LTSs can foster buy-in and eventually support implementation of short-term action.
- Sectoral targets or indicators that focus on emissions’ underlying drivers are also key to foster the transparency of LTSs and NDCs. Revealing these drivers is important to:
- Follow progress at the domestic and global scale ahead of the Global Stocktake in 2023, as short-term fluctuations in emissions alone are a poor indicator of whether a fundamental transition is underway (Spencer et al., 2019).
- Act as a blueprint to attract private investment and international public support, foster international cooperation for decarbonisation and adaptation and catalyse non-state action.