SDSN Joins Global NDC Partnership as Associate Member and Attends 2023 Global NDC Conference

Alongside 90 other institutional members, SDSN now has opportunities to get directly involved in assisting 123 countries in their planning and implementation of national climate plans, as well as global discussions on the future of NDCs and international support and finance mechanisms.

Nationally-determined contributions (or NDCs in short) are the primary mechanism under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement for countries to set their short to medium targets and commitments to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses, as well as related climate adaptation strategies. The global NDC Partnership works directly with national governments, international institutions, organizations, and the private sector to fast-track climate and development action. 

As of June 2023, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network became the NDC Partnerships' latest associate member, at the invitation of the Partnership secretariat and as a consequence of the continuous monitoring and systematic analysis of NDCs since 2021 through the SDSN-led FELD (Food, Environment, Land, and Development) Action Tracker. As an associate member of the NDC Partnership, SDSN takes a significant step forward in joining mainstream discussions with and across member states, UN agencies, and other involved institutions on the future role of NDCs and relevant support mechanisms to drive national climate action and address climate change responses on a global scale.

The NDC Partnership: Linking Needs to Solutions

The NDC Partnership brings together more than 200 members, including 123 countries, developed and developing, and more than 90 international organizations and institutions, to support and drive ambitious climate action. With a focus on increasing alignment, coordination, and access to resources, the Partnership works to ensure effective connections between needs and solutions. Through its three key approaches, the NDC Partnership empowers countries to accelerate progress through their periodic iterations of enhanced NDCs, a central element of the Paris Agreement:

  • Country Engagement: The NDC Partnership supports governments in defining the processes, policies, and plans required to deliver NDC goals alongside other development objectives.
  • Knowledge and Information Sharing: Through knowledge tools, peer-to-peer exchanges, and capacity-building initiatives, the Partnership leverages local expertise and experiences, turning them into actionable global solutions. 
  • Access to Finance: Recognizing the critical role of financial resources, the NDC Partnership helps countries align their NDC goals with available funding mechanisms, including international climate finance. 

The relevance for SDSN, including national and regional networks

Climate action is not only a critical part of the SDGs (SDG 13) and of the 2030 Agenda, it also represents a growing concern for SDSN network members around the world. SDSN’s institutional membership in the NDC Partnership holds important opportunities for both the secretariat and its program teams, and over time, will also provide opportunities for SDSN country and regional networks. Alongside more than 90 other organizations, including the full range of UN agencies, the World Bank, and leading international think tanks and institutes, the NDCP provides us with an expanded platform for future collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and access to resources. Through engagement with the NDC Partnership, SDSN will have access to national requests for NDC support, international missions, and targeted technical assistance offers. This includes tasks around national climate and sectoral policy processes, strategies, and plans to deliver national targets in their respective contexts. Moreover, SDSN and its members will over time have additional opportunities to benefit from peer learning, knowledge exchange, and financial support facilitated by the Partnership.

The primary focus for initial SDSN engagement will likely be in countries and regions already in active collaboration with SDSN through existing programs; around ongoing SDSN work in the areas of energy, food, land use and nature, as well as around core SDSN activities and methodologies including NDC planning, policy integration, sectoral target and pathway development and modeling, action tracking, and monitoring, as well as policy delivery and implementation support. This will particularly offer opportunities to the FELD Catalyst and FABLE Consortium, to enhance their support for government partners in modeling and implementing quantitative targets for sustainable food and land use sectors within revised NDCs and long-term low carbon development strategies; and work related to the SDSN-facilitated Council of Engineers for the Energy Transition (CEET).

National endorsements of SDSN

SDSN is grateful to the support of the NDC Partnership Support Unit based at the UNFCCC headquarters in Bonn, Germany, and the governments of the Netherlands and France who endorsed SDSN's nomination. The endorsement reflects the recognition of SDSN’s work around the NDCs, and the potential for deepening our partnerships with these and other donor governments to the NDCP.

2023 Global NDC Conference

In conjunction with the formal welcome of SDSN to the NDC Partnership, SDSN was included in the program of the Third Global NDC Conference hosted jointly by the German Government, UNDP, and NDCP. The invitation-only conference for predominantly governments and key international organizations took place from 31 May – 2 June 2023 in Berlin, Germany, and involved more than 200 participants, all experts in NDC coordination and implementation, coming from more than 40 countries, and different technical backgrounds to discuss and work on:

  • Strengthening the network of practitioners and policymakers around NDCs;
  • Showcasing innovative ideas, approaches, positive examples, lessons learned, and good practices;
  • Building momentum for ambitious, timely, and scaled-up NDC implementation;
  • Reflecting on and strengthening participants’ capacity and agency to lead NDC processes in their context; and
  • Creating clarity around NDC update processes, next steps, and roles of different actors.