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GEF's Support for Nationally Determined Contributions

June 3, 2015

INDC map
The GEF is providing INDC support to countries financed from national STAR allocations from the GEF.

Countries across the world adopted a universal climate agreement at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) in Paris in 2015, with the long-term goals to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2°C compared to pre-industrial temperatures, and to achieve net zero emissions in the second half of this century.

What are INDCs?

The concept of “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)” was proposed at COP 19 in Warsaw in 2013. The INDC refers to the contribution to climate actions by countries considering their national circumstance to achieve the 2°C goal. At COP 20 in Lima in 2014, countries were invited to communicate their INDCs by October 2015 so that the UN Climate Change Secretariat could prepare a synthesis report on aggregate effects of INDCs in advance of COP 21 in Paris in 2015.

Why are INDCs important?

INDCs were an important foundation for the climate negotiations that took place in Paris on December 2015 during COP 21. As a national exercise, preparing their INDCs helped countries to assess and propose emission reductions for the future, as well as mitigation actions to accomplish them. Comprehending the aggregate effect of INDCs, or NDCs as countries formally join the Paris Agreement and submit updated NDCs every five years, will help determine how close the parties are in achieving the long-term goals of the agreement. While INDC preparation will mainly consider national priorities, their implementation will lead to domestic benefits as well as global benefits by taking climate action as an opportunity to improve the national socio-economic system towards sustainable development.

What is the GEF doing to support this work?

At COP 19 in 2013, Parties requested developed countries, the operating entities of the financial mechanism and any other organizations in a position to do so to provide support to activities in relation to the domestic preparations for INDCs. In response, the GEF helped countries initiate or intensify domestic preparations for their INDCs through:

1. Support for individual INDC preparation: The GEF has provided INDC support to 46 countries through stand-alone projects, umbrella projects and combined with enabling activities. Individual country support is financed from national STAR allocations from the GEF.

The total amount of GEF resources programmed for INDC preparation is approximately $11.3 million. All of these countries have submitted their INDCs, with most of them doing so prior to the Paris COP (Visit UNFCCC INDC Portal to see more and the submitted INDCs).

2. Global Support Program: As preparatory support for countries, an INDC support element was added to Global Support Program for National Communications (NCs) and Biennial Update Reports (BURs). This program, implemented by UN Environment and UNDP, provides capacity building support, including information sharing and knowledge management. In addition to this, technical backstopping to national teams for INDC preparations, including guidance materials, methodologies, and tools, is provided to improve the quality of INDCs.

3. Participation in Regional Technical Dialogues on INDCs: In 2014 and 2015, UNDP and UNFCCC, in partnership with the World Resource Institute (WRI), held a series of regional technical dialogues on INDCs to support countries in the process of preparing and putting forward their contributions. The GEF was requested to participate in order to provide information on the availability of GEF support for INDC preparation. The GEF attended the first and second Regional Technical Dialogues for Latin American and Caribbean, as well as the second Regional Technical Dialogue for Africa. Through these dialogues, the GEF briefed the participating countries and institutions about the support the GEF could provide for INDC preparation, introduced the Global Support Program, and discussed ways in which countries can program GEF STAR resources for their own INDC development (Click here to see more information about the Regional Technical Dialogues). 

This information was updated on June 22, 2017.