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About NDC Explorer

What is the NDC Explorer?
The NDC Explorer is an online tool to analyse and compare both countries' INDCs and NDCs. It is based solely on information in these documents. Watch an introduction video here.

What are the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)?
In 2013, the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) decided that every member state would submit an 'Intended Nationally Determined Contribution' (INDC). Countries based their INDCs on their specific national priorities, circumstances, and capabilities. The INDCs proved to be a cornerstone to reach the Paris Agreement. Every party that ratifies the Paris Agreement is invited to turn its INDC into a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) (see decision 1/CP.21, §22).
First and foremost, (I)NDCs intend to increase the ambition to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, by outlining countries ‘contributions’. However, most countries also use the opportunity to write about other priorities and ambitions, such as adaptation and finance needs. Countries also used their (I)NDC to highlight other important issues, such as fossil fuel subsidy reform or linkages to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Aim of the NDC Explorer
The NDC Explorer has two aims. First, it provides a neutral, sophisticated and user-friendly lens to analyse and compare both qualitative and quantitative (I)NDC content. The NDC Explorer is a crucial first step for the objective of the NDC Partnership. This partnership aims to achieve:
 • Enhanced visibility and access to existing NDC support programs
 • Better designed, more responsive NDC support programs
 • Greater alignment between climate and development agendas
 • Increased political momentum for implementation of the Paris Agreement
 • Transformational climate policies

Second, the NDC Explorer stimulates the debate on content, scope as well as formulation and implementation processes of the national climate action plans. In doing so, it supports policy makers in formulating improved and more ambitious (I)NDCs in 2020 and thereafter (see 1/CP.21, §23).

Subcategories, legends and analysis
According to Mbeva and Pauw, 2016, the UNFCCC guidance for INDC formulation (see decision 1/CP.20, § 10-17) was very limited in content and scope. (I)NDCs thus vary greatly in terms of structure, content, level of detail, and metrics used. As a result, it was sometimes difficult to fit 168 very diverse (I)NDCs under one subcategory with exclusive legend items (countries can only fall under one legend item). Wherever possible, we added legend items for (I)NDCs who provided more details.
For example, we demarcate mitigation as 'focus areas' when (I)NDCs 1) explicitly highlights and/or prioritises this sector; 2) and/or underlines the sector’s mitigation potential among other sectors; 3) and/or prioritises investments in this sector. Furthermore, we therefore added country-specific information in many subcategories.
The tool also allows for comparison across subcategories. There are 7 subcategories on mitigation sectors which have exactly the same legend; and under adaptation we illustrate the 5 most frequently mentioned climate risks, vulnerabilities, and priority sectors across INDCs.

Thorough and strict analysis
The team aimed to be as factual as possible and to avoid interpretations of (I)NDCs. This meant we sometimes had to exclude countries from certain legend items if they did not refer to certain concepts explicitly (such as REDD+ or SDGs and their expansions), but only described related issues or plans instead. The same accounts for sectors (e.g. derivatives of ‘agriculture’ or ‘transport’). In other cases, we identified information in particular sections, such as ‘planning process’ or ‘fairness and ambition’. We focused on the (I)NDC contributions until 2030.
The NDC Explorer is solely based on information communicated by Parties to the UNFCCC in their INDCs/NDCs. The dataset was jointly established by the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) and the UNFCCC secretariat. DIE is the sole entity responsible for the content and functionality of the NDC Explorer.

Country groups
The regional and income-level country groups are based on the World Bank Country Groups. Additional groups are available for the bar graph menu only, because the groups (e.g. the G20 and the OECD, or SIDS and LDCs are not mutually exclusive.

Suggestions for improvement
The project team did a careful data analysis, but cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes made. In case you come across any inconsistencies, please contact Pieter Pauw.

Developed by
The project and research was lead by Pieter Pauw (DIE) and supported by Davide Cassanmagnano (independent consultant), Kennedy Mbeva (ACTS), Jonas Hein, Alejandro Guarin, Clara Brandi, Thomas Bock, Joana Helms, Alina Zalewski, Ezra Frommé, Anika Lindener and Dilsham Muhammad (all DIE) as well as colleagues from the UNFCCC secretariat.
Martin Koch (DIE) supported the visual design and the development of the tool. Steffen Brüning, Giulia Pignataro, Eduardo Marzionna, and Patrick Heintzmann of Demodern GmbH designed and developed the online visualisation.
The NDC Explorer is a contribution to the NDC Partnership and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Reference / License: the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) holds the copyright to the NDC Explorer and the database that it is based on. It is licensed under Creative Commons and you are free to copy and redistribute material derived from the INDC Content Explorer by following the guideline of the Creative Commons License.
CC BY - ND (full attribution, no derivatives).

Suggested citation
Pauw, W.P, Cassanmagnano, D., Mbeva, K., Hein, J., Guarin, A., Brandi, C., Bock, T., Helms, J., Zalewski, A., Frommé. E., Lindener, A., Muhammad, D. (2016). NDC Explorer. German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Bonn and African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), Nairobi. DOI: 10.23661/ndc_explorer_2016_1.0

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