Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are commitments made by countries to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and limit the amount of climate change. NDCs are voluntary pledges made by countries as part of the Paris Agreement, an international agreement to combat climate change.

NDCs are designed to be “nationally determined” by each country, based on their own capacity and circumstances, and can be reviewed and updated over time. The Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, set the goal of keeping global temperature rise this century to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C. To meet this goal, countries need to reduce their GHG emissions by over 50% by 2050, compared to 2010 levels.

NDCs are key to meeting this goal and are the backbone of the Paris Agreement. NDCs are based on the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” (CBDR), which acknowledges that different countries have different capacities and circumstances and encourages countries to take action that is fair and appropriate for their individual circumstances. Each NDC includes a list of emissions reduction activities that countries commit to completing or achieving.

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On August 16th, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act (“IRA”), one of the most ambitious and potentially impactful climate policies in US history. This marks a shift in US climate action and, by putting emissions firmly on a downward trajectory, it sends a global signal that the world’s largest historical emitter is now beginning to meet its responsibilities.