Working Papers

Elaborating in the INDC context

Neha B Joseph

Centre for Policy Research

September 20, 2015

Several countries have embarked on nationwide processes to devise their ‘contributions’ towards a new global climate agreement set to be adopted at Paris in 2015. Sixty-two countries have already communicated their contributions to the UNFCCC, in pledges covering around 62.9% of global emissions in 2012. These contributions, formally known as ‘intended nationally determined contributions’ (INDCs) are expected to be the bedrock of post 2020 climate action and the building blocks of the 2015 climate deal, that is currently being negotiated by Parties. This paper discusses the emergence of this concept and outlines some of the legal and technical aspects of a contribution and their implications on ambition, adequacy and political feasibility. Section 3 analyses pledges in the submitted INDCs, with a special focus on G20 countries.
The term ‘INDC’ first emerged in 2013 at the Warsaw negotiations of the Conference of Parties (COP) in a decision inviting Parties “to initiate or intensify domestic preparationsfor their intended nationally determined contributions….. and to communicate them well in advance of the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (by the first quarter of 2015 by those Parties ready to do so)” For developed countries, INDCs will replace their Kyoto Protocol commitments; for developing countries, Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) will continue to be in force as implementation tools supporting the mitigation component of their INDCs.
Over the past year, countries have been negotiating to iron out differences on issues like differentiation, legal nature, scope, form and review of contributions with varying levels of success on each front. These issues are discussed in greater detail below

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