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Bonn, May 17 2016 - A high-level event at the Bonn Climate Change Conference today focused on how to move forward with implementing countries’ national climate action plans - nationally determined contributions (NDCs) - under the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The Paris Agreement emphasizes the importance of international cooperation in reaching its goals and the event set out to explore ways and means of assisting developing countries in their emission reduction efforts by providing financial, technical and capacity-building support.

Introducing the occasion, Don Cooper, Director of the Mitigation, Data and Analysis programme at the UNFCCC secretariats said that an important bridge had been passed because countries have moved into an era of implementation rather than negotiation. “Adopting the Paris Agreement and communicating NDCs is just the first step,” he said. “Now everyone needs to move towards this magical moment of implementation.”

The event panel included UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres, French Ambassador Laurence Tubiana, Moroccan Ambassador Aziz Mekouar and Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, Director General at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

NDCs - From Plan to Reality

With the adoption in 2015 of both the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, Ms Hoven said that “implementing the NDCs, coming from the negotiations to action, can be a true driver for sustainable development on the ground.”

Ms Figueres referred to this transition to action as “a remarkable opportunity to carve out a new reality because we have a very good blueprint in the Paris Agreement, but we have to make it real.”

Ms Tubiana stressed the need to ensure that all Parties have access to the strategies, policies and investment they need to transform their economy. “We have to integrate shorter term strategies into longer term vision,” she said.

“The generous contribution each country has made and will make in preparing NDCs,” said Ambassado Mekouar, “is how we demonstrate trust in the process and in our common ability to meet the climate change challenges head on.”

Finance for Reaching NDC Objectives

A session linking finance to NDC objectives included panelists from the World Bank, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). 

Encouragingly, there has been an 18% increase in global financial flows for climate change actions since 2014, but financing NDCs needs to be connected into such flows.  For this reason, panelists agreed on the key importance of translating NDCs into concrete programmes and project pipelines, enabling easier access to both the increased flows and pools of untapped capital.

A key component in driving the implementation of NDCs was seen to be the development of new funding models that provide both long-term funding and simplified access to climate finance.

There was acknowledgement of the important role of the private sector in financing and implementation, but also of the private sector’s reluctance to engage in too much risk.  To attract more private sector investment, panelists saw the need for governments to create concrete frameworks for the transformation of the sectors listed in their NDCs, ensuring necessary stability and predictability with regard to policy development in and for these sectors.

It was deemed critical that NDCs have long-term political support to allow for their full implementation over time. South-South cooperation can also play a role in securing financing for the implementation of NDCs.

Readiness and Implementation Support

A final session identified three key capacity-building aspects for the implementation of NDCs, with support needed for:

  1. The integration of climate change and development planning, where coherent policy frameworks are needed. Many NDCs focus on sectors such as the energy sector. These interventions cannot happen in isolation and need to be tied into national development plans. There is a clear capacity need for establishing such policy coherence.
  2. Transforming NDCs into implementable programmes and project pipelines is critical. There is a clear capacity need for the development of projects.
  3. Measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) systems at the national level are important aspects of climate action. Such MRV systems are needed for tracking the implementation of current NDCs, but also to help with the preparation of future NDCs. There is a clear capacity need with respect to developing and maintaining such national systems.

NDC Registry and Synthesis report

The secretariat has developed an interim public registry for the NDCs that currently contains 17 NDCs. On 2 May, the secretariat also updated and published the synthesis report on the aggregated effect of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) which showed that all Parties had raised their ambition levels compared to previous submissions.

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