Innovative ideas to drive NDC implementation – outcomes of the NDC Support Cluster workshop series

October 05, 2018
Financing NDC Implementation

Through a series of workshops, based on an innovative design-thinking methodology, the NDC Cluster has succeeded in formulating concrete approaches for addressing some of the crucial challenges in NDC implementation.

Many countries have started taking steps towards achieving the objectives set in their NDCs. However, barriers remain that are slowing down the implementation process. To address these barriers, in early and mid-2018 the NDC Support Cluster held a series of workshops on NDC implementation within its four thematic work streams – governance, sector approaches, financing, and transparency. In all the workshops, the Cluster’s implementing partners, together with renowned experts from climate and development implementing organisations, country governments, think tanks and academia, discussed answers to the question: What works and what is needed for a fast and effective NDC implementation? The series concluded with a synthesis workshop, held on 20 September 2018, in which representatives of the Cluster’s implementing partners discussed the overarching results and the way forward.

Design thinking for climate policy

The interactive workshops used an innovative design-thinking method called ‘prototyping’. This provided participants with numerous opportunities to discuss key challenges and barriers faced by partner countries when implementing their NDCs and to share experiences and ideas on how to overcome them. Identifying solutions in this way resulted in the development of a comprehensive collection of ‘NDC implementation approaches’. These approaches gather together the intelligence captured from the different participants and summarise innovative ways of enhancing NDC implementation in different areas. All of these approaches will be published on the NDC Cluster’s website in the final quarter of 2018.

The workshop topics

The workshop on the theme of sector approaches, held in April 2018 in Berlin, centred on the question: How can NDCs drive transformation in the energy sector? The resulting discussions focused on three key challenges: the role of different stakeholders for NDC implementation, building an enabling environment for this process, and identifying meaningful entry points for mainstreaming the NDC in the energy sector.

For more information on the sector approaches workshop, visit

The workshop of the thematic working group on financing, held in June 2018 in Cape Town, looked at the best ways to mobilise private sector finance to achieve NDC goals. The discussions focused on mobilising finance for NDC implementation in the energy sector, fostering the financing of adaptation measures, and climate-proofing private investments.

For more information on the climate financing workshop, visit

In June 2018 the working groups for the two themes of governance and transparency held their respective workshops in parallel at the same venue in Washington DC, which enabled them to run a number of joint sessions throughout the event. The overarching question for both groups was: How can we enhance transparency and governance frameworks for integrated NDC implementation? The governance workshop participants discussed two main topics: vertical integration for NDC implementation, and horizontal coordination for NDC implementation and cross-cutting coordination issues. The transparency workshop discussions centred on three topics: effective target setting, assessing greenhouse gas (GHG) and non-GHG impacts of subnational climate policies and actions, and integrated approaches for tracking progress.

For more information on the governance and transparency workshops, visit:

The way forward

Identifying the challenges and barriers faced by partner countries is an important step towards implementing the NDCs. However, the purpose of the NDC Cluster workshop series was also to find ways to overcome these obstacles. To develop concrete solutions, the workshops discussed and formulated NDC implementation approaches for the themes of governance, transparency, the role of sector approaches, and finance. It is envisaged that these approaches will serve as valuable input for further discussions on international networks and initiatives such as the NDC Partnership. In addition, country representatives and partners might consider using these approaches as a starting point in their work to identify concrete ways to further support national NDC processes.

The NDC Cluster’s implementing partners, together with other participants who participated in developing the approaches, are in the process of further refining the concepts for these approaches and are looking for opportunities to pilot certain elements. In upcoming cluster events, including the second Global NDC Conference to be held in June 2019 in Berlin, the partners will disseminate the approaches and provide information on the next steps in the process. Furthermore, the NDC Cluster is set to publish a policy paper that will summarise some of the key lessons learned and messages arising from the workshop series as a whole.

The methodology employed in this workshop series has proven so successful that the NDC Cluster is keen to continue working with it. The next opportunity to do so will be on 2–5 October in Bangkok at the Cluster workshop on Experience and Approaches for Advancing National Adaptation Planning and Implementation to Achieve the Adaptation Goals of the Paris Agreement.

For more information please refer to the concept notes, insights, and presentation results down below.



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