partnership in action report 2019:

lessons from the climate action frontline

about this report

Three years on, the NDC Partnership’s hard work is bearing fruit. Together, we are producing country led plans that offer a pathway to achieving the low-carbon, climate-resilient societies envisaged by the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Across the world, our country members and institutional partners collaborate to cut economy-wide emissions, build sustainable communities, mobilize financial and technical support, and engage civil society. As more governments seek support for turning NDCs into action, the number of countries in which the Partnership is providing direct support has grown from 36 to over 60 in the past year.

This publication reports on the Partnership’s progress in 2019, showcasing concrete results and scalable lessons learned as its work expands around the globe. While these are early steps on a long road, they reflect the momentum that will propel on-the-ground climate action forward. As the international community seeks to accelerate climate action and meet the Paris Agreement goals, we hope the achievements and lessons described below will spur further progress within and beyond the NDC Partnership. 



by the NDC Partnership Co-Chairs

In November 2019, the NDC Partnership celebrates its third anniversary. We are proud to serve as co-chairs of this inspirational coalition of countries and institutions rising to the global climate challenge.

In three short years, the Partnership has had a remarkable impact. As of November, membership encompassed 104 countries, 35 international institutions, and 23 associate members, all working together to deliver the world’s commitments and goals under the Paris Agreement. We work directly with over 60 developing country governments on nationally determined contribution (NDC) implementation, helping mainstream climate action into domestic sustainable development agendas, enhance countries’ climate ambition, and mobilize finance for the transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient economies.

But we must do more, and faster.

The climate science warns us that we have less than a decade left to avoid the most damaging climate scenarios, therefore in 2019 we have devoted more Partnership expertise and resources to supporting governments in raising climate ambition. This is a critical moment: as countries submit revised NDCs to the UNFCCC in 2020, we have to see significant increases in ambition if we are to meet the Paris Agreement’s temperature goal.

In this context, the Partnership recently launched a groundbreaking support mechanism to enable countries to drive greater ambition in the next round of NDCs. The Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP) and its Technical Assistance Fund supports members to develop ambitious, evidence-based NDCs with broad ownership from across government and society. As of November, 50 countries are receiving support from 31 Partnership members to develop options for NDC enhancement and greater ambition. This support, in line with the Paris Agreement, is vital to ensure that all countries can participate fully in climate action that promotes low-emission development and greater resilience. The Partnership stands ready to work with its members every step of the way as they put their upgraded climate plans and targets into practice.

This year’s Partnership in Action report provides many inspiring examples and models for the way forward on NDC implementation, enhancement, and finance. These include climate mainstreaming in Jordan, high-level commitment in Saint Lucia, and innovative financing in Mali, among other country pioneers.

We are at a critical moment, and all countries need to increase their efforts through deeper cuts in emissions, more work to build resilience, and deployment of the resources needed to make this happen. Despite the long and challenging road ahead, the progress of the Partnership gives us hope.


Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, the Netherlands


Minister of Environment and Energy,
Costa Rica



The NDC Partnership is a global coalition of over 150 countries and institutions collaborating to drive transformational climate action while enhancing sustainable development. We are working directly with over 60 developing country governments, mobilizing resources and expertise to support and accelerate NDC implementation and increased ambition in updated NDCs. Member countries drive our approach, with a focus on:

  • Providing fast track direct technical support to developing and implementing NDCs, in alignment with national development plans and sustainable development goals.
  • Drafting, designing, and implementing climate-development investment plans.
  • Working with finance ministries to embed climate action into domestic planning and budgets.
  • Scaling solutions through knowledge and learning activities such as peer-to-peer exchange, development of online resources, and analysis of learning from in-country actions.
  • Engaging investors in project pipelines through Partnership Plans.

Building Country Capacity


The NDC Partnership brings the right partners together to achieve concrete results (see Who We Are). In our on-the-ground work in developing countries, we use a dialogue driven, country-led engagement process to catalyze and implement national climate and development priorities. Three years on, this process has become an effective model for turning NDCs from political vision into results-based action around the world.

In particular, governments are using NDC Partnership Plans to identify national climate priorities, drive crossgovernment coordination, and leverage support from our implementing and development partners. Many are being adopted as countries’ official NDC implementation plans.

The NDC Partnership’s global impact goes far beyond our work with individual countries. By sharing lessons learned by members and resources from our network of knowledge partners, we help drive and inform effective climate action worldwide. Our Knowledge Portal helps governments navigate NDC planning and implementation with easy access to practical guidance, tools, and funding opportunities—including through our Climate Finance Explorer, Climate Toolbox, and Good Practice Database. We also host peer-to-peer events where countries and institutions learn directly from one another’s challenges and successes.









Based in Washington, DC, United States, and Bonn, Germany, and hosted by the World Resources Insitute (WRI) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).


  • Build country capacity and facilitate knowledge sharing to support governments in meeting climate and sustainable development goals;
  • Disseminate knowledge resources and lessons learned;
  • Promote enhanced financial support for timely and effective NDC implementation; and
  • Work with countries to increase climate ambition over time.
The Partnership’s peer-to-peer learning and knowledge products benefit all country and institutional members. In addition, in many developing countries, the NDC Partnership works on the ground through a transparent, inclusive country engagement process.



Governments and donor agencies that support the NDC Partnership’s work on the ground.


Country, institutional, or NGO partners that provide technical assistance and capacity building in response to a member country’s requests to the Partnership.



Countries’ commitments under the Paris Agreement represent a not-to-be-missed opportunity to deliver transformational climate action while enhancing sustainable development. Already, NDCs are driving action in areas where progress is critical to meet the Paris goals, limit warming, and adapt to a changing climate in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Integrating countries’ climate and development efforts, scaling up ambition, and financing climate action have been the main priorities for which the NDC Partnership has provided support and in which member countries are showing significant progress. Summarized below, these three themes provide the framework for this annual report.


Countries are integrating climate action into domestic policy, planning, and budget agendas across government. By covering all climate-related sectors and engaging civil society, sub-national actors, and business, countries are establishing and implementing climate priorities that will transform their economies. Many are also integrating efforts to meet their NDCs and the SDGs.


As the severity of climate change impacts increases, countries are enhancing their climate targets, plans, and actions ahead of the 2020 deadline built into the Paris Agreement. They are raising the bar by pursuing more transformative goals, expanding climate action to cover new sectors and activities, and setting tighter timelines for meeting mitigation or adaptation goals.


Countries are using Partnership Plans to mobilize climate finance from domestic, international, institutional, and private sector sources. Domestically, ministries are turning NDCs into sectoral investment plans and committing domestic budgets. By identifying clear priorities and bankable projects, governments are paving the way for international development partners to tailor climate finance to national needs, as well as sending strong signals to the private sector and financial institutions to increase and accelerate their commitments.

partnership in action report 2019


To meet their Paris commitments and protect their populations in a warming world, countries must pursue a holistic vision for climate action and national development. In many countries where the NDC Partnership works, this process is already underway. From Colombia to the Dominican Republic, Uganda, Jordan, and beyond, governments are using NDCs as roadmaps to embed climate, social, and economic planning across ministries, sectors, and budgets.

Integrating climate change into a sustainable development transition is an immensely challenging task for all countries. The NDC Partnership provides wide-ranging support to members around the world. In many cases, this begins with facilitating dialogue and coordination among key government players to drive economy-wide climate planning and action. Our implementing and development partners then provide expertise and funding to advance NDC implementation, in line with country requests. Areas that governments prioritize for Partnership support include development of policy and legal frameworks and budget processes, and climate planning and implementation in key sectors including energy, agriculture, forestry, water, and transport. Countries also use their Partnership Plans as a means to refine their climate priorities to meet NDC goals, drive crossgovernment coordination, and leverage support. Beyond climate action, Partnership countries are demonstrating how NDC implementation can drive other development outcomes such as greater gender equality.

By working together in these ways and more, Partnership countries and institutions lay the foundations for more sustainable development. The following pages highlight this vital work in action around the world.


Climate action must take root locally, built on effective cooperation between central governments, regions, and municipalities. Yet such vertical integration can be complex and costly, hindering progress. To counter these barriers, the Partnership builds country capacity to implement climate policies and projects across all levels of government.

Transformative and equitable climate action must also involve everyone affected. Around the world, the NDC Partnership advances inclusive processes for climate planning that help mainstream action and mobilize finance. We support public engagement campaigns and wide-ranging consultations with civil society, the private sector, and other stakeholders who bring valuable perspectives.

A woman waters saplings at a tree nursery in Hrazdan, Armenia. Afforestation, forest protection, and carbon storage in soil are integral to Armenia’s NDC and mitigation strategy, which aims to achieve over 20 percent forest cover by 2050. Photo by Vahan Amatunyan


In several countries, the NDC Partnership supports government efforts to deliver win-win societal benefits by integrating action on climate commitments and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Dominican Republic is a prime example.

Its NDC Action Plan was developed by a broad range of state and non-state actors coordinated by the National Council for Climate Change and Clean Development Mechanism (CNCCMDL) and the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development. In 2018, the Caribbean state sought to link its NDC Action Plan more closely to national development. To inform government thinking and planning, the Partnership supported an analysis of how the NDC Action Plan would also spur progress on the SDGs.

The mapping project showed that meeting the 27 deliverables in the Dominican Republic’s NDC Action Plan would contribute to achieving all 17 SDGs while accelerating progress on 15 of them.

This mapping exercise demonstrates that the country is moving forward with an integrated domestic agenda that advances climate action alongside economic and jobs growth, responsible consumption and production, and affordable energy, in addition to other development benefits.

Specifically, the findings suggest that the NDC Action Plan will lead to the development of win-win policies and projects in sectors including water, energy, and transportation—and associated international finance—as the Government advances on its implementation in 2019 to 2021.

The NDC Action Plan elaboration process has also enabled government outreach to civil society and the private sector, including energy producers and the tourism industry, to mobilize multi-stakeholder engagement in climate action.


After Uganda joined the NDC Partnership, the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development issued a circular in 2016, through the Ministry of Water and Environment, requiring all relevant sectors to plan climate change interventions. These actions will support the country’s NDC target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 22 percent against business as usual by 2030.

The Ministry of Water and Environment, responsible for NDC implementation, sees this as an important step in three ways: first, toward integrating climate action into medium- and long-term planning; second, by facilitating access to adaptation and mitigation finance from multiple sources; and third, as a critical focus on a “whole of government” approach embracing iterative planning and budgeting that takes climate change into account thereby promoting the individual well-being and livelihoods of the Ugandan people. As the Ministry’s Climate Change Department (MWE/CCD) follows through on implementation, the government and NDC Partnership are collaborating to deliver transformative climate action and mobilize technical and financial support. The jointly developed NDC Partnership Plan has improved alignment of development partner support for climate action and the Government meets regularly with partners to share progress on Plan activities.

For example, UNDP’s NDC Support Programme and FAO are supporting efforts to incorporate a wide range of mitigation and adaptation strategies from the Partnership Plan into the third phase of Uganda’s National Development Plan. Key elements include enhanced coordination, climate-responsive investment plans, private sector engagement, and a gender action plan for climate-related activity across sectors and local government, among others.

The Partnership is already helping Uganda advance its climate agenda on multiple fronts. During 2019 to 2020, the National Planning Authority (NPA) will deliver procedures for integrating climate change matters across sectors and local governments, with support from implementing partners. In parallel, the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development is implementing climate change budget tagging of relevant public expenditure on water, energy, agriculture, and transport, as well as an innovative climate change and disaster management screening tool developed by the World Bank. CARE International and a local NGO, the Environmental Management for Livelihood Improvement Bwaise Facility, are tracking international finance flows for adaptation in Uganda. In addition, Partnership institutions are raising public awareness of Uganda’s climate, green growth, and sustainable development goals. The African Development Bank (AfDB), FAO, GIZ, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), IUCN, the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), the Swedish government, UNDP, and WRI are among those facilitating engagement activities.

Moving forward, Partnership support for NDC-related programs and projects will also seek to mobilize private sector investment. Technical assistance from the Netherlands is building capacity at the NPA to develop effective, investment-ready climate projects. AfDB already supports a bankable scheme—the Strategic Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project—in line with Uganda’s water sub-sector adaptation targets.

In June 2018, Uganda became the first African country to release its NDC Partnership Plan, which identifies five priority areas set by the Government for implementation of its NDC and connects priorities to available partner and program resources from across the NDC Partnership and its network. Photo by Edward Echwalu

Member countries are using results-focused Partnership Plans to convert their NDCs from political vision into climate action roadmaps. A leading example is Jordan, the first Middle Eastern country where the NDC Partnership is engaged on the ground. Jordan’s government is fast-tracking its Partnership Plan, known in-country as an NDC Action Plan, to deliver measurable and transformational action in the energy, transport, agriculture, water, and health sectors.

Approved in July 2019 by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Environment, the NDC Action Plan seeks to scale renewables and energy efficiency measures, adapt the water, agricultural, and health sectors to climate change impacts, and strengthen the resilience of disadvantaged groups and vulnerable ecosystems. Successful implementation would drive progress toward Jordan’s 2025 NDC targets, which include producing 11 percent of its energy from renewables and replanting 25 percent of deforested areas in the country’s rain belt.

With Partnership support, five sectoral working groups will prioritize and facilitate implementation of key activities in the target sectors, including preparing bankable projects. To align climate and national development policies and help channel funds into climate action, the Government will integrate the NDC Action Plan into its participatory, three-year executive development program. The Action Plan is being mainstreamed as a possible investment plan for the Jordan Environment Fund, which finances climate-related initiatives. The Fund is supported by the Partnership through the Netherlands government. Its goals include a revised Strategic Plan, resource mobilization strategy, and the development and deployment of new financial instruments.

Partnership institutions already engaged in or committed to helping Jordan deliver its climate roadmap include the European Commission, Germany, the ILO, the IsDB, the Netherlands, and UNDP. Jordan is looking to engage more partners as the rollout of its NDC Action Plan progresses.

Mozambique’s 2020-2025 NDC Roadmap identifies sectoral priorities to support a low-carbon economy, increase the country’s resilience to climate change, and improve the livelihoods of its communities.

The NDC Partnership, through FAO, the World Bank, and Portugal’s Camões Institute, closely collaborated with the government of Mozambique in supporting the coordination, formulation, discussion, validation, and final approval of the NDC Roadmap in late 2018. Stakeholders from across society, including government, civil society, academia, the private sector, and the public took part in the process at the national, regional, and local levels

A detailed NDC Operationalization Plan will guide implementation of sectoral priorities to achieve the NDC’s targets, including low-carbon emissions as well as mechanisms and processes for reporting, verification, and assessment of training needs. The Operationalization Plan covers the NDC’s five-year period activities in the following sectors: agriculture and fisheries, forestry, land use, waste, transport and energy, health and social protection, waste, and early warning systems. Its implementation will serve as a crucial instrument for advancing development measures and mobilizing development stakeholders in Mozambique

While the NDC formulation process is not yet completed, Mozambique now has a country-driven and government-approved NDC that responds to the current challenges of adaptation and mitigation. The NDC Partnership is currently providing technical assistance to finalize a robust, consolidated NDC for Mozambique’s government to submit to the UNFCCC. Moving forward, strengthened climate funding processes and effective adoption of transparency mechanisms will be indispensable for its successful implementation nationwide.

Effective climate action will take the efforts of whole societies, and the NDC Partnership prioritizes support for gender equality and gender-responsive NDCs in its work. These efforts include working with governments to deliver more equal climate outcomes for women and men related to both adaptation and mitigation. In particular, giving women greater agency and decision-making in climate work can unlock significant potential for increased climate resilience and mitigation at every level of society. Toward this end, the Partnership works through member institutions and initiatives, including UNDP’s NDC Support Programme, which has a strong gender focus.

For example, the Partnership has directly contributed to more inclusive gender-responsive climate planning in Peru and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, where increased multi-stakeholder engagement has shed light on the different needs of women and men, as well as other stakeholder groups. This information, in turn, helped governments to better include women’s perspectives and needs in NDC plans and projects.

Globally, the NDC Partnership shares best practices and tools on how to mainstream gender-responsive climate action, provided by members, via its Knowledge Portal and at global forums.

In September 2019, the Partnership launched a new Gender Strategy, outlining how gender equality will be mainstreamed in its own processes.

Rebeca Mbonyumugisha works for Strawtec, a Rwandan company that manufactures low-cost, renewable, and biodegradable construction materials. Photo by Edward Echwalu

partnership in action report 2019


Under the Paris Agreement, all country signatories are invited to update and communicate their national plans to mitigate carbon emissions and adapt to climate change every five years, starting in 2020. With rising global temperatures now affecting people and economies worldwide, this deadline is critical to contain the damage by scaling climate ambition.

Current commitments by 183 countries fall far short of the Paris goal to keep warming well below 2°C—and preferably no more than 1.5°C—above pre-industrial levels. The NDC Partnership, through Partnership Plans and the Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP), works with countries to enhance ambition by:

  • Adopting stronger mitigation and/or adaptation targets
  • Accelerating original timelines for meeting climate targets or taking climate actions
  • Expanding NDCs to include new economic sectors or additional targets


The Partnership takes a flexible approach to raising ambition. We support countries through capacity building and providing technical and financial resources, based on their unique local circumstances. As the examples in this report show, our country engagement can drive momentum for stronger climate action by bringing together key actors and identifying sector needs, project pipelines, and finance opportunities. The graphic below shows the kind of approaches countries can adopt to enhance their NDCs, strengthening domestic and global climate progress.


In September 2019, the NDC Partnership launched a major initiative to fast-track support to countries revising their NDCs with a view to increasing ambition. As the 2020 deadline for submitting enhanced NDCs approaches, our goal is to encourage stronger national targets and actions and set countries up for long-term success.

The Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP) offers members technical and financial support to develop and implement robust, evidence-based 2030 climate plans, for submission by 2020, with broad ownership across government and society. It works by:

• Tapping new and existing NDC support avenues from developed country members and implementing partners.

• Providing access to a new Technical Assistance Fund for fast deployment of additional, targeted aid.

• Supporting country contributions to the UN Secretary-General’s (UNSG) Climate Action Summit in September 2019.

• Inviting country proposals for specific mitigation and adaptation activities and commitments. These include stronger greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation targets, adding new sectors or GHGs to original NDC targets, strengthening adaptation goals, plans, and action, and fleshing out how revised climate plans will be implemented, costed, financed, and governed. The first round of requests, opened during the Climate Action pre-Summit, resulted in 50 countries stating their intention to work towards greater ambition in mitigation and adaptation through activities that drive a whole-of-government approach, engage with stakeholders across society, and support gender equality.

The successful requests received pledges of support from 31 implementing partners, drawing both on their own resources and the Technical Assistance Fund of over USD15 million. For instance, Jamaica seeks support for the development of its long-term GHG emission reduction strategy (2021 to 2050) to complement its ongoing work to update its NDC; Pakistan seeks to strengthen its mitigation targets, including through strengthened measuring, reporting, and verification (MRV) capacity and expanded sectoral coverage; and Burkina Faso seeks to develop sector-specific action plans with gender mainstreaming. A second call for requests was launched on 8 October 2019, during the Pre-COP. As this report went to print, the results were not yet announced, but second round results, as well as all other information related to CAEP, can be found online at

Led by the Presidential Office of Climate Change and the Natural Resources and Environment Secretariat, Honduras has been turning its NDC Roadmap into action since 2017, and is preparing its updated NDC.

The country’s Partnership Plan is the main vehicle for delivering enhanced mitigation, reviewing priorities, and strengthening adaptation targets. These include a 15 percent reduction of relative emissions compared to business as usual, land reforestation and restoration of 1 million hectares, and coordination of actions by domestic stakeholders and international partners. As the Government rolls out this NDC Roadmap, it has shared lessons learned at regional events such as the Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week and the Regional Climate Finance Dialogue, as well as with other Partnership countries, including the Dominican Republic, Paraguay, and Panama.

The Roadmap identifies 21 priority activities for 2018 to 2020, including an updated NDC and national climate change investment plan, data collection and monitoring, capacity building, and public awareness. The land reforestation and restoration effort is a centerpiece of the country’s updated plans for both climate action and sustainable development. More than 200,000 small-scale livestock, coffee, and palm producers are expected to benefit through a financial inclusion mechanism that will provide incentives to take sustainable actions that increase productivity while reducing GHG emissions. NDC Partnership support for implementing this agenda is already underway. UN Environment, through the Green Climate Fund Readiness Programme and GIZ NDC Assist program, is assisting ministries in identifying sector-specific mitigation measures and commitments for the updated NDC and supporting the overall review and update of the NDC. The World Bank’s NDC Support Facility is building on a selection of those measures to develop comprehensive implementation pathways to deliver capacity building for their implementation as well as undertake vulnerability assessments in the Dry Corridor to identify adaptation priorities. The European Union, through Euroclima+, is also contributing to the implementation of the updated Roadmap through a €5 million proposal to pilot the mechanism for financial inclusion in selected rural areas over the next five years.

Furthermore, the Intersectoral Committee for the NDC, established in August 2019, has strengthened the national governance for NDC implementation. The Committee’s main responsibility in the short term will be the preparation of a revised and updated NDC to be presented to the UNFCCC in 2020. The committee will work in a participatory and inclusive manner ensuring the necessary sectoral commitment and long-term engagement for NDC implementation.

Photo by Lexie Harris-Crip

Costa Rica is setting a global example of bold leadership on climate ambition. The Government’s immediate commitments, as reflected in the country’s NDC goals, include a maximum net emission of 9.37 million tons of GHG by 2030 while protecting climate-vulnerable populations and economic sectors. Over the longer term, the Central American country is aiming for a net-zero emissions economy by 2050 through transformative action encompassing transport, energy, industry, agriculture, and waste and landscape management.

In February 2019, Costa Rica’s President unveiled a comprehensive Decarbonization Plan, which will serve as a roadmap for this development vision alongside the National Strategic Plan: Costa Rica 2050. Rolling sector-based targets will drive progress toward zero emissions, including goals to electrify 70 percent of buses and taxis on the country’s roads by 2035 and reach full public transport electrification by 2050. Other targets include transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy, expanding Costa Rica’s forest cover from 52 percent to 60 percent of national territory by 2030, expanding sanitary and storm sewer systems, and reducing the agriculture sector’s carbon footprint.

The current Costa Rican administration has taken substantial steps to reach these targets. The country has enacted laws and incentives to promote electric vehicles and sustainable mobility, imposed limits on the imports of old and broken-down vehicles, and signed an emission reduction agreement with the agriculture and livestock sector—the first of its kind in the country. Ministries began mainstreaming the Decarbonization Plan throughout national planning processes, as well as embedding its priorities in the upcoming National Strategic Plan and Costa Rica’s revised NDC, to be submitted to the UNFCCC in 2020. These priorities will also drive new sectoral emission reduction agreements, in addition to those already in place for agriculture and transport.

The NDC Partnership is supporting Costa Rica’s transformative climate agenda on several fronts, including the development of an NDC investment plan that analyzes the costs, investment needs, and co-benefits of 28 priority climate actions. The IDB is now supporting a cost-benefit analysis of the Decarbonization Plan and preparing select projects for financing with government guidance. IDB and GIZ are also assisting with the update of Costa Rica’s national climate plan. The World Bank’s Partnership for Market Readiness and UNDP’s NDC Support Programme are among partners supporting climate change metrics and modeling, as Costa Rica turns its bold climate plans into action.

Photo by GIZ, Mi Transporte, Ministry of Environment and Energy

Zimbabwe’s economy relies on climate-vulnerable sectors including agriculture, forestry, energy, and tourism. The country’s current NDC, committing to a 33 percent drop in emissions from business as usual levels by 2030, focuses on energy. As it updates its NDC, the Government is expanding the NDC’s scope to be economy-wide and explore broader carbon reduction opportunities, with Partnership support.

Zimbabwe assessed gaps and needs in meeting its mitigation goal through the energy sector and developed a broader implementation framework for mitigation with support from the World Bank. In addition, UNDP is assisting the government in crafting a Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) encompassing the energy, agriculture, forestry, industrial products, and waste sectors. Based on the results, cross-government efforts are now underway to develop an expanded mitigation and adaptation three-year plan. The LEDS and the mitigation plans are setting the foundation for a strategic and long-term vision, while the Partnership Plan looks at shorter-term priority areas that will enable further actions. Eight ministries are involved, including those responsible for finance and economic development, energy, local government, industry and commerce, transport, tourism, small businesses, and women’s affairs. Twenty development partners are supporting the process.

The consultation process—which included Zimbabwe’s Parliament, civil society, and private sector, as well as the country’s ongoing mainstreaming efforts—is led by the Climate Change Management Department within the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Climate, Water, and Rural Resettlement and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. A Climate Change Act is also in the works to set the improved regulatory framework for the implementation of Zimbabwe’s updated NDC. UNDP and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation are supporting the legislation’s development, along with climate policy capacity building among members of Parliament. Finally, the Government also launched a Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund, a USD80 million multi-donor fund active in 18 rural districts, with support from the European Union, Sweden, UNDP, and the United Kingdom.

The Partnership’s engagement in Zimbabwe has strengthened cross-government ownership of climate action, opening the door to expanded ambition.

Photo by Ulrich Mueller / Shutterstock

In May 2019, the Republic of Namibia’s President declared a state of emergency due to the natural disaster of drought in the whole country. Since 2013, most parts of Namibia have recorded below normal rainfall, thereby leaving the grazing land exhausted with very limited recovery. Faced with falling river levels and little rainfall across the country over the past year, the Government is prioritizing improved water resources management to secure the water supply and ensure food security for its 2.5 million people. The Government has so far set aside N$500 million (USD40m) to buy food, conduct water tank rehabilitation and drilling of new boreholes, and create incentives to transport livestock to areas with better grazing.

The NDC Partnership is now supporting the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and relevant ministries to include water resources as a priority issue in Namibia’s updated NDC, due in 2020. This will enable more effective cross-sector climate planning that embeds water management into climate action. It will also raise Namibia’s climate ambition on the global stage and help leverage international support for vital water management projects to mitigate intensifying climate impacts.

On the ground, the Partnership is mobilizing support for water-smart projects that benefit Namibia’s smallholder farmers. This includes aquifer recharging projects and other drought response measures. Under the Partnership umbrella, the World Bank’s NDC Support Facility is piloting integrated approaches to landscape and watershed management, and France is financing geological surveys to locate new boreholes in drought-prone areas. The World Food Programme (WFP) is also exploring various mechanisms to strengthen early warning systems to better prepare communities for extreme climatic events.

Photo by Vladislav T. Jirousek / Shutterstock

Caribbean islands are embracing low-carbon development to deliver economic benefits while bolstering climate resilience.

Grenada, for example, is working with the NDC Partnership to strengthen the implementation and enhancement of its NDC by taking concrete mitigation actions in key sectors and expanding the scope of current climate commitments, including those from the 2012 energy policy. Following broad-based consultations involving key sectors, an implementation plan has been developed to support the country’s goal of cutting GHG emissions by 30 percent from 2010 levels by 2025. This NDC Partnership Plan is linked to key strategic documents, such as the draft National Sustainable Development Plan 2020-2035, the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy, the National Climate Change Policy, the Technology Needs Assessment, the National Adaptation Plan, and the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan.

Through its engagement with the Partnership, Grenada’s Government has committed to enhancing its NDC, with support from all sectors engaged in the validation of the Partnership Plan. It also has already identified opportunities for strengthening of the NDC by 2020. These include potentially broadening emission reduction activities to include more types of GHGs (in particular HFCs) and to include liquid waste in addition to solid waste as part of the waste sector. The government is also exploring innovative mitigation opportunities from the blue economy.

Grenada is highly vulnerable to climate impacts, in particular storm damages, coastal floodings, forest fires, crop losses, water shortages and rising incidences of pests and diseases. To address its critical adaptation and resilience needs, the Partnership Plan includes a set of climate resilience projects consistent with the GCF Country Program.

In Jamaica, where seven in ten citizens live in coastal areas threatened by erosion, sea level rise, and intensifying storms, the Government is charting a similar course. The NDC Partnership, through the World Bank’s NDC Support Facility, is supporting the Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation as well as the Planning Institute of Jamaica in the process of reviewing and enhancing their NDC. Efforts are focused on broadening the sectoral scope and possibly increasing the mitigation targets in the energy sector. A revised NDC will be submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat in 2020. Once mitigation pathways are clear, the Partnership will support the planning of specific interventions in the form of an NDC implementation plan designed to translate commitment into concrete measures and project pipeline potentials or draft potential activities.

partnership in action report 2019


As this report demonstrates, Partnership countries are embracing the imperative to mainstream climate action. Some are also pledging to accelerate or expand climate commitments. Turning these plans into effective action, however, requires much more finance than is currently being deployed.

While the Paris Agreement mandates international finance for developing countries, and all signatories agree to deploy domestic budgets to implement NDCs, progress on both fronts has been slow. A swift injection of funds from additional sources—including bilateral aid, multilateral development banks (MDBs), and the private sector—is now critical to realistic prospects for meeting the Paris goals.

In 2019, the NDC Partnership stepped up efforts to bridge the climate finance gap. In addition to launching CAEP (see page 19), we supported countries in mobilizing finance by:

  • Working with finance ministries to embed climate action into domestic planning and budgets, including through the Coalition of Ministers of Finance
  • Supporting countries in the preparation of NDC investment plans
  • Providing direct support through implementing partner programs
  • Sharing finance solutions, such as national climate funds
  • Engaging the private sector in project pipelines through Partnership Plan


Member countries and development partners have also been collaborating at a regional level to raise finance for low-carbon and climate resilient development. For example, the Africa NDCs Hub channels resources, including finance, capacity building, and technology development and transfer across 54 countries, coordinated by the AfDB’s Climate Change and Green Growth Department. Similarly, the NDC Pacific Hub, based in Suva, Fiji, provides expertise for developing regional solutions to climate change. The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Investment Forum brings together different stakeholders to attract investment for bankable climate projects.


During Africa Climate Week in Ghana, 11 countries discussed the how and why of setting up national climate funds—a growing and effective means of managing and attracting climate finance. Two pioneers, Rwanda and Ethiopia, hosted the March 2019 event with support from the NDC Partnership.

Officials from both countries described how they use the innovative funds to mobilize, pool, and blend domestic and external revenue sources to support coordinated programming while retaining government ownership of climate finance. For instance, since 2013, Rwanda’s Green Fund (FONERWA) has served as an engine of green growth, raising close to USD167.2 million to invest in programs including clean energy, erosion protection, and reforestation.

Participants also heard from multilateral development banks who act as partners on national funds. They raised key challenges to consider, including capturing climate impact to attract donor and private investment and balancing climate and broader development needs over the short and longer terms.

Photo by Rodney Quarcoo

Effective NDC implementation requires that the full array of domestic and international resources are effectively deployed, and gaining access to financing for climate action is one of the most frequently requested areas of support among NDC Partnership countries.

The NDC Partnership has categorized these requests for support along five main axes, which are defined as:

Preparing NDC Investment Plans: NDC investment planning aims to support country members in developing financial strategies to support their NDC implementation plans by identifying the most appropriate investor profiles for different actions and developing a related engagement strategy for targeted investors.

Mainstreaming NDCs into Planning and National Budgets: Mainstreaming NDCs into national planning and budgets ensures that NDC-related actions can be identified as part of government spending, and enables governments to make informed, transparent decisions and prioritize the most relevant climate investments.

Establishing National Climate Funds: National climate funds enable countries to mobilize, pool, and blend both domestic and external sources of finance, to support more coordinated programming of resources across stakeholders, and ensure national ownership of climate finance.

Accessing International Climate Funds: International climate funds play an important role in financially supporting countries to implement their low-carbon, climate resilient NDC targets, and this support often goes beyond just financing. Access to international climate funds can also help countries build capacity, pilot novel approaches and technologies, and access further sources of finance.

Engaging the Private Sector: With private finance critical to meeting NDC targets, there is consensus that limited domestic budgets and overseas development assistance should be leveraged to unlock much larger private capital flows for NDC implementation.

An analysis of 137 finance-related requests coming from country partners can be seen in the graph in the Financing Climate Action section, where the majority of requests relate to NDC investment planning through the identification of low-carbon, climate resilient project pipelines and funding sources to support them. Country action along these five axes is explored through further case studies in this report, which highlight Mali’s NDC investment plan, the success of Rwanda and Ethiopia in setting up national climate funds, and Saint Lucia’s commitment of USD23 million in domestic resources for NDC implementation.


One critical way the NDC Partnership supports member governments in transforming their economies is through energy transition. Côte d’Ivoire, for example, is prioritizing a shift from coal to renewable energy in its updated and enhanced NDC.

Implementing partners, led by Germany and the European Union, are helping bring this commitment to life by supporting energy reform programs, feasibility studies on renewables projects, and high-level dialogue among relevant ministries. At a regional level, partners are investing in the West African Power Pool program, which aims to provide a unified, reliable electricity market for the region’s growing population.

Côte d’Ivoire was one of the first countries to tackle NDC enhancement under the terms of the Paris Agreement. In addition to its ambitious energy agenda, the Government is expanding its climate plan to include new sectors such as forestry and is considering the impact of short-lived climate pollutants. It also benefits from increased engagement from local governments. The Partnership has been deeply involved in this process, with the AFD, GIZ, and UNDP all part of a cross-government working group to deliver coordinated climate planning. There is already strong traction from partners for implementation of thematic areas of support. For example, the FAO and IFAD have expressed their intent to support the work in the agriculture sector. Côte d’Ivoire’s Partnership Plan will mobilize new and ongoing support to integrate climate mitigation and adaptation into national and sectoral planning, as well as technical capacity building for sector ministries and local and regional authorities. A parallel Green Climate Fund country program will support comprehensive investments in renewable energy and NDC implementation. Finally, in order to accelerate national mobilization of resources, Côte d’Ivoire also became in 2019 a member of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action, a group of over 50 countries that aims to drive strong collective action on climate change and its impacts.

The country’s business groups and energy sector were consulted on the enhanced climate plan and will be critical to achieving a low-carbon energy transition. To this end, UNDP’s NDC Support Programme will assist government efforts to equip and incentivize companies to play a role in NDC implementation. Plans include connecting companies to climate finance and technical assistance for designing low-carbon projects. Smaller businesses and entrepreneurs will be offered financial and technical incentives to adopt low-carbon technology. Côte d’Ivoire, as well as Burkina Faso, Mali, Togo, and Tunisia, joined a peer exchange in Morocco on the climate engagement of private companies from the energy sector, supported by the General Confederation of Enterprises in Morocco (CGEM), the NDC Partnership Support Unit, and UNDP.

Facing widespread desertification exacerbated by climate change, Mali has made climate action a national priority, alongside security. The country’s new constitution includes climate action as a national duty and combating climate change is one of five pillars in the President’s national vision.

This high-level commitment is reflected in the lead role played by Mali’s Ministry of Finance in turning the country’s NDC into concrete climate plans and projects. Along with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Finance generated an action-oriented Partnership Plan based on wide-ranging consultations, including with the private sector. With support from GIZ, the Plan regrouped Mali’s National Roadmap for NDC Implementation around 11 large-scale, investment-ready projects along with supporting needs such as legislative frameworks, capacity building, and access to finance. The country’s mitigation goal is to cut GHG emissions by 31 percent in the energy sector, 29 percent in the agriculture sector, and 21 percent from other land use, including forestry, compared to a baseline scenario.

Mali’s national development blueprint—the Strategic Framework for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Development 2019-2023—prioritizes climate change and includes sectoral measures and investments identified in the Partnership Plan. These encompass agriculture, fisheries, renewable energy, and water resources as well as decentralization actions to integrate climate action into territorial and local planning.

As a result, the Ministry of Finance has established a new budget line for climate mitigation and adaptation projects, which doubles the previous resources made available for environmental programs. It is also active in discussions with development partners on raising international climate finance.

Mali’s climate action is also supported by a Climate Fund that started its operation in 2014, with support from Sweden and Norway. The Fund has aligned its priorities with the NDC, focusing on energy, agriculture, and forestry, and has financed 14 projects with a total of USD12.8 million. New activities are under consideration.

Institutions that support the Partnership Plan’s priority projects or other outputs, or have pledged to do so, include the AfDB, FAO, GEF, Germany, the Netherlands, UNDP, and WRI.

Faced with the likelihood of destructive climate change impacts, low-lying São Tomé and Príncipe is prioritizing disaster risk reduction alongside resilient and low-carbon development. To support the African island’s adaptation efforts, the Partnership is providing significant resources for a number of practical measures, including: coastal protection; resilience-building and adaptation including voluntary community relocation; an improved, climate-proofed transport network; and expanded hydroelectric power.

Financed by development partners and multilateral banks, these far-reaching programs align with São Tomé and Príncipe’s results-based NDC Implementation Plan (Partnership Plan). The World Bank is scaling existing projects to support the country’s climate goals. From 2019 to 2024, it will provide USD29 million to improve the connectivity, safety, and climate resilience of the island’s road network, and build related coastal climate resilience and emergency response. In addition, the island is benefiting from the Bank’s USD7 million West Africa Coastal Areas Resilience Investment Project, which will strengthen institutions tasked with disaster risk management and conduct several measures to include resilience of communities and sectors.

In the energy sector, the World Bank is channeling USD16 million into the São Tomé and Príncipe Power Sector Recovery Project with the European Investment Bank and other development partners contributing a further USD13 million. The project will boost renewables by expanding an existing hydroelectric power plant and improve energy access and management by upgrading the island’s low voltage network and strengthening the regulatory agency and national energy company. In addition, UNDP is also supporting the country’s renewable energy policies. This includes policy, strategy, capacity building, and preparation of bankable projects.

Other key contributors include the AfDB with USD3.5 million. Under the Partnership Plan umbrella, the AfDB is supporting capacity building and development of bankable projects in the energy sector and alternative forestry programs that reduce tree cover loss and create a sustainable wood products supply. In addition, the Bank will finance farming and fisheries projects that deliver Partnership Plan objectives to reinforce local institutions’ ability to manage climate risk, increase community resilience, and reduce use of nitrogen fertilizers.

As these transformative programs take shape, the EU is assisting the National Climate Change Committee in aligning implementing partner activity and engaging civil society, NGOs, and the private sector in readying São Tomé and Príncipe for a warming world.

Facing an existential threat from climate change, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is a global leader in ambition. The government’s Tile Til Eo (Lighting the Way) 2050 Climate Strategy sets out a vision to reach net-zero emissions and 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.

The NDC Partnership is a crucial partner in helping the Pacific island nation make concrete early progress and mobilize international resources to support these ambitious goals. In December 2018, RMI launched a stakeholder-driven NDC Partnership Plan that accelerates mitigation and adaptation action with a focus on energy, financing mechanisms, resilience, gender equality, human rights, and capacity building. The Plan’s 33 priority actions include programs to strengthen the capacity of RMI’s citizens and private sectors to contribute to climate action. It is also used as a navigational tool for gender mainstreaming in the energy sector and beyond, setting yet another example. For example, the government plans to expand solar technician training for women in the outer islands and introduce funding for climate-solutions entrepreneurs through one of the guiding pillars of the RMI Electricity Roadmap that is aligned with the Partnership Plan.

In 2019, the Partnership has been heavily involved in improving coordination across government and with key development partners to deliver the plan. RMI’s President has strengthened the Tile Til Eo Committee, which leads on climate action through new stakeholder working groups on adaptation, mitigation, and cross-sector activity related to gender, human rights, young people, health, education, the outer islands, and capacity building. The NDC Partnership working group, created to ensure strong cross-sectoral linkage, will help strengthen adaptation and mitigation activity and accelerate access to climate finance as the plan is rolled out across the islands.

In May 2019, the Partnership co-hosted with the government a multi-stakeholder forum where ministries and development partners agreed on short, medium, and long-term measures to strengthen effective management and coordination of climate finance and plug resource gaps identified in the Partnership Plan. To maximize partner support, the government has started looking into setting up a pooled Climate Finance Grants Mechanism, targeting local solutions and beneficiaries and responding quickly to key NDC gaps and priorities, potentially with a strengthened focus on resilience and recovery from climate disasters. To date, 22 institutions and governments have signaled interest through the Partnership Plan in helping RMI realize its climate ambitions.

In May 2019, Saint Lucia’s Cabinet approved the country’s NDC Partnership Plan, becoming the first country to have a plan validated at that level. Furthermore, it enshrined a commitment made in 2015 to mobilize USD23 million in domestic funding for NDC execution through 2035.

Saint Lucia’s Partnership Plan contains actions that will be implemented by all segments of the nation’s society. As a first contribution from the national budget, two major energy efficiency projects and a public awareness campaign are approved to be funded within the fiscal year 2019/2020 with an approximate value of USD700,000. One of the ways that Saint Lucia’s Partnership Plan is contributing to reduced greenhouse gas emissions is through energy efficiency, and specifically by replacing or retrofitting existing lights with LED installations. Similarly, Saint Lucia is looking to its Green Schools Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) to make an impact by replacing approximately 13,500 lights with more efficient LED tubes. This will be supplemented by the installation of solar photovoltaic systems for power generation in primary and secondary schools.

All told, Saint Lucia’s Green Schools program alone is projected to reduce energy consumption in schools by 20 percent in the next six years and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent in the same time frame. This is a significant improvement over Saint Lucia’s NDC target of a 16 percent emission reduction by 2025. Ancillary benefits will include improving the infrastructure of schools used as public emergency shelters and improve energy security in the case of natural disasters.

The AFD, FAO, GIZ, IRENA, New Zealand, The Nature Conservancy, UNDP, and the UNFCCC are working collectively to support Saint Lucia in turning climate plans into actionable projects with measurable results.


the way ahead

by Pablo Viera, Global Director, NDC Partnership Support Group

Looking at the progress that shines from these pages, I find it hard to believe that only one year has passed since our 2018 Partnership in Action report. Around the world, the Partnership is witnessing and supporting extraordinary efforts from countries on the climate change frontline.

The scale of engagement is inspiring. As I write this in October 2019, more than 60 of our member countries are mainstreaming and accelerating their NDC implementation with Partnership support. This assistance comes in the form of expertise and financial and technical resources from 50 development and implementing partners. In addition, some 50 countries are working to enhance their NDCs and raise ambition with support being delivered through CAEP, and by the time you read this, more will do so through the second round of requests.

The numbers alone don’t tell the whole story. As you have seen in these pages, countries are mainstreaming NDC implementation in ways that are beginning to make a big difference to the operation of government. With the Partnership’s support, they are engaging relevant players and constituents across their governments and societies. As a result, they are able to integrate climate action with other development goals such as food security or gender equality. And increasingly, governments are using this integrated approach to attract financing at greater speed and scale. This is a model that is working.

Yet, for every success story, there is a sobering reminder of the enormous challenges we still face. The five hottest years ever recorded have occurred since 2014, and 2019 seems certain to join that list. Indeed, July of this year was the hottest month since records began. Mozambique alone was hit by two devastating cyclones in spring 2019, one of which left up to 1,000 people dead and USD778 million in damages. Studies reveal that glaciers in Antarctica and Greenland are melting much more quickly than models predicted. In short, we are not winning the fight against climate change. In fact, we are not even close.

Therefore, for all the progress we have made, we must redouble our efforts. In countries everywhere, governments, civil society, and the private sector must mobilize to drive on low emission pathways and make societies more resilient to climate impacts that are already unavoidable. Governments and institutions must find ways to mobilize finance on a far greater scale, whether from domestic budgets, international funds, or private sector investment. And centers of expertise must continue to innovate and find more effective solutions to the climate crisis.

The Partnership is ready to make a major contribution to this effort. As we head into 2020, a critical mass of countries are pushing forward to enhance their NDCs. Partnership countries and institutions can build on this momentum. Humanity faces a unique opportunity to build more prosperous economies, a cleaner environment, and more inclusive societies through the action we all take together to fight climate change. We need to seize it.



Below are digital resources that were referenced throughout the Partnership in Action Report.





of Acronyms and Abbrieviations

  • AFD: Agence Française de Développement – French Development Agency
  • AfDB: African Development Bank
  • CAEP: Climate Action Enhancement Package
  • CAPE: Climate Action Peer Exchange
  • CGEM: Confédération Générale des Entreprises du Maroc (General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises)
  • CNCCMDL: National Council for Climate Change and Clean Development Mechanism (Dominican Republic)
  • FAO: UN Food and Agriculture Organization
  • FONERWA: Rwanda Green Fund GGGI: Global Green Growth Institute
  • GHG: Greenhouse Gas
  • GIZ: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit – German International Cooperation Agency
  • GEF: Global Environment Facility
  • HFC: Hydrofluorocarbon
  • IDB: Interamerican Development Bank
  • ILO: International Labor Organization
  • IUCN: International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • IsDB: Islamic Development Bank
  • LED: Light-Emitting Diode
  • LEDS: Low Emission Development Strategy
  • MWE/CCD: Ministry of Water and Environment/Climate Change Department (Uganda)
  • MRV: Measuring, Reporting, and Verification
  • NDC: Nationally Determined Contribution
  • NGO: Non-Governmental Organization
  • NPA: National Planning Authority (Uganda)
  • OECS: Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States
  • RMI: Republic of Marshall Islands
  • SDG: Sustainable Development Goal
  • UN: United Nations
  • UNDP: UN Development Programme
  • UNFCCC: UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • UNSG: UN Secretary General
  • WFP: World Food Programme
  • WRI: World Resources Institute


PiA 2019 – Full Report5.90MBDownload PDF
PiA 2019 – Foreword61.14KBDownload PDF
PiA 2019 – How The Partnership Works54.22KBDownload PDF
PiA 2019 – Who We Are3.00MBDownload PDF
PiA 2019 – About This Report / Key Themes278.83KBDownload PDF
PiA 2019 – Integrating Development and Climate Action872.31KBDownload PDF
PiA 2019 – Scaling Climate Action663.50KBDownload PDF
PiA 2019 – Financing Climate Action571.92KBDownload PDF
PiA 2019 – The Way Ahead52.94KBDownload PDF
PiA 2019 – Glossary45.80KBDownload PDF
PiA 2019 – Digital Resources49.39KBDownload PDF




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