Meeting ambitious climate goals and advancing sustainable development can only be done successfully together. Actions to limit warming and strengthen resilience can safeguard development priorities such as ending hunger and poverty, improving health, and increasing water quality, which are under threat from climate change impacts. Governments are seizing the opportunity to integrate NDC planning with broader development priorities, particularly in their domestic growth strategies and sectoral roadmaps. In addition, they are harmonizing climate plans with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 17 ambitious objectives that guide global progress through 2030. Linking climate action to pressing social and economic needs in this way strengthens cross-government ownership of NDCs, encourages joint planning, and maximizes the use of resources.



Many countries in the NDC Partnership are starting to mainstream mitigation and adaptation efforts into existing economic and development policies, plans, and programs. The Partnership’s in-country work focuses on enabling approaches that promote climate-smart, sustainable development, such as framework legislation and laws, budgeting, and results monitoring, as well as climate action across key sectors like energy, agriculture, forestry, water, and transport (see graph below).

Demonstrating the seriousness of their commitment to one vision of climate action and development, Members are developing policy and legal frameworks to set the stage for economy-wide action.

Uganda, with Partnership support, is set to pass a Climate Change Law to strengthen the regulatory environment and institutional framework for climate change action and coordination. Saint Lucia is taking a sectoral approach through its Renewable Energy Act, while Mongolia is aligning economy-wide climate action with its Sustainable Development Vision 2030.




Collaborating through the NDC Partnership assists countries in charting a holistic approach to development that encompasses climate change. Some countries, such as Jordan, are using the country engagement process, and Partnership Plans in particular, to clarify how they will drive climate action through existing strategies, such as green growth plans. Elsewhere, governments are turning Partnership Plans into roadmaps to consolidate development and climate action. In Morocco, for example, 4C Maroc and GIZ are working with the government to integrate its Low-Emissions Development Strategy, National Adaptation Plan, and NDC into the Partnership Plan. In Kenya, the Partnership cooperated on the National Climate Change Action Plan, which is closely tied to national development priorities.

This approach can also bring win-win climate and development projects to the attention of Partnership funding institutions. FAO and the World Bank, with support from its NDC Support Facility, are working to align water, energy, and agriculture policies to support climate adaptation priorities in Morocco’s Partnership Plan.


NDCs can also drive the decarbonization of specific sectors in ways that bring both climate and development gains. Transportation is a prime example, with countries pursuing clean alternatives to address endemic urban public health concerns.

In Latin America, for example, the NDC Partnership, UN Environment, and Euroclima+ supported a Regional Technical Workshop on Clean Transport and Electric Mobility that identified opportunities for cross-border collaboration on sustainable transport. Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment and Energy and Argentina’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development hosted the event, with the findings presented to the Forum of Ministers of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean 2018, held in October.



Given the win-win possibilities for joint NDC-SDG implementation, it is no surprise that interaction between these agendas goes much further than Goal 13 on climate action (see graphic below). Partnership countries, such as Mali, Mexico, Kenya, and Uganda, have analyzed where these two sets of goals overlap, uncovering opportunities to integrate policies, programs, and projects across their domestic agendas. This is leading to more holistic development planning that will increase impact, reduce costs, and avoid duplication.

The NDC Partnership is supporting governments’ efforts to embed these win-win opportunities into national and sectoral planning frameworks. Mongolia’s Partnership Plan, for example, builds on the country’s broad Sustainable Development Vision 2030, while Mali prioritizes actions that serve the country’s SDG focus on agriculture, land use, and energy. Members are also turning to the Partnership for technical and financial assistance that supports SDG implementation. Uganda, for example, is mainstreaming its SDGs and NDCs into its National Development Plan with support from WRI. Similarly, Colombia is working with Implementing Partners to mainstream climate action and embed NDC commitments into its National Development Plan.

In 2017, the NDC Partnership launched an open access NDC-SDG linkages tool on its Knowledge Portal drawing on WRI research. This maps all 165 NDCs against the 169 targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As a result, governments, citizens, climate finance providers, and other stakeholders can see at a glance where national climate goals and plans match up with specific global SDG targets.



“The investment to make climate implementation responsive to gender is not only [a] productive investment but a necessary investment. We cannot achieve this by leaving behind half of the population.”

INGRID-GABRIELA HOVEN, BMZ, Germany and NDC Partnership Co-Chair


Gender equality (SDG 5) is an important link between climate and development. Women and girls are disproportionately affected by the effects of rising global temperatures because they have less agency to respond to natural hazards and often lack access to climate-related decision-making. Yet, when empowered, women often act as agents of change and innovation in their communities, including by finding ways to meet the climate challenge.

The NDC Partnership recognizes that for climate action to be equitable and effective, women must have a voice. At its launch in December 2016, Members identified gender equity in NDC implementation as a priority founding Principle. Since then, several governments have pursued bold solutions to empower women as they implement their climate plans. These pioneers are sharing the lessons learned, with Partnership support.


Peru:  Peru’s Climate Change and Gender Action Plan sets targets to mainstream climate change, gender, intergenerational, and intercultural considerations across eight priority areas. Based on wide-ranging participation across government and civil society, these priorities reflect the varying experiences of women and men of different age groups and cultures. Peru’s NDC Multi-Sectoral Working Group will build on these efforts by integrating a gender dimension throughout its climate action roadmap, with the Partnership supporting related consultations.


Republic of the Marshall Islands: The Pacific island has demonstrated strong political will and investment in integrating gender throughout its planned climate actions. Implementing Partners are supporting gender and human rights integration throughout the Partnership Plan including through sectoral actions, performance indicators, and specific gender outcomes.


Uganda: The government has a strong political commitment and institutional framework for mainstreaming gender, which it is carrying over to its mitigation and adaptation plans. Climate focal points in key ministries have helped mainstream climate change into the mandates and activities of the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development. The country’s Partnership Plan also includes many gender indicators and outcomes.




“We are not here for a parallel agenda; we must see climate as part of the development strategy.”

ZAHIRA VIRANI, UN Resident Representative, São Tomé and Príncipe


One of the smallest countries in Africa, with fewer than 200,000 inhabitants, São Tomé and Príncipe has limited resources to deal with the hazards of a changing climate. Rising sea levels and extreme weather events pose an unpredictable threat to its people’s well-being, while changing climate patterns are already affecting its agriculture, fishing, and tourism industries.

Against this daunting backdrop, the NDC Partnership is working urgently with the government to merge climate resilience and sustainable development across key sectors. The vehicle for this effort is São Tomé and Príncipe’s Partnership Plan, which builds on an existing multi-sector investment agenda for adaptation. The draft plan identifies almost 50 wide-ranging actions that the Partnership will support.

Priorities include large-scale reforestation and agroforestry projects to promote food security, as well as physical infrastructure to protect vulnerable coastal communities. To meet the government’s goal of 47 percent renewable energy, the plan also includes construction of hydro, solar, and wind powered plants.

In May 2018, more than 50 participants from across ministries, Development Partners, NGOs, and academia attended a two-day workshop facilitated by the NDC Partnership which cemented these priorities. A National Coordinator, appointed by the government, and the UNDP country office are now leading efforts to match projects and programs with Development Partner resources.


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