What has been the history of nationally determined contributions and how are these defined in Paris Climate Treaty?

NDC are important aspect of many climate treaties. How did they first start and what are NDCs in Paris climate treaty?

NDCs are national climate plans that represent a significant step in highlighting climate actions, including climate-related targets and policies.

At the 19th session of the Committee of Parties (COP19) in 2013 in Warsaw, Poland, countries agreed to voluntarily submit their post-2020 climate actions known as their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) that reflect each country’s planned climate actions for reducing emissions and addressing climate change in their own countries to achieve the Paris Agreement’s long-term goals.

In Paris in December 2015, after years of negotiating, every one of the 196 countries plus the European Union, all Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), came together to agree upon a set of principles on how we can curb greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change impacts head-on.

The Paris Agreement commits countries to undertake “nationally determined contributions” and establishes mechanisms to hold them accountable and enhance ambition in the years ahead. A country’s INDC is converted to an NDC when it formally joins the Paris Agreement by submitting an instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession unless a country decides otherwise.

The Paris Agreement’s overarching aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure that global temperatures don’t rise more than 2C above pre-industrial levels this century, and ultimately pursue a scenario where temperature rise remains below 1.5C.