Fulfilling the Promise of the Paris Agreement

To fulfill the promise of the landmark Paris Agreement, we must shift the focus to converting countries’ individual climate goals, their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), into real greenhouse gas reductions.

Last month in Mexico City, CCAP hosted its Seventh Latin America Regional Dialogue, which brought together high-level developing country policy makers with representatives from developed countries and funding agencies.  It was two days of insights on how to turn Paris commitments into tangible actions on the ground.

Many INDCs include ambitious economy-wide targets for reducing emissions. While this is a good start, countries will need to convert these post-2020 pledges into policies, measures and financeable investment strategies.  Our paper on Converting INDCs into Action analyzed the INDCs from key developing countries.  We found that the proposals vary broadly by country in both ambition and level of detail.  What we heard from our LAC partners affirms this analysis.  

Mexico, which has a mature climate policy institutional framework, has already identified many of the specific policies, programs and measures needed for its INDC targets, and it continues to refine the specifics.

For Costa Rica, the key challenge is how to make progress on the higher-cost, sector-specific reductions needed to go beyond the impressive progress already made.  The country has set a goal of becoming the first carbon neutral economy, and its electricity sector is already run on nearly 100% renewable energy, but securing the investment needed to transform the transportation sector remains a significant hurdle.

Chile has committed to develop a national climate finance strategy as part of its INDC conversion efforts.  The climate finance strategy will consider how to use public resources, climate-specific funding like the GCF and private sector finance to achieve long-term transformation.

In CCAP’s view, a fully converted INDC will allow the country to formalize its target or goals, identify the policies and measures to achieve them—including the use of domestic financial resources—and determine a strategy to attract international public and private financing.


We think there is the opportunity to set in motion, through INDC implementation, an accelerating circle of climate reductions.  For instance, the current cost effective clean energy technologies deployed in countries to meet their Paris pledges are increasing market demand.  This in turn is accelerating investment in innovation and unit cost reductions, making further emissions reductions more cost effective.

Targeted support of the work by individual countries to convert their INDC’s into concrete measures, including through GCF readiness and project preparation support, can accelerate progress and ensure that we truly begin the global transition to low-carbon, climate resilient development.  CCAP will continue to work with developing and developed countries and funding institutions to build a shared vision for how to make this a reality.

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