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This report aims to help government officials identify options for enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in line with the Paris Agreement. It offers guidance on establishing a process for NDC enhancement, enhancing mitigation and adaptation components of NDCs, and communicating NDCs transparently. Additionally, it reflects on aligning NDCs with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and on the role of finance in NDC enhancement.


  • At the Paris climate negotiations in 2015, countries agreed to establish 2020 as a key milestone in the global effort to fight climate change. As part of the regular five-year cycles to strengthen ambition laid out in the Paris Agreement, countries are requested to put forward nationally determined contributions (NDCs) by 2020.
  • The rationale for updating NDCs, and particularly for enhancing mitigation ambition, is greater than ever: The latest climate science underscores the need for ambitious, immediate action to keep the Paris Agreement goals within reach; technological advances increasingly facilitate ambitious action; and the alignment between ambitious climate action and socioeconomic benefits is increasingly well documented and understood.
  • This guidance provides a structure to help countries think through the process of enhancing their NDCs along three dimensions: mitigation, adaptation, and transparent communication.
  • With regard to mitigation, this guidance places a priority on enhancing ambition and reducing emissions to achieve the temperature goals in the Paris Agreement, while noting that NDCs can also be enhanced to strengthen implementation in various ways.
  • Enhancing an adaptation component of an NDC depends strongly on a country’s objectives with regard to adaptation and the relationship between the NDC and other adaptation-related processes.
  • Clear communication of NDCs builds trust and facilitates effective implementation. Guidance on communication—or clarity, transparency, and understanding—is based on the Paris Agreement Work Program adopted in 2018.
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