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The light at the end of the road

Overarching objective

NDC ASPECTS aims to provide cutting-edge analysis and robust scientific evidence in support of the 2023 Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement and efforts by countries to:

  • upgrade Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) up to 2030,
  • prepare new and ambitious NDCs beyond 2030,
  • and effectively implement these NDCs.

Specific objectives

Accordion items

SO.1 Provide an up-to-date assessment of the processes that led to the formulation of existing NDCs, the underlying politics and socio-economic conditions/barriers, and if and how policies were implemented by 2023 to achieve these NDCs. This analysis of the existing experience up to 2023 incorporates the latest developments and will lead to the identification of key lessons learned for enhancing NDCs and their implementation.


SO.2 Systematically identify transformation opportunities, challenges, and trade-offs in key sectors. The sectors that will be analysed are industry, transport, buildings, agriculture, forestry, and other land use (AFOLU), as well as the sectors’ interaction with the energy conversion sector. These four sectors were chosen as they have proven to be particularly hard to abate. The analysis will explicitly consider cross-sectoral interdependencies and sectoral integration, new research at country-level, and engagement of key sectoral actors, including non-state actors.

SO.3 Assess global mitigation potentials and determine benchmarks for collective progress to support successive NDCs and enhance international cooperation in raising ambition. The assessment will reflect and draw on the Paris Agreement objectives for each selected sector, the results of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report and Special Report on Climate Change and Land, and explicitly consider the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The overall global objectives will be broken down at the sectoral and national level based on the outcome of the Sectoral Conversations (SO.6), NDCs, and national low-emission development strategies (SO.4).

SO.4 Derive ambitious yet realistic national pathways for selected countries with a focus on key sectors. The pathways will be developed considering transformation challenges, existing policy frameworks and related options for their development, and opportunities for strengthened action (see SO.5 and SO.6). Deriving such integrated pathways both quantitatively and qualitatively is the basis for reconciling them with real-world conditions while ensuring appropriate contributions to the overall global mitigation effort.


SO.5 Develop policy and governance options for ambitious, effective, and transformative climate action. These options will focus on the selected sectors and their interdependencies under varying national conditions as reflected in the selection of countries. The options will be co-created with national stakeholders and policymakers and tailored to those national conditions. Transferability to other countries with similar/comparable socioeconomic, climate and energy system conditions will be examined (with adaptations, as appropriate).

SO.6 Validate and promote the effectiveness and feasibility of the co-created policy and governance options through the active involvement of a broad set of relevant stakeholders and policymakers. A major element of this involvement will take place through “Sectoral Conversations” with participants from diverse national and professional backgrounds.

SO.7 Identify and formulate options to enhance (sectoral) governance at the international level. This includes governance at the UNFCCC level and other relevant intergovernmental and transnational institutions. National-level action as enshrined in NDCs is interdependent and the required transformations can hence be facilitated by targeted international action. Under this objective, the potential for synergising international-level action is to be explored in a targeted manner, paying particular attention to the selected key sectors including international bunker fuels.


SO.8 Achieve a broad reception and take-up of intermediate and final project results by policymakers, stakeholders, the interested public, and the scientific community. The ambition of NDC ASPECTS is that its results regarding notably different options for ambitious long-term mitigation and their domestic and international enablers will inform future NDC and low-emission development strategies of the target countries and will contribute to the Global Stocktake in 2023. In addition, NDC ASPECTS aims to strongly advance scientific and public understanding of ambitious mitigation options and their socio-economic implications.