Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

What are NDCs?

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) submitted by countries under the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) represent pledges on climate action that seek to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5 °C, over pre-industrial levels. While renewable energy is a mature and cost-effective climate change mitigation technology, its role in NDCs can be further strengthened to achieve objectives of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement.

Current Status

IRENA estimates that if renewable energy targets included in the NDCs were implemented, global renewable power installed capacity would reach over 3.5 terawatts (TW) in 2030. Although significant, this is not nearly enough to put the world on a pathway compatible with the objectives set by the Paris Agreement, which would require renewables to reach 7.7 TW globally by 2030.


Climate Action With Renewable: Enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions

"The brochure presents the significance of energy transition as climate action with details on how countries are improving their climate pledges with enhanced NDCs through renewables. It presents perspectives on relevance of IRENA support from Africa, SIDS and LDCs. The brochure also covers IRENA's dedicated support to its members on enhancing and implementing their NDCs, either through direct support or via institutional partnerships with other international organisations."


Renewable energy components in Nationally Determined Contributions

 Figure 1: Renewables in NDCs

IRENA work on NDCs

IRENA uses its considerable body of knowledge and expertise in different facets of the energy transition to support Member States develop and implement NDCs that reflect the cost-effective renewable energy potential of each country. These efforts can in turn provide the basis for enhancing the ambition of climate pledges ahead of COP26.


See IRENA work in the area of NDC enhancement

  • Data and statistics, including for monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) – Repository of statistics on renewable energy capacity, generation, energy balances, finance and investments, and costs. Technical assistance and capacity building on collecting, analyzing, recording and reporting detailed and accurate data.
  • Policy advice – Analysis of current policy and finance landscape to identify existing barriers to the deployment of renewable energy and policy recommendations to help attract investments into the sector; informing country-level climate action.
  • Resource assessment - Site assessment, suitability assessment, zoning assessment, SolarCity simulator as well as capacity building to assess the potential of renewable energy.
  • Long-term energy planning - Enhancement of long-term renewable energy planning scenarios and capacity building for energy planning and modelling.
  • Power system flexibility - Assessment of the flexibility of the power system and identification of cost-effective, flexible solutions for a greater integration of variable renewable energy integration and increase the share of renewables including energy storage, demand-side flexibility and sector coupling options (i.e. power-to-hydrogen, power-to-heat and electric vehicles).
  • Renewable energy roadmap - REmap assess renewable energy potential in power, heating, cooling and transport, and study possible technology pathways and other metrics like technology, costs, investments, externalities like air pollution, emissions, and economic indicators.
  • Renewable Energy Technology – Sectoral Analysis and Capacity Building - Offering high-level technical assistance in the design and implementation of enhanced mitigation and adaptation measures in climate action plans using renewable energy technologies, as well as support in assessing their mitigation potential, related costs, and adaptation co-benefits. This includes developing datasets, tools, and insights focused on practical solutions for decarbonizing energy systems and build capacity to increase renewable energy use in buildings, industry, and transport sectors through innovative approaches.
  • Renewable readiness assessment - A tool for carrying out comprehensive evaluations of the conditions for renewable energy deployment in countries that can inform the decision makers in scaling up renewable energy ambitions.
  • Capacity building on policy and finance - Support to countries in enhancing their capacity on different topics, including renewable energy targets, policies and regulations, financial instruments and investment frameworks.

IRENA also supports countries in implementing their climate pledges through a dedicated set of activities aimed at achieving NDC targets.

Such support can include:

  • NDC implementation plan development - To help countries prepare and follow a clear implementation plan and mechanism for achieving their NDC targets – particularly those regarding renewable energy — the agency also supports NDC implementation plans, including those giving consideration to different technology options.
  • Project facilitator services - IRENA assists countries in gaining access to finance by facilitating the development of proof-of-concept notes and proposals, and by capacity building to attract finance from the development sector, or private sector investment.
  • Investment Frameworks - IRENA assists countries through strengthening enabling frameworks to promote investments. This is primarily done through technical assistance and capacity building on different areas of renewable energy policy, regulation, technology and finance.


In addition to direct Member support, IRENA has partnered with UNDP Climate Promise Initiative, NDC Partnership’s Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP), UNFCCC Regional Collaborating Centres, and the Regional Pacific NDC Hub, to accelerate the enhancement of NDCs by countries.  IRENA also engages with the United Kingdom, as the incoming COP26 Presidency,to underline the role of the energy transition in climate action through several outreach events. IRENA’s role is to provide key inputs relating to renewable energy to support the acceleration of energy transitions and drive climate action while maximising the socio-economic benefits.

IRENA is also partner of the Climate Investment Platform (CIP).  Together with SE4All, United Nations Development Programme and in coordination with the Green Climate Fund the global initiative aims to scale up climate action and translate ambitious national climate targets into concrete investments on the ground.

Quotes from the high-officials acknowledging IRENA NDC support work

“Africa  suffers significantly from impacts of climate change. We would like all countries to increase their renewable energy ambition in their planned climate pledges and long-term emission reduction strategies. Gabon is working with IRENA on power sector analysis, as we aim to increase renewables in our energy system as part of our nationally determined contribution.”
Mr. Tanguy Gahouma-BeKale, Adviser to the President, Permanent Secretary National Climate Council, Gabon,;
Chair of the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change.


“SIDS are the frontline countries and they have special circumstances and needs arising from the adverse impacts of climate change and the resulting high cost.  An Energy Transition through renewables is a key mitigation and adaptation strategy for islands since it can contribute to a resilient energy system while allowing for the capturing of abundant solar and wind resources.  Antigua & Barbuda has been teaming up with our valuable partner IRENA on a decarbonization roadmap for the country as well as a just transition to a climate neutral future.”

H.E. Ms. Diann Black-Layne, Ambassador for Climate Change, Antigua & Barbuda, Chief Negotiator of Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Group on Climate Change.


“Least Developed Countries see renewable energy as a key remedy for climate change mitigation to achieve the Paris Agreement objectives. Bhutan has been working with IRENA on a Renewables Readiness Assessment and follow on actions to diversify our hydropower based energy system to include other renewable energy sources like solar and wind.”

H.E. Mr. Sonam P. Wangdi, Secretary of National Environment Commission, Royal Government of Bhutan and Chair of Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group on Climate Change.


For more information about IRENA’s work on NDC support, or to engage us to discuss collaboration, please contact us by e mailing:

Associated Publications