This Reference Manual accompanies ‘Planning for NDC implementation: A Quick-Start Guide’. The Quick-Start Guide outlines the key steps that countries can go through to implement their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs); see the Introduction section of the guide for more information. This Reference Manual looks at each of the five NDC implementation modules – governance, mitigation, adaptation, finance and measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) – in more detail, and sets out the specific activities in each area for planning the implementation of an NDC. It is important to note that following the Reference Manual does not automatically result in the production of an implementation plan; rather, by working through the different modules, users can build up a picture of the detailed activities needed to implement their NDC.

This Reference Manual is divided into the five implementation modules, and each follows a common format:

  • an introduction to the module and its key elements and issues
  • a diagram showing the key activities under that module
  • a short explanation of how the module relates to the Paris Agreement 23
  • a table of detailed activities that countries can take
  • case studies of how other countries have tackled the activities in each module.

This Reference Manual can be used to inform the overarching steps set out in the Quick-Start Guide. In particular, countries can review the activities set out under each module, identify those which are relevant to their national circumstances, and then undertake a gap analysis by comparing these activities against their existing actions, thus identifying what further action may be needed to implement their NDC.

When reviewing these modules, countries will want to consider how each activity relates to their own circumstances. In some cases, they may not yet have carried out the activity, in which case it may sensibly form part of the NDC implementation plan. In other cases, it may be that an activity has already been completed and can therefore be left out of the implementation plan (e.g. a steering group to coordinate work under that module has already been established). Alternatively, a country may have already carried out an activity but, on reviewing the tables of detailed activities in this Reference Manual, may decide to add to this or improve what is already in place (e.g. a steering group already exists but its membership and functions need to be expanded).

Throughout each module, links between the modules are highlighted, so that countries can take a holistic approach. For example, the development of an MRV system is relevant to all of the modules, since the system will require governance arrangements and will help to track climate finance and the implementation of mitigation and adaptation policies. In addition, the modules highlight win–win synergies with efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); further details are provided in Appendix 1 of the Quick-Start Guide. Case studies within each module illustrate how countries have approached the recommended activities.

The diagram at the start of each module summarises the activities to be undertaken within each module, signposting relevant linkages to other modules. The activities in the diagrams should be read from bottom to top, as they represent the building blocks of NDC implementation. Note that countries can work across all five modules at once, or focus on the module(s) most important to them.

Overview of activities

Table 1 lists the activities covered in each module, for ease of reference. These are replicated in the diagram at the start of each module. Note that as the review activity is a common first step in each of the modules, this is not included in the diagrams at the start of each module.

Table 1. Key activities for each module

Module Activity
  1. Review current institutional arrangements
  2. Establish an NDC implementation coordination team
  3. Set up institutional arrangements
  4. Build capacity within government
  5. Engage external stakeholders
  6. Develop legal frameworks
  1. Review the current mitigation policy landscape
  2. Set up institutional arrangements for the coordination and oversight of mitigation activities
  3. Analyse the national mitigation potential to identify priority sectors and mitigation options
  4. Conduct a detailed appraisal of priority actions for key sectors
  5. Design mitigation policies
  6. Access financing for mitigation actions
  7. Implement mitigation policies
  8. Design and implement a mitigation MRV system
  9. Prepare for future NDCs
  1. Review the current adaptation policy landscape
  2. Undertake groundwork and governance
  3. Undertake preparatory work for adaptation plans
  4. Access financing for adaptation actions
  5. Implement policies, projects and programmes
  6. Monitor  and report on progress and the effectiveness of adaptation actions
  1. Review the climate finance landscape
  2. Establish institutional arrangements for the oversight and coordination of climate finance activities
  3. Compile an overall costing for the NDC
  4. Identify funding gaps and needs
  5. Assess public and private financing options and develop a country climate investment plan
  6. Develop a country climate investment plan
  7. Secure direct access to international climate funds for national and subnational institutions
  8. Develop a project pipeline and financing propositions that can be put forward to different financing sources
  9. Increase private sector engagement and overcome barriers to investment
  10. Design and implement a climate finance MRV system
Measuring, reporting and verification
  1. Review current MRV activities
  2. Establish institutional arrangements for the oversight and coordination of MRV activities
  3. Assess data gaps and needs
  4. Design the MRV system for mitigation, adaptation and finance
  5. Establish data management processes
  6. Build MRV capacity
  7. Improve the MRV system over time