Transparency is key for accountability of climate actions of countries. Climate Transparency’s newest NDC Transparency Check assesses whether climate commitments by countries are clear, transparent and understandable as required by the Paris Agreement. With that, the assessment checks whether the communicated target is provided with sufficient additional information, which helps others to evaluate the quality of the commitment and plans for its implementation.

The EU’s NDC Transparency Check evaluates the current NDC and provides recommendations of what should be improved in the updated EU’s NDC, which is currently being drafted.

In order to ensure its clarity, transparency and understanding, the updated EU’s NDC should among other aspects:

  • Provide a single-/multi-year reference in the time frames for implementation;
  • Cover the land-use sector and provide information how it will be included in the target;
  • Provide detailed information on removal of emissions and how it will be accounted for.

“The European Union should play the leading role in global fight against climate change. The new, increased target announced today is a step in the right direction. At the same time, we need to make sure that the updated EU’s NDC will also ensure transparency. Transparency is needed for accountability. Without accountability, no actions! The new publication of Climate Transparency – NDC Transparency Check – is an excellent source of assessment of the current EU’s NDC and provides recommendations what the EU should improve.”

Dr. Franziska Brantner on the EU’s NDC Transparency Check
Member of the German Bundestag and the European Policy spokeswoman and parliamentary manager of the Bundestag faction of Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen, a member of the Committee on European Union Affairs and a deputy member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Background information:

  • The objective of this assessment is to establish a robust methodology to assess whether the communication of parties on the proposed mitigation in their NDCs is clear, transparent and understandable, in terms of the requirements set out in the Paris Agreement, its accompanying decision (1/CP.21) and the Annex to decision 4/CMA.1 which sets out the “information to facilitate clarity, transparency and understanding” in its Annex 1.
  • Legally, the Annex is only binding from the second NDC onwards. However, Parties are “strongly encouraged” to apply the Annex to updated NDCs communicated in 2020. Here, the assessment is applied to the existing EU’s NDC, submitted to the UNFCCC in 2015, mindful of the fact that provision of the relevant information was not a legal requirement at the time and there was not a common guideline in place for its elaboration.
  • This assessment provides a detailed methodological analysis on the existing NDC and highlights the opportunities for a transparent and enhanced new NDC in 2020. It does not provide an assessment of the level of ambition of the NDC, due to many analyses focused on it, including the Brown to Green Report elaborated by Climate Transparency as well as the Climate Action Tracker.