The best second-generation NDCs on Transport

The NDCs Hall of Fame by SLOCAT concludes with awards to the best NDCs in terms of transport ambition and action.

The NDCs of Colombia, Guinea, Seychelles and Sri Lanka receive 4 stars as the best-performing in support of sustainable, low carbon transport. The ambition to transform transport systems is reflected in these NDCs through a comprehensive set of actions and targets. They cover transport targets and include mitigation actions, as well as freight transport actions. They also feature actions across the Avoid-Shift-Improve framework, including on sustainable urban transport walking and cycling and electric mobility. The NDCs by Guinea, Seychelles and Sri Lanka outline detailed actions to support their transport greenhouse gas emission mitigation targets. Colombia’s NDC features a strong diversity of actions on cycling, public transport, railways, taxis, trucks and walking. The NDCs by Colombia and Seychelles connect transport activities to urban planning; and tailor actions for public transport, walking and cycling, while also intending to reduce the fossil fuel dependency through the introduction of zero-emission vehicles.

These 4 NDCs present several additional strengths beyond the scope of the 6 categories that have been used over the past weeks in this Hall of Fame of the NDCs. Colombia’s NDC connects activities to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Guinea’s NDC shares a list of rail and urban transport projects, including as available information on future transport capacity, construction costs and estimated emission reductions for those projects. Seychelles’ NDC outlines a vision of future transport beyond mitigation by including plans to develop and implement a transport adaptation strategy and risk assessment. Sri Lanka’s NDC reviews achievements since their first NDC and describes the efforts put into the transport NDC actions.

The NDCs of Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Samoa and South Sudan receive 3 stars. All of them feature transport greenhouse gas mitigation targets and a strong focus on Shift and Improve actions for passenger transport. The transport greenhouse gas mitigation targets in the NDCS of Burkina Faso, Samoa and South Sudan intend to reduce the intensity of transport greenhouse gas emission increase by 2030. All 4 NDCs contain detailed transport actions. However they do not cover urban transport actions (i.e. public transport, walking and cycling) or freight transport in the same detail as the 4-star best-performing NDCs. The NDC by Samoa’s NDCs features transport greenhouse gas mitigation targets for both land and maritime transport and is one of the few NDCs that connects transport to renewable energy.

The NDCs of Cabo Verde, El Salvador, Jordan and Liberia receive 2 stars. These NDCs present a mix of  different strengths. Cabo Verde’s NDC contains electric mobility actions, while also aims at advancing active mobility and examining opportunities for sustainable maritime transport. El Salvador’s NDC intends to reduce transport emissions significantly against the business-as-usual scenario by 2030. Bus rapid transit, electric buses and compact cities actions are included in Jordan’s NDC. Liberia’s NDC commits to reduce transport greenhouse gas emissions by 15.1% below business-as-usual levels by 2030 through the completion of several transport projects by 2025.

The NDCs of Albania, Barbados, Nepal and the United Arab Emirates receive one star. Albania’s NDC features targets on increasing the modal share of public transport, as well as on shifting freight transport from road to rail. Barbados’s NDC focuses on sustainable urban transport through the transition to a fully electrified public bus fleet by 2030. Nepal’s NDC outlines 2025 and 2030 targets for sales of electric cars, buses, two- and three-wheelers. The United Arab Emirates’s NDC features actions on infrastructure expansions and the development of standards for electric, hydrogen and autonomous vehicles.

You can read about the detailed methodology for this assessment here. This exercise presents the following limitations:

1) The assessment examines if a NDC covers a parameter and in most cases it does not assess the quality of the given parameter. Only the transport greenhouse gas mitigation targets have been assessed in terms of their ambition. A NDC might cover very few parameters that are counted for the scoring, but the content could be very ambitious.

2) This assessment only looks at 6 major categories (see the NDCs Hall of Fame by SLOCAT). There are several more aspects that come into play to determine a robust NDC in terms of ambition and action for sustainable, low carbon transport (see the SLOCAT Ten Recommendations to Raise Ambition for Transport in NDCs).

3) All NDCs are evaluated in the same manner without the country and development context being accounted for.

4) It must be underscored that NDCs do not always reflect all the transport actions that are planned or implemented by a given country. National transport development strategies and policies, and infrastructure plans often outline more activities on passenger and freight transport.

Why are we not awarding 5 stars to any NDC submitted so far?

The awarded NDCs are showing relevant ways in which to enable the transformation of passenger and freight transport systems for equitable, decarbonised and resilient pathways. They illustrate positive trends compared to the first-generation of NDCs. However it is important to remember that overall, second-generation NDCs are not sufficient to meet the Paris Agreement goals. The UNFCCC Synthesis Report found that not only is the level of ambition in second-generation NDCs insufficient to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. It will, in fact, imply a further increase of greenhouse gas emissions of around 16% by 2030. Equally, across the board, NDCs are not enabling the transformation of transport systems that is required. Read more about the strengths and gaps of climate strategies in SLOCAT’s Climate Strategies for Transport: An analysis of Nationally Determined Contributions and Long-Term Strategies and conduct your own research through the SLOCAT-GIZ Tracker of Climate Strategies for Transport.

To keep global temperature rise to below 1.5°C, the Glasgow Climate Pact that was agreed at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) requested countries to submit more ambitious NDCs by the end of 2022. SLOCAT is urging countries to revisit their contributions and further enhance the transport ambition of their climate strategies. The SLOCAT Partnership compiled recommendations to raise ambition for transport in NDCs to align transport with the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These recommendations include practical steps to ensure that the way that climate strategies are developed and implemented maximises climate action in transport. Explore here the SLOCAT Ten Recommendations to Raise Ambition for Transport in NDCs.

The assessment is based on the SLOCAT Ten Recommendations to Raise Ambition for Transport in NDCs, with data from the SLOCAT-GIZ Tracker of Climate Strategies for Transport. Contact Nikola Medimorec for further information. It is part of the NDCs Hall of Fame by SLOCAT.

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