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Resource guide for NDC finance

Selecting effective financial instruments to support action on climate change

This low emission development strategies (LEDS) Finance Resource Guide presents a curated selection of resources on a range of topics around finance for LEDS and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). It is designed to help LEDS practitioners find high-quality resources that meet their specific needs, avoiding time-consuming searches on the internet. It will be useful to individuals working on, or interested in, LEDS and NDC finance in both developed and developing countries.

Introductory resources

The following two resources provide good introductions to many aspects of LEDS and NDC finance, and are relevant to many sections of this guide.

Related tools

Planning for NDC implementation: Quick start guide and reference manual


  • Introductory resources,
  • Understanding the situation,
  • Planning and coordinating,
  • Using public finance,
  • Developing good projects

This reference manual and its accompanying quick start guide were produced to support developing countries in implementing their NDCs. It is aimed at national and subnational policymakers, development partners, and practitioners. The reference manual sets out specific activities that countries can undertake in five key areas of NDC implementation, of which one is finance. The finance chapter outlines 10 key activities as a comprehensive basis for an approach to mobilize finance for NDC implementation, and includes several relevant case studies. The activities covered are well aligned with the different sections of this resource guide. The Quick start guide and reference manual is also available as an online tool, enabling users to link finance to mitigation; adaptation; governance; and measuring, reporting, and verification.

Catalyzing climate finance: A guidebook on policy and financing options to support green, low-emission and climate-resilient development


  • Introductory resources,
  • Creating and enabling environment,
  • Sources of private finance

This is a useful general resource covering many aspects of financing LEDS, and is relevant across several of the sections covered by this guide. The principal audience for this publication is public development practitioners at national and subnational levels, as well as domestic and international experts involved in assisting governments in catalyzing finance for climate investment and sustainable development. The guide outlines a four-step methodology to assist developing countries in selecting and deploying an optimal mix of public policies and financing instruments to catalyze climate finance in line with national development priorities:

  • Step 1: Identify priority mitigation and adaptation technologies
  • Step 2: Define and assess key barriers to technology diffusion
  • Step 3: Determine appropriate policy mix to catalyze climate capital
  • Step 4: Select financing options to create an enabling policy environment

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Guidance for NAMA design in the context of NDCs: A tool to realize GHG mitigation under NDCs (Chapter 7 Quantifying the Impact of NAMAs: pp. 55–70)

Organisation(s):UNDP/UNEP DTU/UNFCCC

  • Measuring, reporting and verification

This guide, updated in 2016, aims to support developing countries in the NAMA development and implementation process by providing guidance and good practices on the key aspects of NAMAs, and provide insights on how NAMAs may support NDCs. For further information on this tool see Featured resources in section 6.

MRV 101: Understanding measurement, reporting, and verification of climate change mitigation


  • Measuring, reporting and verification

This introductory paper aims to clarify the different types of MRV relevant to climate mitigation. It covers three types—MRV of emissions; of mitigation actions; and of support. MRV of mitigation actions, covered in section 2.2 of the paper, is most relevant here. The publication is aimed at national decision makers and practitioners from environmental and development organizations with no or little prior knowledge. It does not provide detailed guidance on implementing each type of MRV, nor does it cover monitoring and evaluation of adaptation efforts. The aim is that this paper will enhance understanding of the landscape of MRV, the ways in which different types of MRV fulfill particular needs and utilize respective methodologies, and the synergies among them.

Financing Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions

Organisation(s):UNEP DTU

  • Making projects financeable

This primer is devoted to the financing of NAMAs and presents essential principles and models of financing. It highlights challenges in financing the policies and programs that make up NAMAs, as well as possible ways to overcome these challenges. The guide’s four sections cover defining NAMA finance, sources of NAMA finance, instruments, and leveraging finance for NAMAs. Although focused on NAMAs, the content of this guide would be very applicable to the design of any mitigation project that requires a robust financing strategy (such as Green Climate Fund projects).

Guidance for NAMA design in the context of NDCs: A tool to realize GHG mitigation under NDCs (Chapter 5 How to structure NAMA financing: pp. 29–44)

Organisation(s):UNDP/UNEP DTU/UNFCCC

  • Making projects financeable

This guide, updated in 2016, aims to support developing countries in the NAMA development and implementation process by providing guidance and good practices on the key aspects of NAMAs, and provide insights on how NAMAs may support NDCs. For further information on this tool see Featured resources in this section.

Understanding ‘bankability’ and unlocking climate finance for climate compatible development


  • Making projects financeable

This CDKN Working Paper focuses on understanding the concept of ‘bankability’ in support of the development of quality ‘bankable’ project proposals – to assist countries’ access to international climate finance. It was developed by CDKN in response to the observation that many countries are struggling to develop strong funding proposals that are ‘bankable’, and are struggling to understand what ‘bankability’ means for different funders in different contexts. The paper was informed by the experience of CDKN’s climate finance-related support across Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Designing NAMAs to catalyze bankable low carbon investments

Organisation(s):CCAP/NCI/UNEP DTU

  • Making projects financeable

This policy brief looks at how to develop NAMAs or other mitigation projects that are ‘bankable’—that is, something that a bank or other financier is willing to finance. It proposes three main elements for making projects bankable and explores each of these: improving policy and institutional frameworks; addressing financial risks and returns; and identifying projects and demonstrating feasibility. This brief, written by leading NAMA finance experts, is a useful introduction to this topic.

Assessing the missed benefits of countries’ national contributions: Quantifying potential co-benefits

Organisation(s):NewClimate Institute

  • Impact and transformation

This report assesses the co-benefits that a selection of countries could realize by achieving the emission reduction targets in their INDCs, and the additional co-benefits they could achieve through more ambitious targets. First it provides an overview of the general co-benefits that climate action may have, and how they could be used to incentivize further ambitious greenhouse gas reductions. It then provides illustrative results for the forgone or missed benefits that could have been achieved through action to meet a trajectory towards 100% renewables by 2050, compared with the current policies and INDCs. The countries/regions considered are Canada, Chile, China, EU, India, Japan, South Africa, and USA.

Transformational change for low carbon and sustainable development

Organisation(s):UNEP DTU

  • Impact and transformation

This publication presents five case studies exploring success factors and indicators of transformational change in low carbon development across countries and sectors. The cases were selected in order to learn from the most successful examples of transformations that have happened, or that are planned, to achieve low carbon development. Two developed country and three developing country examples are explored.

From theory to practice: Understanding transformational change in NAMAs

Organisation(s):UNEP DTU/Wuppertal Institute

  • Impact and transformation

This concept paper proposes an operational definition of what transformational change means in the context of NAMAs, taking into consideration ongoing discussions among NAMA experts. Section 1 of the paper (5 pp) provides a useful exploration of the key aspects of transformational change in the context of NAMAs; the review of theoretical approaches in section 2 may be less relevant for LEDS practitioners and policymakers.

Potential for transformational change

Organisation(s):NAMA Facility

  • Impact and transformation

Several funders require evidence of ‘transformational change’ in the projects they fund (the Green Climate Fund refers to this as paradigm shift). Being a rather new concept, this term is often poorly understood. The NAMA Facility was one of the first funders to use the term transformational change, and this factsheet offers insights on its understanding of what constitutes transformational change in the context of sustainable low emission development.

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