Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) are mitigation actions that countries in the Paris Agreement have developed, and for which a great deal of political capital has been invested. NAMAs offer an effective way to support countries with, among others, channelling international climate finance for mitigation and ensuring the transparency of mitigation actions. This is why we have developed a unique expertise to help countries and policy makers to identify, design, implement and evaluate national climate change mitigation actions in a structured manner.

We have been at the forefront of the conceptualisation, development and implementation of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions, or NAMAs, ever since they were first introduced by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2007. Our team has, to date, developed over 15 NAMAs and other scaled-up mitigation programmes in Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, with recommendations for local authorities on financial architecture.

NAMAs are climate policies and measures in developing countries within different economic sectors (including transport and waste). NAMAs can catalyse additional financial support or technical assistance from international donors under a condition that such actions:

  • Lead to substantial, quantifiable greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions, contributing to global climate change mitigation efforts;
  • Have positive impacts on the local sustainable development (SD) conditions of the country and the sector that the NAMA covers;
  • Are aligned with the national policy, institutional and regulatory framework.

The NAMA impacts – GHG emission reductions and sustainable development benefits – must be tracked and evaluated by domestic and international stakeholders involved in the climate policy process through an integrated measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) system. NAMAs can vary dramatically in terms of their scope, content, level of stringency and Monitoring Reporting Verification (MRV) arrangements, as there are currently no internationally agreed rules on NAMAs.

Our unique approach: South Pole's NAMA development toolkit

NAMAs should be understood as processes, which can only come to fruition through concerted and continual action and cooperation by multiple stakeholders.

Our team has designed a NAMA Development Toolkit that suggests the following NAMA development steps:
NAMA conceptualisation: This refers to selecting a NAMA among various options and preparing a NAMA concept document. The concept document outlines the NAMAs' overall objectives, sectoral coverage, geographical scope, activities targeted, expected benefits in terms of GHG emission reductions and its sustainable development impacts.

NAMA design: This step entails a comprehensive study resulting in a detailed design of all key elements of a NAMA: its objectives and targets, baseline and mitigation scenarios, MRV systems to track the progress, required institutional and regulatory framework, financial architecture, and the final implementation plan.

NAMA financing: Refers to securing financial support and technical assistance needed for NAMA readiness.

NAMA readiness: Entails the implementation of the key activities enabling the actual NAMA that will ensure favourable conditions for the implementation of mitigation actions.

NAMA implementation: The progressive roll out of mitigation actions prioritised, among others, according to their urgency, and the associated time for key activities enabling the NAMA. The NAMA implementation may be divided into a number of short-term, mid-term and long-term phases.

NAMA operation: This phase refers to the NAMA and its different components (i.e. the specific mitigation actions) being fully operational. All enabling activities and preparatory work has been completed. In some cases, this step may already be included under NAMA implementation.

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