Characteristics of mitigation commitments

ACT 2015 working paper

Published: 26/01/2015

Since December 2013, countries have been preparing their “commitments” to reduce emissions for presentation by the first quarter of 2015, formally known as “intended nationally determined contributions” (INDCs), which will be anchored in the 2015 climate agreement.

This ACT 2015 paper highlights key characteristics of national mitigation commitments, and explores implications of various options. Characteristics of commitments include, for example, whether they are results-based or activity-based; their scope; their timeframe; whether they target a range of years or a single year; whether they are unequivocal or conditional on the actions of others; and how binding they are on the Parties making them. The options that countries select will have implications for environmental impact, transparency, and measurability, as well as for the character of the new climate agreement including the level of participation, level of flexibility and design of mechanisms for raising ambition.