Published November 30, 2021 | Version v2
Dataset Open

NDC Explorer

  • 1. Frankfurt School - UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate and Sustainable Energy Finance
  • 2. Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)


The NDC Explorer is an online tool to analyse and compare countries' (Intended) Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs/NDCs). It is based solely on information in these documents. Get more information on the project and its relevant publications or watch the introduction video.

In 2013, the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) decided that every member state would submit an 'Intended Nationally Determined Contribution' (INDC). Countries based their INDCs on their specific national priorities, circumstances, and capabilities. The INDCs proved to be a cornerstone to reach the Paris Agreement. Every party that ratifies the Paris Agreement is invited to turn its INDC into a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and to provide a new or updated NDC with increased ambitions every five years (see decision 1/CP.21, §22). First and foremost, (I)NDCs intend to increase the ambition to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, by outlining countries 'contributions'. However, most countries also use the opportunity to write about other priorities and ambitions, such as adaptation and finance needs. Countries also used their (I)NDC to highlight other important issues, such as fossil fuel subsidy reform or linkages to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The NDC Explorer has two aims. First, it provides a neutral, sophisticated and user-friendly lens to analyse and compare both qualitative and quantitative (I)NDC content that can be used for policymaking, research and advocacy. Second, the NDC Explorer stimulates the debate on content, scope as well as formulation and implementation processes of the national climate action plans. In doing so, it supports policy makers in formulating improved and more ambitious NDCs in 2020 and thereafter (see 1/CP.21, §23).

The data (zip) is accessible in following formats: 

  • 10.23661ndc_explorer_2021_3.0_metadata_20211130.xml
    describing the data in a DataCite Metadata Schema
  • 10.23661ndc_explorer_2021_3.0_categories_20211130.csv
    describing the categories and subcategories used in the NDC Explorer
  • 10.23661ndc_explorer_2021_3.0_INDC-data_20211130.csv
    showing the data of Intended Nationally Contributions (INDCs) used in the NDC Explorer
  • 10.23661ndc_explorer_2021_3.0_NDC-data_20211130.csv
    showing the data of Nationally Contributions (NDCs) used in the NDC Explorer
  • 10.23661ndc_explorer_2021_3.0_new-updated-NDC-data_20211130.csv
    showing the data of the new and updated Nationally Contributions (NDCs) used in the NDC Explorer
  • 10.23661ndc_explorer_2021_3.0_json_20211130.json
    showing all data (categories, INDCs, NDCs, Metadata)


All data is collected and coded manually from the INDCs and NDCs. The database builds on earlier databases by DIE and the UNFCCC secretariat. With a few exceptions, every subcategory is independent. The country groupings are based on World Bank data on per capita income and the World Bank regions. The original databases of DIE and the UNFCCC secretariat were tested and occasionally improved based on samples. New data is collected by trained analysts, and checked by peers and the project leader. Mistakes pointed out by users are constantly corrected.  

The UNFCCC guidance for INDC formulation (see decision 1/CP.20, § 10-17) was very limited and unclear. (I)NDCs thus vary greatly in terms of structure, content, scope, level of detail, and metrics used. As a result, it is sometimes difficult to fit all (I)NDCs under one subcategory with exclusive legend items (countries can only fall under one legend item). Wherever possible, we added legend items for (I)NDCs who provided more details. For example, we demarcate mitigation as 'focus areas' when (I)NDCs 1) explicitly highlights and/or prioritises this sector; 2) and/or underlines the sector's mitigation potential among other sectors; 3) and/or prioritises investments in this sector. Furthermore, we therefore added country-specific information in many subcategories. The team aimed to be as factual as possible and to avoid interpretations of (I)NDCs. This meant we sometimes had to exclude countries from certain legend items if they did not refer to certain concepts explicitly (such as REDD+ or SDGs and their expansions), but only described related issues or plans instead. The same accounts for sectors (e.g. derivatives of 'agriculture' or 'transport'). In other cases, we identified information in particular sections, such as 'planning process' or 'fairness and ambition'. We focused on the (I)NDC contributions until 2030. The NDC Explorer is solely based on information communicated by Parties to the UNFCCC in their (I)NDCs. The regional and income-level country groups are based on the World Bank Country Groups. Additional groups are available in the raw data only.  

Starting in November 2021, the NDC Explorer will be successively updated with the Parties' new and updated NDCs. If the Parties did not submit an English version of their NDCs, a translation was used from Climate Watch or translated by the project team using Deepl. As of November 2021 the following subcategories have been updated for new and updated NDCs submitted up to early August 2021: "Global division by income", "Type of targets", "Limiting global temperature increase", "Costs of mitigation/investment needs", "Reducing non-CO2 gases", "International market mechanisms", "Human mobility" (prior migration and displacement), "Costs of recent climate-related hazards (currency US$)", "Costs of future climate-related hazards (currency US$)", "Climate risks: extreme weather", "Climate risks: floods", "Climate risks: droughts", "Slow onset process: temperature increase" (prior climate risk), "Slow onset process: sea level rise" (prior climate risk), "Costs of adaptation/investment needs", "Conditionality of adaptation finance", "Conditionality of mitigation finance", "Conditionality of technology transfer", "Conditionality of capacity building", "Means of Implementation and fairness/equity", "Climate risk insurance" and "Fossil fuel subsidy reform". Moreover, the scope of analysis has been expanded. Thus, the following subcategories have been added: "Article 2.1", "Government tools on finance: Financial policies and regulations", "Government tools on finance: Fiscal policy levers", "Government tools on finance: Public finance", "Government tools on finance: Information instruments", "Private sector investments", "Other slow onset processes" and "Base year". In case a subcategory is classified with "no data", the category is not updated yet. Regarding the international market mechanisms updates, the subcategory's classifications/legend were modified such that data previously logged under (I)NDCs may be subject to changes. Moreover, the scope of analysis has been expanded. Thus, the following subcategories have been added: Article 2.1, Government tools on finance: Financial policies and regulations, Government tools on finance: Fiscal policy levers, Government tools on finance: Public finance, Government tools on finance: Information instruments, Private sector investments, Other slow onset processes and Base year. In case a subcategory is classified with no data, the category is not updated yet. UK has been added as a new country to all data sets. In INDC and First NDC data sets, UK shows the values of European Union.


The NDC Explorer is a contribution to the NDC Partnership Knowledge Portal and financed within the Klimalog project by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with additional financial contributions by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Swedish Research Council Formas.


Files (472.3 kB)

Additional details

Additional titles

Analyse and compare (Intended) National Determined Contributions

Related works

Dataset: 10.23661/ndc_explorer_2017_2.0 (DOI)
Is previous version of
Dataset: 10.23661/ndc_explorer_2022_4.0 (DOI)
Journal article: 10.1007/s10584-017-2122-x (DOI)