C40 Releases Handbook Showcasing City Success to Raise National NDC Ambition

NDC Ambition Handbook: Learning from Climate Action in Cities

The NDC Ambition Handbook is a collection of the most impactful mitigation and adaptation activities in cities across seven sectors: energy, transport, buildings, waste, construction, air quality, and urban planning and design. The playbook lays out high impact actions, strategies to avoid and key adaptation considerations. With this guide, the C40 network of around 100 cities supports countries in defining actions during their NDC development phase.

The handbook defines seven sectors in which impactful climate measures help to raise national ambitions: Buildings, energy, construction, transport, urban planning and design, waste and air quality. Structured by sector, the handbook first highlights their importance  for climate ambitions. For each sectoral area, it then gives in-depth recommendations for high impact actions, actions to avoid and adaptation considerations. Best practice examples from C40 cities underline the importance of sectoral action inclusion within Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Each of the defined sectors accounts for a significant share of global greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the construction sector is responsible for 23 %, while the buildings sector produces more than one third of energy related CO2 emissions. At the same time, limiting greenhouse gas emissions also means limiting health-damaging air pollution, as many pollutants have common sources like road traffic, building energy use and industry.

In order to address these issues, the handbook’s in-depth recommendations cover a variety reaching from policy and legal advice, infrastructure improvements, economic support and education measures up to small-scale action which can be implemented directly.

Examples for each sector are:

  • Develop education material and advice for stakeholders to meet building decarbonization requirements (Building sector)
  • Support innovations for the decarbonization of heating and cooling systems (Energy sector)
  • The choice of low carbon materials and a resource efficient design (Construction sector)
  • create a safe, reliable and convenient infrastructure for walking, cycling and mass transit (Transport sector)
  • Mixed land use and higher residential and job densities (Urban planning and design)
  • Promotion of a zero-waste hierarchy and circular economy (Waste sector)
  • expanding air quality measurement tools and enforcing health-based air quality standards, especially for densely populated areas (Air quality)

The suggested high-impact actions are accompanied by actions to avoid which are expected to negatively impact the pathway to reach ambitious climate targets. Additionally, the section “adaptation considerations” suggests impactful adaptation measures that can be easily integrated in the suggested actions for each sector. Thus, the measures can help to decrease a city’s vulnerability towards climate change and improve human well-being.

Find out all adaptation and mitigation actions that the NDC Ambition Handbook proposes for cities to raise ambition in the NDCs!