Ten country reports on ambitious climate policy

The sum of greenhouse gas emission reductions from Parties to the UNFCCC is not enough to limit the level of global temperature rise to below either the 1.5°C or 2°C target. All Parties are therefore compelled to strengthen their reduction targets. The German Environment Agency (UBA) has commissioned an analysis of the institutional set up and challenges in ten selected countries.


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2014) stated that cumulative carbon emissions between 2011 and 2100 must not exceed the budget of 630-1,180 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent if global warming is to be limited to 2°C over pre-industrial levels with a probability of at least 66 per cent. The 2°C target was laid down in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

According to the UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2016, global carbon dioxide emissions must be net zero by 2070 to remain within an emissions budget that is compatible with the 2°C target. The Paris Agreement´s call to limit that rise to 1.5°C only, requires global carbon dioxide emissions to be net zero by 2050 already.

The nationally determined contributions which the countries have defined at national level and communicated to the international community does not add up to achieve the global targets. In the Paris Agreement, Parties agreed on an ambition mechanism to increase action with regard to national mitigation contributions. The mechanism does not prescribe which countries and to what extent they can or should increase their ambition. It is therefore all the more important to examine the existing conditions in the country, including the technical and economic potential as well as other general conditions.


Since 2016 English country reports have been prepared for the German Environment Agency in the framework of the two-year project "Implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions: Framework Conditions and Transformative Challenges in Selected Focus Countries". Germany cooperates closely on climate change with the selected countries. Country reports will be prepared for the following countries (see under Publications on right of page for already published reports):

  • Colombia
  • Ethiopia
  • Georgia
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Kenya
  • Marshall Islands
  • Morocco
  • Peru
  • Viet Nam

The country reports for Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco and Viet Nam also take a closer look at the coal industry in those countries.

Similar projects have been done in the past. See the “Related Publications” box to the right.


The studies of the ten countries examine emissions and energy use, current climate mitigation actions (in particular, the Nationally Determined Contributions - NDCs) as well as existing emissions reduction potential and barriers to realizing the full potential.

Analysis of current mitigation contributions

This review takes previous scientific analyses into account and starts by analyzing the assumptions taken by the NDCs and the resulting numbers and figures. The proposed actions are assessed in terms of their cost, political feasibility and according to sustainability criteria. Conclusions are drawn on whether the mitigation contributions of the selected countries are enough to stay within the limits of the 2°C/1.5°C target. This means that mitigation strategies must be implemented for the period up to 2030 which focus on low-cost options for reducing GHG emissions to zero. 

Analysis of mitigation potential

The potential to mitigate GHG emissions up to 2030 is analysed and the extent to which this potential is being tapped by the NDCs and at what cost this potential could be implemented is determined. If a long-term decarbonisation strategy is in place, it is examined with a view to the chances and barriers in the political and economic system for the implementation of the identified mitigation potentials. The analysis also explores how such barriers might be overcome. A further aspect of the research project is the presentation of the societal players which have a commercial stake in climate action measures and what positive effects might result.

Coal phase out

Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco and Viet Nam – countries with a significant domestic coal mining/electricity production industry – are analysed with a view to determine how policies can be implemented to promote a phase-out of the energy recovery of coal and what economic and social measures could accompany the process. There is also an illustration of the positive side effects for e.g. air pollution control and agriculture and human rights.

Institutional set-up of national climate policy

The analysis also addresses whether the country in question has an overall climate action strategy, how those individual concepts interlink, which players are involved and how the reporting systems are anchored in national institutions.