Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries unanimously agreed to work toward global goals that would limit global average temperature rise. Specifically, the Agreement seeks to limit the rise in the world’s average surface temperatures to “well below” 2°C above pre-industrial times this century, while “pursuing efforts” for 1.5°C. It also sets a target of eliminating global GHG emissions by the second half of the century – or at least compensating any residual emissions through, for example, forest growth.
A key principle in the Paris Agreement is that no country should backslide on its intentions, which were put forward in climate action plans known as “Nationally Determined Contributions”, or NDCs. The NDCs describe each country’s self-determined strategy for curbing GHG emissions, typically in five- or ten-year periods (i.e., currently until 2025 or 2030). Most also include plans to increase resilience. Individually, NDCs represent each country’s climate priorities and vision for achieving sustainable development. Aggregated, they represent the world’s collective efforts to fight Climate Change. However current NDCs are estimated to collectively result in a temperature rise of 2.9 to 3.4 degrees C by 2100.
All countries are expected to submit increasingly ambitious NDCs every five years, often described as a “ratchet mechanism”. A first opportunity to do so is in 2020. Achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals will require an emissions peak as soon as possible, followed by sharp reductions in GHG emissions. Therefore, many see high ambition in 2020 as fundamental to get on track to 1.5°C and counter a worrying trend of rising emissions. The transformative climate action required needs a global commitment to raising ambition, articulated in the next generation of NDCs, to create economic drivers that shift investments away from fossil fuel use and carbon-intensive practices.
Furthermore, many changes have occurred since the current NDCs were prepared that may provide a strong technical and economic rationale for revising the NDC. Sectoral and market trends – for example, the dramatic fall in technology costs for renewable energy and batteries – is likely to have significant impact on the prioritization of NDC actions and/or target-setting. Countries may have improved cost estimates, or wish to highlight sustainable development benefits, such as improved health or livelihoods, while those with long-term strategies have defined a new pathway toward net-zero emissions.
In the lead-up to the UN Climate Summit, UNDP and UNFCCC released the most comprehensive review to date of global ambition. The joint report, The Heat is On, revealed:
- 75 countries (representing 37% of global GHG emissions) intended to raise ambition through either mitigation or adaptation or both;
- 37 countries (16%) intended to update information in their NDCs;
- 71 countries (21%, including most developed nations) were either undecided on their approach, provided no information, or were seeking support for the NDC revision process; and
- 14 countries (26%) had no plans to revise their current NDCs.
The report reiterated that the choices made on ambition in 2020 would have profound consequences for future generations and required the world to move beyond business-as-usual as quickly as possible. It also highlighted that 2020 intentions represent a ladder of opportunity where advocacy efforts could potentially be undertaken at each level to persuade a country to undertake a positive step-change in ambition, e.g. a country that had no plans to revise its NDC submit an updated one, a country focused on adaptation ambition also increases mitigation ambition, etc.
UNDP is well-positioned to support countries on these efforts, with a long track record of supporting NDC processes globally, which has led to insights on critical bottlenecks, key success factors, emerging trends and anticipated support needs. In 2014, UNDP and UNFCCC jointly launched a series of regional technical dialogues that provided a neutral space for countries to share experiences on NDCs and build trust. In all, 22 dialogues have been held, attracting 2200+ participants from 150 countries. UNDP also assisted 43 countries to submit intended NDCs in 2015 and now supports 63 countries to strengthen core elements of NDC architecture, such as gender-responsive institutional Coordination, whole-of-government approaches, strengthened transparency systems, and mainstreaming of NDC targets. These efforts are underpinned by a $3.2BN grant-financed portfolio of climate action in 142 countries.
In response, UNDP announced it would leverage its extensive climate portfolio and scale up urgently-needed support for NDC enhancement in 100 countries, working in close collaboration with UN system partners (e.g. UNEP, FAO, UNICEF), IRENA, the NDC Partnership, the Green Climate Fund, and other strategic partners. An integrated approach will be used that harnesses the wide-ranging expertise of UNDP’s Global Policy Network to strengthen climate solutions with perspectives from governance, health, water, gender equality, women’s and youth empowerment, disaster risk reduction, and inclusive growth, among others.
A structured approach to NDC enhancement, which can be tailored to country context and sectoral priorities, serves as the framework for UNDP’s services under the Climate Promise (Figure 1). It is not anticipated that UNDP will support a comprehensive NDC review process in every country supported under the Promise. Rather, Country Offices will consult with governments to identify the most strategic and impactful responses to national priorities, while also supporting mitigation ambition.
Promise support will strategically augment other relevant ongoing activities, as appropriate, especially where other partners have a leading role on NDC enhancement. Where a country is receiving no assistance, UNDP may offer a fuller range of support.
The five core tasks of the NDC enhancement process are briefly described below, followed by information on UNDP’s service offer.
Figure 1: Five key tasks provide the framework for UNDP’s service offer under the Promise
 Climate Action Tracker
 After being static from 2014 to 2016, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose to historic highs in 2018 according to the IEA 2019 Global Energy and CO2 Status Report, driven by higher energy consumption
Duties and Responsibilities
The UNDP’s RBAP Climate Promise Team requires an NDC Roadmap Consultant to provide guidance to governments officials and relevant stakeholders in the enhancement processes and procedures of their NDCs taking into account lessons learned and good practices in previous and current NDC development processes. This consultancy will support UNDP’s RBAP Climate Promise Team in supporting countries on Nationally Determined Contributions and the contribution to the achievement of National Adaptation Planning in the lead up to the Asia-Pacific Climate Week and the COP 26 in United Kingdom and beyond.
Under the guidance and supervision of the Regional Focal Points of UNDP’s RBAP Climate Promise team, and in close collaboration with the UNDP Global Policy Network (GPN) team and UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub’s (BRH) Planet Team at UNDP, the consultant will contribute specific deliverables as the following:
Country support on an ongoing basis
- Based upon country request, provide reviews of TORs for NDC road-map development and country strategy development linked to the CP workplans;
- Review TORs for needs assessment, gaps Analysis and enhancement and TORs;
- Review draft NDCs as they develop and provide guidance on areas for enhancement and good practices to assist countries to improve their NDCs;
- Provide suggestions on how to link this work to green and more resilient recovery efforts in the context of COVID 19;
- Facilitate and provide preliminary Technical Analysis and technical advice in consultations with relevant Country Offices and government officials to revising/enhancing NDCs for mitigation and adaptation considerations;
- Coordinate with other leading experts within UNDP BRH Planet Team, UNDP GPN Team and other relevant experts on mitigation and adaptation to support selected countries in enhancing their NDCs; and
- Provide support to the UNDP’s RBAP Climate Promise Team in regional technical coordination and facilitation for review of draft NDCs upon request and options for enhancing/revision of selected NDCs.
Regional sharing of experiences and options for enhancement
- Undertake preparatory baseline analysis on NDCs in the Asia-Pacific region and identify gaps of selected NDCs against WRI-UNDP Enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): A Guide to Strengthening National Climate Plans by 2020 and other relevant publications; and Consultations with relevant Country Offices and government partners;
- Identify low hanging quick wins that may have been missed;
- Using the current NDCs as a baseline and a consideration of Climate Promise workplans, prepare an analytical framework for supporting UNDP RBAP COs with options and “low hanging fruit” for enhancement of NDCs in the context of a green and more resilient recovery;
- Review CP workplans in Asia and The Pacific and identify practical methods for integrating green recovery as the progress of the workplan implementation proceeds and link it to programming opportunities; and
- Work with RBAP Climate Promise teams to prepare at least 3 thematic notes on linking Climate Promise issues, such as gender, youth, and Climate Finance.
The following documents will be required:
- Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability and Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed daily rate as per template provided by UNDP.
- Detailed Personal CV and/or P11, indicating all past experiences from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.
- Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a methodology, on how they will approach and complete the assignment.
- If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.
- All supporting documents (a-c) must be part of the detailed CV and uploaded AS ONE document:
Incomplete proposals may not be considered. The short-listed candidates may be contacted, and the successful candidate will be notified.
PROVISION OF MONITORING AND PROGRESS CONTROLS
The consultant will be supervised remotely by UNDP RBAP Climate Promise Regional Focal Points throughout the consultancy. He/she will work closely with the Country Coordinator, and Technical Advisors and other staff involved in the UNDP Global Policy Network (GPN) team and UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub’s (BRH) Planet Team and UNDP Country Offices and relevant counterparts as appropriate.
Required Skills and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree in Science, Engineering, International Development, Environmental Science or other closely related field.
- At least 5 years of professional experience in Technical Support in developing National Determined Contributions (NDCs) and/or national climate plans;
- Demonstrated substantive experience in international climate strategies and policies;
- Proficiency and experience with Microsoft Office software and applications;
- Sound understanding of sustainable development, environmental management issues, climate mitigation and adaptation, climate risks and impacts, climate finances and other related sustainable development issues
- Experience working with UN system, and especially UNDP, and familiarity with international climate negotiation, is an asset.
- Excellent English communication skills
CRITERIA FOR THE SELECTION OF THE BEST OFFER
The following criteria will serve as basis for evaluating offers:
- Only those applications which are responsive and compliant will be evaluated.
- The technical criteria (education, experience, language) will be worth a maximum 100 points with a weightage of 70%;
- Technical criteria for evaluation (Max100 points);
- Criteria 1: Relevance in education background – Max 10 points;
- Criteria 2: Experience working on NDCs and national climate plans in the development sector – Max 35 points;
- Criteria 3: Demonstrable substantive experience in international climate strategies and policies – Max 30 points;
- Criteria 4: Experience in working with UNDP and familiarity with UNDP editorial guidelines and templates – Max 10 points;
- Criteria 5: Experience with the international climate negotiation – Max 5 points; and
- Criteria 6: Excellent English communications skills – Max10 points;
- For those passing technical evaluation above, offers will be evaluated per the Combined Scoring method:
- Technical (70%)
- Financial Evaluation (30%)
- The financial proposal shall specify an all-inclusive daily fee (including number of anticipated working days and all foreseeable expenses to carry out the assignment); and
- Applicant receiving the Highest Combined Score and has accepted UNDP’s General Terms and Conditions will be awarded the contract.
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.