Climate change » What is a NAMA?

NAMA stands for Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action, a concept introduced on the Conference of the Parties (COP) in Bali in 2007 as a means for developing countries to indicate the mitigation actions that they were prepared to take as part of their contribution to a global effort. It was also agreed that NAMAs in developing countries should have an impact that can be measured, reported and verified (MRV), to ensure that the implemented measures make a genuine and effective contribution to the global climate response and that industrialized nations support the developing countries’ mitigation efforts. NAMAs can be policies directed at transformational change within an economic sector, or actions across sectors for a broader national focus. They are supported and enabled by technology, financing and capacity building, and their role is to achieve a reduction in emissions relative to business-as- usual emissions in 2020.

No internationally agreed formal definition of NAMAs exists yet. In general, any activity that demonstrably contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in a developing country and is in line with its development priorities can qualify as a NAMA. A NAMA can encompass goal formulation, policy and sector strategies, projects, and individual measures. It can be designed as part of a national climate strategy, such as a low-emission development strategy (LEDS). The following traits of a NAMA can tentatively be identified:

  • Potentially all measures which contribute to the reduction or limitation of greenhouse gas emissions can be qualified as NAMAs.
  • A NAMA contributes to the transformation of an economy towards low-carbon growth, combining development and climate change mitigation.
  • A NAMA is carried out on a voluntary basis by developing countries.
  • It is both possible to design and implement NAMAs unilaterally (“unilateral NAMAs”) or to rely on financial or technical support (“supported NAMAs”).

NAMAs can either be funded domestically or with the support from international donor countries. But besides financial resources, international NAMA support also involves in many cases technological assistance and capacity building. As the term “nationally appropriate” implies, developing a NAMA very much depends on the framework conditions of a country. When registering a NAMA with the UNFCCC Secretariat, countries can gain international recognition for their action against climate change and may attract international support. For more information and detailed analysis of NAMAs implemented in countries around the world, please refer to the online NAMA Registry.

NAMAs are an important tool for climate change mitigation since they give policy-makers the opportunity to design mitigation measures in accordance with national circumstances and priorities as fleshed out in Low-Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) or other relevant development plans. This enables states to avoid the lock-in of outdated, high- emission technologies and catalyses the transformation of the economy towards low-carbon and sustainable growth patterns. NAMAs can help achieve the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), adopted with the Paris Agreement at the COP21 in December 2015.

Further information about NAMAs is available on the International Partnership on Mitigation and MRV website. Further information on the NAMA Facility is available at its own website and on the website of BMUB’s International Climate Initiative (IKI)