Budgeting for NDC action: initial lessons from four climate-vulnerable countries

This working paper addresses the following question: are climate change-related expenditures starting to appear in national budgets to secure the early implementation of countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)? It examines the evidence of resourcing NDC policies and actions in four sub-Saharan African countries – Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda – that are known to be vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

How national budgets are constructed has a major bearing on the extent to which NDC-related actions can be identified as part of government spending. Budgetary reform in all four countries, including the recent introduction of programme-based budgeting, has raised the possibility of identifying such expenditures more readily than was previously possible.

A review of national budget spending in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda suggests limited resources are being allocated to NDC-related actions. In addition, many relevant national projects are heavily dependent on donor support. The implication of this is that the early implementation of NDCs in these climate-vulnerable countries will rely on significant international financial support, something already highlighted in the framing of the conditional elements of these countries’ NDCs.

Overall, the present and projected levels of public expenditure suggest that achieving the levels of spending implied in the first NDCs will be very challenging.

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Building capacity for risk management in a changing climate: A synthesis report from the Raising Risk Awareness project

The Raising Risk Awareness project uses the latest advances in climate science to understand the role of climate change in the occurrence of extreme events such as flooding, droughts and heatwaves in developing countries. Having a better understanding of whether and how climate change might affect the likelihood and severity of extreme events in a particular location is important when managing future climate risk. The project analyses the role of climate change in recent droughts in Ethiopia and Kenya, and recent flooding and heatwave events in India. In Bangladesh, the project examines the risk of coastal flooding as a result of sea level rise induced by climate change, using the Surging Seas tool.

Developing countries are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather. Such events are eroding decades of development gains and are devastating communities, livelihoods and infrastructure. The Global Climate Risk Index 2017 shows that “of the 10 most affected countries (1996–2015), nine were developing countries in the low income or lower–middle income country groups”.

Stakeholders are increasingly demanding information about the role of climate change in individual extreme weather events, as evidenced by a rising number of requests for such information coming from governments, non-governmental organisations and the media in the wake of these events. Extreme event attribution questions are amongst those most commonly asked of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society help desk during major disasters. In recognition of this demand for information, the Raising Risk Awareness project sought to raise awareness of and share extreme event attribution analyses with a range of stakeholders across the science, communication and policy communities in Ethiopia, India and Kenya. In many areas of new science, a major challenge relates to the science–communications–policy gap: the challenge of making scientific outputs understandable and actionable for laypersons and policy-makers. Therefore, an important element of the Raising Risk Awareness project was to understand and help address potential science–communications–policy gaps associated with extreme event attribution and sea level rise risk that may exist in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India and Kenya.


The International Institute for Sustainable Development's mission is to promote human development and environmental sustainability through innovative research, communication and partnerships.

Established in 1990, IISD is an independent, non-profit organisation that provides practical solutions to the challenge of integrating environmental and social priorities with economic development. We report on international negotiations, conduct rigorous research, and engage citizens, businesses and policy-makers on the shared goal of developing sustainably.

Promising Practices for Environmental Justice Methodologies in NEPA Reviews

Promising Practices for EJ Methodologies in NEPA Reviews, an EJ IWG report produced by the NEPA Committee (hereinafter referred to as “Promising Practices Report”) represents the professional experience, knowledge, and expertise of the individuals participating in the NEP A Committee. The NEP A Committee (see List of NEP A Committee Participants from ten departments, three agencies, and one White House office) spent almost 48 months researching, analyzing and discussing the interaction ofenvironmentaljusticeandNEPA. ThePromisingPracticesReportisacompilationof methodologies gleaned from current agency practices identified by the NEPA Committee concerning the interface of environmental justice considerations through NEPA processes. The EJ IWG and NEPA Committee hope that this compilation will disseminate promising EJ practices across the federal government so that we can learn from one another about effective ways to build robust consideration of environmental justice into our NEPA practice. This document draws from existing environmental justice and NEPA Guidance developed by White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and federal agencies, but is not and should not be considered formal guidance.

NIST Community Resilience Economic Decision Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems

This Economic Guide provides a standard economic methodology for evaluating investment decisions aimed to improve the ability of communities to adapt to, withstand, and quickly recover from disruptive events. The Economic Guide is designed for use in conjunction with the NIST Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems, which provides a methodology for communities to develop long-term plans by engaging stakeholders, establishing performance goals for buildings and infrastructure systems, and developing an implementation strategy, by providing a mechanism to prioritize and determine the efficiency of resilience actions. The methodology described in this report frames the economic decision process by identifying and comparing the relevant present and future streams of costs and benefits—the latter realized through cost savings and damage loss avoidance—associated with new capital investment into resilience to those future streams generated by the status-quo. Topics related to non-market values and uncertainty are also explored. This report provides context for increasing resilience capacity through focusing on those investments that target key social goals and objectives, and providing selection criteria that ensure reduction of risks as well as increases in resilience. Furthermore, the methodological approach aims to enable the built environment to be utilized more efficiently in terms of loss reduction during recovery and to enable faster and more efficient recovery in the face of future disasters.

NOAA Guidance for Considering the Use of Living Shorelines

Coastal communities face constant challenges from shoreline erosion. Although erosion is a natural coastal process, many valuable resources border the nation’s coastline. Shorelines need protection from damage caused by intense storms, wave erosion, and sea level rise. Shoreline stabilization does not need to create a barrier between land and water, as happens with hard shoreline stabilization structures like seawalls and bulkheads. New stabilization options, like living shorelines, are gaining attention as an alternative to traditional shoreline stabilization techniques. Living shorelines can reduce damage and erosion while simultaneously providing ecosystem services to society, including food production, nutrient and sediment removal, and water quality improvement.

This guidance is intended to provide information on NOAA’s perspective and roles regarding living shorelines implementation. It starts by describing NOAA living shorelines guiding principles, then highlights NOAA’s role in providing science, tools, and training to help inform the selection of appropriate techniques. It also discusses the agency’s role in reviewing living shoreline projects, depending on their location and potential effect on habitats of concern to NOAA, such as critical habitat, essential fish habitat, or protected areas. This guidance also provides a conceptual framework of 12 questions to help NOAA and our partners when planning a shoreline stabilization effort.

President's State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience

At state, local, tribal, and territorial levels, leaders are making bold decisions on ways to invest in more resilient infrastructure, revise land use, update building codes, and adjust natural resource management and other practices to improve the resilience of their communities to climate impacts. The Federal Government has a critical role to play in supporting these efforts by ensuring that Federal policies and programs incorporate climate change, incentivize and remove barriers to community resilience, and provide the information and assistance communities need to understand and prepare for climate risks. The Federal Government also has a responsibility to protect its own investments, such as military installations and space launch facilities, and ensure that the lands and resources it holds in the public trust are managed for a changing climate.

In order to better support communities across the country as they prepare for the impacts of climate change, the Task Force proposes that the Administration advance actions across the Federal Government that align with the following overarching principles:

 Require consideration of climate-related risks and vulnerabilities in the design, revision, and implementation of all Federal policies, practices, investments, regulations, and other programs.

  •  Maximize opportunities to take actions that have dual-benefits of increasing community resilience and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  •  Strengthen coordination and partnerships among Federal agencies, and across Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions as well as economic sectors.
  •  Provide actionable data and information on climate change impacts and related tools and assistance to support decision-making at all levels.
  • Consult and cooperate with Tribes and indigenous communities on all aspects of Federal climate preparedness and resilience efforts, and encourage states and local communities to do the same.

Mapping Coastal Risks and Social Vulnerability: Current Tools and Legal Risks

Extreme weather events and nuisance ooding are increasing, with communities already experiencing impacts. Both the identi cation of local hazards and the assessment of local vulnerabilities can protect people, their property, and their livelihoods.

The goal of this project, along with the accompanying paper Mapping Coastal Risks and Social Vulnerability: Principles and Considerations, is to provide an overview for local governments of the social vulnerability data sets that are currently available, how social vulnerability is currently being used and could be used, and what legal risks might be associated with utilizing it. A typical factor used to determine social vulnerability is race or ethnicity. e use of race speci cally raises legal concerns, primarily based on the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. In this paper, we discuss the equal protection analysis framework and the potential legal challenges associated with using race as a factor in in making decisions based on maps or other decision-support tools that include social vulnerability criteria.

International Climate Change Adaptation Framework for Road Infrastructure

Actions undertaken to mitigate the negative effects of climate change on road networks have varied from one country to another. They include legal, regulatory and institutional measures; promoting other transport modes; introducing new, green technologies; undertaking permanent supervision of embankments and slopes to reduce risks of collapse, accidents and interruptions of service, as well as developing new methodologies and analytical tools to identify, assess and mitigate risks and thus reduce the vulnerability of the road infrastructure.

Despite all these efforts, dealing with the effects of climate change is still a new topic and there are no easily accessible references to help transport and road decision-makers to cope with the problem and manage it systematically and efficiently. While some countries have made progress on this subject, others are yet to start their own efforts. In recognizing this situation, the World Road Association has completed this "International Climate Change Adaptation Framework for Road Infrastructure" to help member countries adopt a consistent approach to analyze the effects of climate change on their road networks and thus help them identify, propose and prioritize the most appropriate measures to mitigate risks associated with extreme weather events.