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

Neil Bird
Posted on: 9/20/2017 - Updated on: 7/22/2019

Posted by

Charlie Zajicek


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.


Bird, N. (2017) Budgeting for NDC action: initial lessons from four climate-vulnerable countries. London: ODI (https://cdkn.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/National-budgeting-for-NDCs…)

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