The Low Carbon development programme engages with the public and private sectors to assist countries advance their national processes for implementing mitigation strategies, policies and instruments through the following projects:

Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (iNDC) Support

UNEP DTU Partnership is providing technical support to 31 countries from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Caribbean under the project 'Preparation of intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) to the 2015 Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) GEF Agency'.

The project runs from April 2015 to December 2017 and the implementation is divided in two phases:

Phase 1: April 2015-December 2015

UNEP GEF INDC Support project & GSP for INDC preparation

• The UNEP-GEF INDC support project aimed at helping developing countries prepare their INDCs in 2015. The project's main objective was to help countries develop INDCs and submit to UNFCC before 1 October.
• The project supported 36 countries (of which UDP provided technical support to 32), of which 35 countries submitted their INDCs prior to Paris COP. Global Support Programme (GSP) for INDC preparation is an enabling activity project to provide tools as well as platform for south-south exchange on the INDC development.

Phase 2: January 2016- June 2017

NDC implementation Support by UNEP/UDP

UNEP/UDP is providing NDC implementation support through two projects: UNEP-GEF INDC Support project and Global Support Programme (GSP) for INDC preparation, and the Facilitating Implementation Readiness for Mitigation funded by the Danish Government.

Initiative for Climate Action transparency (ICAT)

The Paris Agreement marks an historic turning point in global action on climate change. In response to the critical need to support improved transparency and capacity building under the Paris Agreement, in 2015 the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) founded the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT). In early 2016 they were joined by the Italian Ministry of the Environment (IMELS) and the ClimateWorks Foundation.
The project is partnering with countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America & Caribbean to undertake capacity building and pilot test the methodological framework. As of January 2017, 17 countries have been formally invited to join the initiative.

UNEP DTU Partnership is implementing this project along with partners Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and World Resources Institute (WRI). The Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance and Rainforest Alliance are supporting partners and will contribute to specific aspects of the Initiative.

Sustainable Development Dialogue on the Implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement under the UNFCCC process

Global goals for climate change and sustainable development were agreed in two historical agreements in 2015; the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2°C aiming for 1,5°C and the United Nations 2030 Agenda to achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The political aspiration for a transformational change to low carbon and sustainable development is recognized in both agreements. In the Paris Agreement sustainable development is mentioned 23 times compared to only 3 times in the Kyoto Protocol and in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, new cooperative mechanisms are established with the dual objective to enable higher ambition in climate action and promote sustainable development. Against this background the aim of the Dialogue is to explore Party and stakeholder views on options to assist with the implementation of the sustainable development provisions for Article 6. Based on technical work, research and analysis, options for guidance, rules, modalities and procedures to operationalize the Article 6 sustainable development provisions will be will be presented and discussed with Parties and stakeholders in advance of COP24 in Katowice. The Dialogue is currently supported by Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland and receives technical assistance from UNEP DTU Partnership and the Gold Standard Foundation.

Facilitating Implementation & Readiness for Mitigation

The Facilitating Implementation and Readiness for Mitigation (FIRM) project provides support to participating developing countries in preparing to implement low-carbon development activities within the context of a country’s sustainable development imperatives. Funded by the Danish International Development Agency, Danida, the project is implemented by UN Environment's Economics Division and supported by the UNEP DTU Partnership. The central aim of the project is to contribute to the international efforts in reducing emission of greenhouse gases and benefit from emerging opportunities for supporting such activities. The project will run from October 2011 to June 2017.

The first component of FIRM project targets 7 countries across 3 different regions and aims to provide support for the development of 2 NAMA documents. These countries are Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco and Senegal in Africa, Indonesia and Vietnam in Asia, Costa Rica in Latin America.

The second component of FIRM project targets South Africa and Mexico. It aims at providing support to both countries for reviewing their GHG emission scenarios.

The third component of FIRM project targets Ghana, Morocco, Vietnam and Costa Rica. It aims at providing support to develop INDC/NDC implementation plan.

Adaptation Mitigation Readiness (ADMIRE)

The ADMIRE Project is a 3 year project (2014 - 2016) funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is a collaboration between United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the UNEP DTU Partnership. The project supports the development of ideas, in collaboration with applicants, local experts and national government representatives, into sustainable financeable frameworks that will support the integration of private sector action into nationally appropriate mitigation and adaptation plans and policies.

African Carbon Asset Development (ACAD)
The ACAD Facility is an innovative public-private partnership that collaborates with African financial institutions and local project developers to enhance their awareness, expertise, and investment willingness in the African carbon market. The project’s strategy draws upon three complementary support lines: risk and transaction cost sharing, technical assistance to project developers, and targeted training and outreach for financial institutions.
By building a portfolio of projects that is both relevant and easy to replicate elsewhere in Africa, ACAD works to stimulate similar ventures, eventually decreasing project development finance transaction costs, and mobilizing investment.


This project is a component of the larger umbrella Project ‘Capacity Building related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA) in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Countries’, funded by the European Commission. The CDM capacity-building component is carried out as regional programmes in Caribbean and Pacific Island countries, and as national programmes in seven African countries.
CDM knowledge and experience from UNEP DTU and its implementation partners is transferred to national stakeholders through provision of institutional and technical backstopping, with special emphasis on practical hands-on participatory training.


CASCADe Africa

This UN Environment Project aims at enhancing expertise to generate carbon credits in land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) as well as bioenergy activities in Sub-Saharan African countries.
Capacity building efforts will adopt a hands-on, learning by doing approach in which local developers are given the opportunity to develop and prepare Project Idea Notes (PINs), Carbon Finance Documents (CFDs), and/or Project Design Documents (PDDs) through direct technical assistance. Pilot projects will be supported in the following target countries: Benin, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, and Senegal.
The initiative is jointly implemented by UDP and UN Environment, in partnership with the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and the French National Forestry Office. Funding comes from the French Global Environment Facility.


Knowledge materials, publications and tools

The LCD programme authors a wide range of freely accessible publications, policy analysis; scientific journals; working papers; guidebooks, e-courses, methodologies, web-based tools and data gathering and analysis, such as the CDM and NAMA/INDC & Pledge Pipelines - considered the world’s leading mitigation information tools.

NAMA Pipeline Analysis and Database

The NAMA Pipeline Analysis and Database contains all submissions to the UNFCCC from developing countries and countries in transition for Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions.

The NAME Pipeline is a work in progress, and the information contained on each NAMA may not be uniform. The Pipeline is not a NAMA registry, but a less formal overview of activities submitted as NAMAs.

CDM/JI Pipeline Analysis and Database

The CDM Pipeline includes CDM projects at validation, registration and issuance of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). The JI Pipeline includes Track 1 and Track 2 Joint Implementation projects posted for public comment.

The database also contains baseline and monitoring methodologies, a list of DOEs and analysis on the evolution of the project pipeline. The CDM/JI Pipeline Database is available for download at the beginning of each month.

Climate Initiatives Platform (CIP)

The Climate Initiatives Platform (CIP) is an online data base/portal for collecting, sharing and tracking information on international cooperative climate initiatives driven by non-state actors such as business, cities, and regions. This Climate Initiatives Platform (CIP) is being hosted by UNEP and the UNEP DTU Partnership, through a project funded by the government of the Netherlands.

The platform aims to provide a comprehensive set of information on the existing initiatives to facilitate both a further strengthening of International Climate Initiatives (ICIs), and also the research of their role and impact. The CIP is a data provider to UNFCCCs Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA) platform since October 2016. The NAZCA platform aims to showcase non-state commitments to take climate action, and is acknowledged as structuring and mobilizing force in the Paris Agreement.

Click to read the Climate Intiatives Platform Report and the Climate Initiatives Platform Report Appendices released in November 2018.

Evaluation and Development of proposals for the CDM EB’s Sustainable Development Tool

CDM Executive Board’s Sustainable Development Tool is a nine month research project  implemented by Wuppertal Institute and UNEP DTU Partnership for the German Federal Environment Agency. The  project seeks to undertake an analysis of the EB’s SD Tool and SD provisions of other flexible mechanisms, an analysis of the host countries views on the suitability and practicability of the EB’s SD tool as well as a discussion of the pros and cons of the tool and recommendations for it improvement.

The research project will develop a methodological approach to qualitatively assess the suitability of the current EB SD tool and options for its improvement. The approach will include international level criteria (comparing the SD tool with other flexible mechanisms) and national level criteria (comparing the appropriateness of the EB’s SD tool against the needs for sustainability assessment in CDM host countries). This approach will enable a discussion of the pros and cons of the EB’s voluntary SD tool against the international and national level assessment criteria with an aim to suggest recommendations for its improvement.

The project has produced three working papers: 

Mapping the Indicators: An Analysis of Sustainable Development Requirements of Selected Market Mechanims and Multilateral Institutions 

Assessing Usefulness: Do Stakeholders Regard the CDM’s SD Tool as Practical?

Reforming the CDM SD Tool: Recommendations for improvement

UDP Project manager: Karen Holm Olsen,


Measuring Sustainable Development in NAMAs

This is a research project to improve quantitative and qualitative measurement of the sustainable development outcomes of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), thereby enhancing understanding of how NAMAs can contribute to meeting national development goals.

Indicators of transformational change for MRV of NAMAs

This project aims to improve understanding of the concept of transformational change (TC) and how to Measure, Report and Verify (MRV) aspects of transformational change in Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions.


NAMAcademy and regional events

NAMAcademy - The LCD Programme develops and disseminates knowledge through NAMAcademy and organizes hands-on in-country activities, regional carbon forums and international conferences to facilitate attracting finance for implementation of mitigation actions. The NAMAcademy is a first effort by UDP to establish a more formalized certificate course, which is preceded by an e-learning course on NAMAs launched in April 2014. So far 200+ participants have registered for the e-course. 

Africa Carbon Forum

The African Carbon Forum (AFC) is a trade fair and knowledge sharing platform for carbon investments in Africa that brings together representatives from designated national authorities (DNA), national focal points, UN agencies, governments and the private sector. The Forum includes matchmaking and deal facilitation sessions aimed at enabling potential CDM project participants and developers to showcase their projects to interested parties, including investors and carbon buyers.

The AFC is organized periodically by partners to the Nairobi Framework: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Environment, the UNFCCC Secretariat, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank.

The eighth Africa Carbon Forum was held in Kigali, Rwanda, from 28 to 30 June, 2016.

Latin American Carbon Forum

The Latin American Carbon Forum (LACF) is a regional platform established to promote knowledge and information sharing while facilitating business opportunities among main carbon market stakeholders. LACF is organized in a yearly basis by a partnership between the World Bank, the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE) and the UNEP DTU Partnership.  The last Latin American Carbon Forum took place on 28 - 30 September, 2016 in Panama City, Panama.

For further information please contact, Programme Head: Miriam 


18 APRIL 2019