Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs)

Developing country parties will take nationally appropriate
mitigation actions in the context of sustainable development,
supported and enabled by technology, financing and
capacity-building, aimed at achieving a deviation in emissions
relative to ‘business as usual’ emissions in 2020.”

Cancun Agreement, December 2010 - UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

For climate change mitigation efforts to be successful, they must be reactive to national and local circumstances. In recognition of this correlation, the concept of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) emphasizes national ownership while responding to climate change under the unique conditions of each country.

The term of NAMAs first emerged in the Bali Action Plan (BAP) of 2007 (Para. 1 b). Just as Low-Carbon Development Strategies and Plans, NAMAs can be seen as concretising Art. 4.1.b UNFCCC (commitment of all Parties to implement mitigation measures). However, the BAP remains vague on what actually constitutes a NAMA, the text giving no definition or further indications. In the years since, practical work has nevertheless led to a certain clarification of the notion, so that the following traits of NAMAs can tentatively be identified:

  • Potentially all measures which contribute to the reduction or limitation of greenhouse gas emissions can be qualified as NAMAs.
  • They contribute to the transformation of an economy towards low-carbon growth, combining development and climate change mitigation.
  • NAMAs are 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”).
  • The BAP specifies that the concept of NAMAs is closely linked to measuring, reporting and verification (MRV).

NAMAs are an important tool for climate change mitigation since it gives policy-makers the opportunity to design mitigation measures in accordance with national circumstances and priorities as fleshed out in Low-Carbon Development Strategies and Plans (LCDS) 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 This enables states to avoid the lock-in of outdated, high-emission technologies and catalyses the transformation of the economy towards low-carbon and sustainable growth patterns. For developing countries, the planning of “supported NAMAs” can open up promising new opportunities for fast-track and long-term funding by public and private actors.

Based on the conviction that countries can learn from each other when designing and implementing NAMAs, the Partnership’s inventory provides up-to-date information about ongoing NAMA projects around the world.

Also, the Partnership has developed an online course on NAMA development which can be used by participants around the world who wish to acquire basic knowledge on NAMAs. Read more information here.

From Agust 2015 on we will also offer a version of this course that is guided by a tutor who will provide additional inputs, exercises and feedback to the participants. The number of places is restricted and participation is only possible based on an invitation. If you are interested in participating in the tutored NAMA E-Learning course please write an e-mail to with a short description of your current position and your involvement in NAMA development.



Read more about NAMAs:

UNEP DTU (2015): Transformational Change for Low carbon and Sustainable Development
UNEP (2014): Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action: Understanding NAMA Cycle
UNDP, UNEP, UNFCCC (2013): Guidance for NAMA Design - Building on Country Experiences
GIZ (2013): Factsheet Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA)
GIZ (2012): NAMA Tool: Steps for Moving a NAMA from Idea towards Implementation
CCAP (2011): Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions by Developing Countries: Architecture and Key Issues

UNDP (2009): Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions: Key Issues for Consideration

See projects and initiatives working on NAMAs in our project section.

See more documents, papers and tools on NAMAs in our resources section.

Inform yourself about our NAMA E-learning here.

Read about: