Working Group on Sustainable Development (WG - SD)

Mitigation actions being put forward by developing countries range from national goals and targets to specific project activities. The Working Group on Sustainable Development focuses on identifying/developing clear links between mitigation actions and sustainable development. The WG works on developing tools/approaches to assess the contribution of the NAMAs to sustainable development, link of sustainable development with national development objectives and the contribution of NAMAs to achieve national emission targets.

The Working Group thus focuses on
  • Contribution of NAMAs in meeting defined national mitigation goals and targets
  • Contribution of NAMAs to sustainable development and other national development goals (for example, co-benefits like food security, health, etc.)
  • Institutional frameworks for governance of NAMAs and mainstreaming into development planning frameworks



The first brainstorming session of this Working Group was held on 9th April 2013. See the Presentation of Note on NAMAs and Sustainable development, the Note for Brainstorming NAMAs in the context of Sustainable Development, and the Summary of the Discussions held.

The Working Group on SD is currently undertaking the following two new research projects:

1) Measuring sustainable development in NAMAs

This research project aims 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. The International Institute for Sustainable Development and the UNEP DTU Partnership will partner to deliver the work. The Working Group on Sustainable Development established under the NAMA Partnership, as well as UNDP and UNFCCC Secretariat will provide guidance and oversight.

The project is being implemented over two phases. Phase 1 which lasts from June 2014 – November 2014, and phase 2 which starts when funding is secured. The research methodology includes desk-based analysis and interviews to gather preliminary information, which will inform the development of the summary report and NAMA SD framework.

The project seeks to enhance the understanding of expectations and needs of various stakeholders in measuring sustainable development considerations in NAMAs through an examination of tools, frameworks and indicators of sustainable development co-benefits. As part of its outcome a report is written on measuring sustainable development in NAMAs with a framework including criteria to assess sustainable development in NAMAs. Results are expected to be published by early December 2014.

2) Indicators of transformational change for MRV of NAMAs

This research project aims to improve the understanding of transformational change (TC) and how to Monitor, Report and Verify (MRV) Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) that may facilitate TC for low emission and sustainable development to achieve the 2°C target. The UNEP DTU Partnership is carrying out the research in collaboration with the Wuppertal Institute and sub-contracted partners. GIZ and the UNFCCC Secretariat will provide oversight and guidance in context of the NAMA Partnership and the International Partnership on Mitigation and MRV. The WG-SD and WG-MRV under the NAMA Partnership will provide expert review of key outputs.

Phase 1 of the research includes a review of literature and theories of transformational change, as well as case studies carried out by country and sector experts of how transformational change has happened or is planned. The project is being implemented in three stages over nine months between June 2014 and May 2015 pending funding for Phase 3. As part of its outcomes, the project seeks to not only enhance understanding of what transformational change means but will also help create new knowledge and a revised tool to MRV how NAMAs can be designed, prioritized and implemented with an aim to facilitate TC for SD and mitigation goals at national, sectoral and sub-sector levels.

You can access the new publication From Theory to Practice: Understanding Transformational Change in NAMAs.

For more information on the above projects or this Working Group, please contact: Karen Holm Olsen, UNEP DTU Partnership, at kaol(at)dtu(dot)dk


22 JUNE 2017