‘Ambition’ – What Does It Mean?

“Ambition’ is a key term in the Paris Agreement. It can have multiple meanings in an NDC:

SCOPE: how many economic sectors are covered?  Are land use sectors–forestry and agriculture–included in the NDC? For rich countries: is a ‘climate finance’ contribution included in the NDC?

MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION: NDCs should contain actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it should also contain actions to help farmers and vulnerable communities adapt to climate change.

GOOD PUBLIC PROCESS: ‘ambition’ also signals the ways that the NDC will engage the public in responding to the climate challenge and allows for ongoing dialogue.

Okay, Now What?

Decide which of the six NDC building blocks related to land use, public participation, climate finance and climate ambition you want to focus on. There are page links to those six areas below. Develop specific requests for the NDC in these areas.

Most NDCs are now undergoin revisiion at the national level.  You may be invited to give input at the beginning of the process.  In other cases, the government or consultants will present a ‘draft’ NDC for consideration and ask you to respond. In either case, it’s important that civil society, indigenous peoples, and community concerns are clearly articulated. The linked pages below can help you in discussions of key requests and recommendations.

Vision for High Ambition

This section suggests tools for groups to develop their own vision for a high-ambition NDC. CLARA members can add their experiences and tools that have been used for ‘visioning’ purposes in different settings. CLARA proposes a basic checklist of necessary NDC elements:

  • use of ‘rights-based approaches’
  • meaningful consultations with indigenous peoples, civil society, and vulnerable groups
  • secure land rights for local communities and indigenous peoples as a climate solution
  • Promotion of agroecology
  • Climate finance that works for people
Continue To ‘Ambition’ Pages

Transparency                                   & Inclusion

Ensure that the NDC fulfills the Paris Agreement requirements on consultation and public engagement.


Adaptation for food security is crucial. But we must also end our dependence on fossil fuels in agriculture.

Forest Reference Levels

Accurate data on current forest conditions is critical for measuring improvements in resilience and carbon storage.


Land rights, empowerment of women, food security, access to information.

Ecosystem Protection      & Forest Restoration

Address climate change and biodiversity loss together.  Conservation of natural areas and rights-based restoration.

Financial Mechanisms

A guide to sources of finance for land-based actions – land rights, forest restoration, and investments in agroecology.