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A Registry of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions: Goals, Outcomes, and Institutional Requisites


This article examines key issues in operationalizing a registry of nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) undertaken by developing countries party to the United Nations framework convention on climate change. It analyzes goals, outcomes, and institutional prerequisites underlying various proposals to determine how a NAMA mechanism could work in international climate cooperation. The different proposals for how NAMA shall be designed relate to three basic effort-sharing arrangements in a future climate regime: binding commitments for all Parties, purely voluntary commitments for all, and legally binding commitments for Annex I countries but voluntary ones for others. We conclude that a NAMA registry could be designed so as initially to suit all three types of effort-sharing regimes. The article identifies three areas of potential common ground in a registry irrespective of effort-sharing type: the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, the sustainable development objectives of the Convention, and the need for a systemic transition toward low-carbon energy technologies.

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This research was supported by the Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra) through the Climate Policy Research Programme, Clipore (Grant no. 2003-194) and the Swedish Energy Agency. Special thanks for comments from panellists and participants at UNFCCC side event on NAMA registry at COP 16, Clipore colleagues as well as Mathias Friman, Mattias Hjerpe, Naghmeh Nasiritousi, and Eva Lövbrand.

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Correspondence to Björn-Ola Linnér.

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Linnér, BO., Pahuja, N. A Registry of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions: Goals, Outcomes, and Institutional Requisites. Ambio 41 (Suppl 1), 56–67 (2012).

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  • Registry
  • NAMA
  • Climate policy
  • Effort sharing
  • Sustainable development