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NAMA Facility Donors Raise Ambition to Target Carbon Neutrality

February 5, 2020

NAMA Facility Donors continue to pave the way ahead for climate action, as countries around the world bolster their efforts to tackle climate change.  Until now, the NAMA Facility’s portfolio-level approach targeted “low-carbon development” and the advancement of “low-carbon pathways” as the way forward.

However, given increases in global ambition to address climate change, the NAMA Facility is joining others from across the climate community, such as the High Ambition Coalition, to match their ambition by shifting the approach from low-carbon to carbon-neutral development and pathways. This shift reflects an increased push to limit global temperature rises to well below two degrees Celsius. 

According to the European Union, “carbon neutrality means having a balance between emitting carbon and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere in carbon sinks. Removing carbon oxide from the atmosphere and then storing it is known as carbon sequestration. In order to achieve net zero emissions, all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions will have to be counterbalanced by carbon sequestration.”1This level of ambition is now targeted at the NAMA Facility portfolio level and the change will be updated across NAMA Facility publications. 

In particular, the NAMA Facility’s working definition of transformational change has been updated accordingly and now reads as follows:

“Transformational change is a catalytic change in systems and behaviours resulting from disruptive climate actions that enable actors to shift to carbon-neutral pathways.”

Carbon Neutrality and NAMA Support Projects

While the NAMA Facility works toward carbon neutrality at the portfolio level, it should be noted that not all NAMA Support Projects can or are expected to follow suit. The NAMA Facility and its Donors remain open to supporting climate action across all sectors and a wide range of fields, including those where a low-carbon approach – rather than carbon-neutral – is the most feasible way to achieve ambitious greenhouse gas emission reductions. 

Some existing projects work in sectors where low-carbon pathways continue to make sense – for some, the concept is even included in the project title. For example, this can be particularly evident in projects contending with livestock emission reductions: the NAMA Facility’s Transforming the Honduras Livestock Sector into a Low-Carbon Economy project will continue its low-carbon approach and the project name remains unchanged.  

Potential Applicants to NAMA Facility Calls should note that carbon neutrality, while viewed favourably, is not a prerequisite for the development and submission of successful Outlines.

The view from our Donors:

[1] European Parliament, “What is carbon neutrality and how can it be achieved by 2050?” 5 December 2019,