The Paris Agreement on climate change includes a five-year cycle to increase ambition for reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement. Part of this cycle is the submission of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which detail the climate action countries intend to take. This publication includes a methodology, which allows for a systematic analysis of the design of the NDC and applies it to 20 NDCs. The analysis covers all design elements that are critical for enhancing ambition grouped into the overarching categories (1) increased greenhouse gas mitigation ambition, (2) comprehensiveness, (3) implementation and (4) transparency. It aims to provide a nuanced perspective of the ambition, endeavours and orientation of countries’ climate action.