Mbabane: The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in its initial Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Synthesis Report published on February 26, 2021 has observed that that even with increased efforts by some countries, the combined impact falls far short of what is needed to meet the Paris Agreement.
The NDC Synthesis Report measures the progress of national climate action plans, ahead of the 26th session of Conference of its Parties, the COP26 which is set to take place in November 2021 in Glasgow.
The NDC synthesis report is also prepared in response to the requests from COP 21 (Paris, 2015) and CMA 2 (Madrid, 2019) to the secretariat to prepare a synthesis report of the NDCs submitted by Parties before COP 26.
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a tweet stated that “the interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet. It shows governments are nowhere close to the level of ambition needed to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement”.
He said 2021 is a “make or break year” to confront the global climate emergency. “The science is clear, to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, we must cut global emission by 45 per cent by 2030, from 2010 levels”, he stressed.
The Secretary-General called on major emitters to “step up with much more ambitious emissions reductions” targets for 2030 in their NDCs, highlighting that COVID-19 recovery plans offered the opportunity to “build back greener and cleaner”.
Guterres urged that decision makers must walk the talk. Long-term commitments must be matched by immediate actions to launch the decade of transformation that people and planet so desperately need.
Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change said the NDC Synthesis Report, is showing that nations must re-double efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century. She said noted that the report shows that current levels of climate ambition are very far from putting us on a pathway that will meet our Paris Agreement goals.
COP25 President Carolina Schmidt was also quoted saying that the NDC Synthesis Report “clearly indicated that significant work must be done, in particular by major emitters. Only 2 of the 18 largest emitters, the UK and the European Union, presented an updated NDC in 2020 containing a strong increase in their GHG reduction targets. “Other major emitters either submitted NDCs presenting a very low increase in their ambition level or have not presented NDCs yet. Even though the Synthesis Report shows that the NDCs submitted in 2020 are clearer and more comprehensive than the first round, for example containing more information on adaptation, and greater alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals, the overall level of ambition exhibited by major emitters is very low” she said.
The UNFCCC report covered submissions from countries up to 31 December 2020, showing that 75 Parties to the Framework Convention communicated a new or updated NDC, representing about 40% of Parties to the Paris Agreement and approximately 30 per cent of global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.
About the UNFCCC
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has 197 members, which is near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.
The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep a global average temperature rise this century well below 2 Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
The ultimate objective of all agreements under the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system, in a time frame which allows ecosystems to adapt naturally and enables sustainable development.