State of Climate Ambition Report: National Climate Pledges – UNDP Press Conference | United Nations

News sources quoted from: United Nations


Media – Vulnerable countries are stepping up amidst a slow response from some of the biggest emitters on the climate crisis, according to a new report released today by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ahead of the upcoming COP26 climate negotiations in Glasgow next week.

UNDP’s report, The State of Climate Ambition, reveals that while 93 percent of Least developed countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) had submitted enhanced national climate pledges, or plan to do so, nearly half of the G20 are not yet adhering to the core principles of the Paris Agreement and “ratchet up” their climate ambition.

“The fact is that some of the most vulnerable and poorest countries are in fact the trailblazers in terms of these NDCs, meaning raising the level of ambition on acting on climate change, on mitigation and adaptation,” said Achim Steiner, the UNDP Administrator launching the report at a press conference in new York.

As the countries responsible for more than three-quarters of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the role of the G20 in combatting the climate crisis is significant. However, the UNDP report flagged that four countries of the G20 responsible for 33 percent of global GHG emissions had not submitted second-generation NDCs as of 12 October 2021 – the cut-off date for inclusion in analysis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that is meant to inform the UN climate talks beginning in Glasgow in a few days.

“The G20, clearly accounting for three quarters of greenhouse gas emissions, 80 percent of global GDP, is a central part of making quantitively these NDCs really deliver,” Steiner said.

In addition, of the 16 NDCs that were submitted by G20 members, five countries responsible for 13.1 percent of global GHG emissions did not strengthen their mitigation targets. Even for those that have strengthened their NDC pledges, consensus is that they must do much more to help prevent the disturbing rise in global trajectory of current GHG emissions.

The report shows that vulnerable countries, often home to the world’s poorest people who are on the frontlines of the climate crisis, continue to be trailblazers on climate ambition, leaving richer countries lagging.

“Most LDCs and SIDS, 86 percent, will be increasing their mitigation ambition, and nearly every single LDC and SIDS we’ll be increasing their adaptation ambition,” said Cassie Flynn, UNDP Strategic Advisor on Climate Change and Head of UNDP’s Climate. “So, we have really seen the countries that are experiencing these impacts on climate change, really take this bold step forward, although they are least responsible for the challenge.”

As of 12 October 2021, ambition intentions of LDCs and SIDS had risen significantly, with. 93 percent having submitted enhanced NDCs, or planning to do so, (up from 42 percent in 2019). Looking only at intentions to reduce GHG emissions, 86 percent of LDCs and SIDS intend to raise mitigation ambition (up from 40 percent in 2019). However, the report warns that ultimately, this group of 78 countries is only responsible for 7 percent of global GHG emissions.

Overall, the report does have some encouraging news. For example, it shows that the Paris Agreement’s ratchet mechanism is working, as most countries have abided by its key principle to revise and subsequently submit increasingly ambitious NDCs every five years. In total, 178 countries representing 79.3 percent of global GHG emissions, plan to submit enhanced NDCs)– up from just 75 countries in 2019.

Among the report’s other positive findings are the inclusive approach adopted by a large majority of governments to update their national climate pledges. The number of countries, large and small, prioritizing climate action and citizen engagement has never been higher, which is especially impressive in light of challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report also notes an uptick since 2019 in the number of countries preparing and submitting long-term strategies to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century. These commitments could help achieve the Paris Agreement goals, but require solid, credible strategies to back them up and better alignment with NDCs, the report warns.

Screenshot Credit – State of Climate Ambition Report Cover

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