Climate emergency: UN calls for more ambitious national commitments

The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Patricia Espinosa, requested Saturday, July 31, for more ambitious commitments in the framework of national plans to fight against climate change.

“The recent worldwide extreme heat waves, droughts and floods are a wake-up call that we need to do much more and much faster to change our current course. Contribution, Editor’s Note),” Ms Espinosa underlined in a statement a day after the deadline for submitting news or updates to the NDC.

“As we are in the context of extreme weather emergencies across the world, yesterday (Friday) was a momentous day in our collective effort against climate change,” she observed, noting that it was time to collect nationally determined contributions. The deadline was, before COP 26, to be new or updated for inclusion in the synthesis report to be released later this year.

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to keep the temperature “well below” +2 °C, +1.5 °C if possible, warmer than the pre-industrial era, each of the 200 or so signatories will be required to A revised submission was to be made before the end. version of its commitments to the fight against climate change, called “Nationally Determined Contributions”.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the one-year postponement of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, until November 2021, several governments had indicated they would not meet the deadline. Only 75 countries, with very few major issuers other than the European Union, had actually filed their new NDCs as of January 1, 2021.

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The United Nations had set a new deadline of 30 July to take into account commitments in a global assessment to be published ahead of COP26, a key meeting for the future of the planet.

The NDC covers the national plans prepared by each country to combat climate change. Overall, these plans represent the most comprehensive and accurate picture of global climate action, Espinosa said.

It said that by the Friday deadline, the UNFCCC Secretariat had received new or updated NDCs from 110 parties.

This is “a favorable development compared to the new or updated NDCs from the 75 parties received at the end of December 2020 and included in the initial version of the synthesis report, but it is still not satisfactory, as only over half of the parties (58% ) met the deadline,” she lamented.

The level of ambition reflected in these national climate action plans should also be strengthened, the same official pleaded, recalling that one of the main findings of the initial version of the synthesis report showed that collective efforts are far from being made. Science needs to limit the increase in global temperature to 2 °C by the end of the century, not to mention the desired target of less than 1.5 °C.

He said he hoped that the “revised estimate of sincere collective efforts would bring out a more positive image.”

The submission deadline allows the UNFCCC to undertake the necessary work of reviewing, quantifying and synthesizing the content of new or updated NDCs, prior to presenting the results to the Parties and the general public. Certainly, countries can continue to strengthen the ambition of their respective NDCs, according to the same source. If necessary, the main findings of the report may possibly be updated taking into account the information received after 30 July.

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“Reducing emissions should be a coherent and cumulative process,” said Ms Espinosa, who “called on countries that have reached this deadline to redouble their efforts and to honor the commitment made within the framework of the Paris Agreement.” not able to fulfill it.” To renew or update your NDC”.

“I also encourage those who have submitted their NDCs to continue to revise them and improve their level of ambition. In doing so, they will contribute to the preservation of our planet and the well-being of people around the world, “He said.

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