The Heat Is On: Taking Stock of Global Climate Ambition

Environment and climate change

New York, September 18 – Nearly all
high-emitting countries are lagging behind in the fight against
climate change
and must step up, according
to the most comprehensive report to date on the world’s climate ambitions.

Fourteen nations representing 26
per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions have indicated they do not intend to revise current plans to fight global warming by 2020,
according to the report, TheHeat Is
On: Taking Stock of Global Climate Ambition
, published today by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The report finds a disconnect in
climate action between developing countries and developed and emerging economies.

At least 112 nations do intend to
update their current plans to fight global warming by 2020. However, this includes many of the developing countries that are
the most vulnerable to, but least
responsible for, climate change. Taken together, these 112 countries account for only 53 per cent of global greenhouse gas
emissions, while almost all of the world’s
high-emitting nations risk falling behind.

 “Since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, many
nations – including the most vulnerable — have been
taking bold steps to build a resilient, sustainable and low-carbon future for
our planet. They are demonstrating how to win the race against climate change. Everyone else has step up, and fast,” said UNDP
Administrator UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner.

 The report comes ahead of the United Nations
Climate Action Summit in New York next week, where world leaders will be pressed for more ambitious action to
tackle climate change.

Based on countries’ existing
climate plans – known as Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs — greenhouse gas emissions will rise by 10.7 per
cent above 2016 levels by 2030, a
number starkly at odds with the UN Secretary General António Guterres’s call for deep cuts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees
Celsius, leading to a rise of at least
3C. 

According to the report, within the
112 countries, 75 nations representing 37 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions are planning to ramp up their climate
ambitions in their next NDCs, while the
remaining 37 nations, representing 16 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, intend to “update” their existing plans with
new data, information and/or
assumptions. Critically, 14 nations, representing 26 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, have indicated they do not intend to revise
current plans.

Meanwhile, the outcome of 71
countries representing 21 percent of global greenhouse gases – including most developed nations – remains unclear.

 “Without transformative and systemic action,
we will not keep our planet and ourselves safe,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UNFCCC. “Some
nations have already set themselves very
ambitious goals. Others are seeking the means to do so. It is time for the rest of the world to step up to both join and support
their ambitions.”

Mr. Steiner added UNDP’s commitment to step up on climate action, announcing a new Climate Promise campaign to support 100 countries to enhance their national climate pledges by 2020.

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