As a proponent of ambitious action on climate change, it is right that UNDP set its own goals and set the bar as high as possible. The post-COVID 19 pandemic financial recovery and the improvement of the NDCs have different objectives: economic momentum on the one hand and climate change targets on the other. But sustainable policies and investments can advance both economic and climate goals. Policies in sectors such as energy, transport, agriculture, food and land use can be integrated into COVID`s recovery strategies and support the climate targets set out in the UNCLOS. The 2016 Paris Agreement marked an important step in the fight against climate change. Alternative lines of action point to discursive tensions and future conflicts. To move towards a more sustainable future, the historic 2015 Paris Agreement set a target of limiting the average increase in global temperature to a level well below 2 degrees Celsius and continuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To achieve this goal, each country should prepare and report a defined national contribution (CNN) every five years. The NDCs contain goals, measures and policies and form the basis of national plans to combat climate change. In collaboration with UNDP and other partners, WRI has published an overview of the NDC improvement process as well as guides that cover sectoral opportunities to promote climate change, including energy, transport, agriculture and forest and land use. Visit the “Explore NSHC” page on Climate Watch for detailed information on countries` new national climate plans.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, human-caused emissions – such as fossil vehicles and power plants – must be reduced by almost half from the most recent levels by 2030, and then reach net zero by the beginning of the second half of the century to avoid the most dangerous and costly consequences of climate change. The current cycle of NDC updates plays a key role in defining this course by defining the direction of travel for the next decade. Stronger NDCs can create the political environment to manage investments and attract climate finance. And they can ensure transparency and accountability through national and multilateral processes. After years of negotiations, the 196 countries, plus the European Union, all parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), met in Paris to agree on a number of principles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and directly combat the effects of climate change. This is called the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement also calls on countries to present long-term climate and development strategies to present a visionary roadmap for countries, in order to achieve full decarbonisation by the middle of the century and ensure prosperity for all. In the run-up to the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, more than 160 countries and the European Union have publicly outlined the measures they intend to take under the Global Compact, known as the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INCS). A country`s INDC is transformed into the NDC if it formally adheres to the Paris Agreement by tabling an instrument for ratification, acceptance, approval or membership, unless a country decides otherwise. In September 2020, 186 contracting parties submitted their plans to the NDC register. Given that countries have different circumstances, resources and capabilities, the agreement was designed so that each country would define its own commitments in terms of objectives and contributions to the universal agreement. These countries promise the NdCs.
Beyond the urgency of dealing with the climate crisis, countries will benefit from many other ways to improve their NDCs.