UN Climate Change Secretariat presents aggregate effect of country INDC commitments

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Today, the UN Climate Change Secretariat will present the synthesis report on the aggregate effect of intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) at a press conference in Berlin. INDCs are national climate action plans which have been submitted by governments ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. It is anticipated that the report will say current commitments do not go far enough.

Speaking at the press conference will be Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and German State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth (German Environment Ministry). Watch the livestream here. YOu can read the report here.

David Nussbaum WWF-UK’s chief executive said: “David Cameron’s homework is unfinished and due before he goes to Paris. The UK government will have far greater influence in the Paris climate talks if we get our own house in order first.

“To do this, the government needs to announce the phase out of dirty coal by 2023 and build a world-leading renewable energy sector. Our cleantech firms have shown their potential. Britain could be a world leader in renewable energy, if government provides the clarity and consistency for investors to fund sustained growth.”

Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Advisor, Mohamed Adow, said the report highlighted the need of an ‘ambition accelerator’, a mechanism to review and increase ambition, more than ever.

“The impending Paris summit has been crucial in getting countries to come forward and announce their national plans to cut emissions,” he said. “Without this international pressure many may not have cooperated.  It is significant that we have pledges from some 150 countries representing just less than 90 per cent of global emissions.

“But these announced national climate plans must be seen as the floor, not the ceiling of a country’s ambition. Governments must build upon them to deliver stronger action now and into the future.

“The Paris outcome alone won’t prevent climate change, it will just get us closer to the agreed goal of limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius.  If fully implemented these pledges will get us to 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100 but we need a mechanism that will drive future action to get that number down to 2 degrees and preferably lower. We’re already seeing significant climate effects from 0.85 degrees of warming.

“Paris will not be the end of the world’s efforts to tackle climate change, but it might be the end of the beginning. Going forward we will need a five year review mechanism that will track how countries are doing and push them to do more as technology advances and more finance becomes available.”

Global cooperation within this process is at an all-time high and negotiations are on track to deliver a meaningful outcome for the world’s most vulnerable countries.  But Mr Adow warned that to get over the finish line richer countries needed to deliver the much anticipated climate finance.

He said: “It is great that a hundred countries have included some kind of adaptation support in their national plans. This underlines the need for them to get ready for a changed climate. Poor countries suffering from climate impacts need to prepare for a different world and richer countries need to help them with this.

“Adaptation, and the finance needed to make it a reality, cannot be lip service anymore.  It must be included in the Paris negotiations otherwise all the good work leading up this point will be jeopardised.”

 

Dr Stephen Cornelius WWF-UK’s chief adviser on climate change said: “It is clear that, when added up, the 146 countries’ climate pledges reviewed in the report are not enough. While there has been a lot of progress over the last year, it is still insufficient to keep the global temperature rise to well below 2oC that the scientific evidence demands.

“A big challenge for the Paris climate talks is how to increase the ambition of countries so that their collective actions will put us on the right path to tackle climate change. The message we have to send to leaders and negotiators in Paris must be: we must do more, and we must do it faster. The more that we do now, the easier and cheaper it will be.

“The Paris climate deal must include ways to encourage countries to take on tougher emissions targets. These targets must be fair and fit the scientific evidence in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”