The latest climate change news from WWF

(25 October 2021) - UN Climate Change today published the last update to the NDC Synthesis report, capturing the impact of the national climate plans submitted by countries. The update of key findings of the NDC Synthesis Report confirms the overall trends identified by the full report, which was released on 17 September 2021. The information received confirms that the updated or new climate action plans can be effective in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over time. However, the updated report also confirms that for all available NDCs of all 192 Parties taken together, a sizable increase, of about 16%, in global GHG emissions in 2030 compared to 2010 is anticipated. Comparison to the latest findings by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that such an increase, unless changed quickly, may lead to a temperature rise of about 2.7°C by the end of the century. This update of the Synthesis Report is being provided to ensure that Parties have the latest information to consider at COP26. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Lead Climate & Energy said: “While there were 30 additional enhanced NDCs submitted since the last UNFCCC Synthesis report, with very little change to the projected 16% increase in emissions by 2030, I believe we can still start COP26 with a better scenario. “We are still waiting to see what the most important emerging economies will submit - China and India in particular. “It is clear that the big emitting countries need to do more. There is the opportunity of the G20 countries meeting this weekend, and world leaders gathering in Glasgow at the beginning of next week for leaders to show climate leadership and to put the path on a trajectory to a 1.5℃ future. “There is a decisive week ahead, and we expect that the leaders must not disappoint us." Notes for Editors: Read the full UN Climate Change press release here. See WWF’s previous comments on the full Synthesis report, published in September 2021, here. Read the update of the key findings of the full NDC synthesis report here. Read the full NDC synthesis report here. View the interim NDC registry here. For more information, contact Mandy Jean Woods
Posted: October 25, 2021, 12:00 am
(21 October 2021) - Governments are planning to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than what would be consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C, according to a new report published today by UNEP and the SEI. The report notes that global fossil fuel production must start declining immediately and steeply to be consistent with limiting long-term warming to 1.5°C. But, over the next two decades, governments are collectively projecting an increase in global oil and gas production, and only a modest decrease in coal production. The production gap is widest for coal in 2030: governments’ production plans and projections would lead to around 240% more coal, 57% more oil, and 71% more gas than would be consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C (based on scenarios compiled by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). According to the 2021 Production Gap report, governments are planning and projecting production levels higher than those implied by the emission reduction goals specified in their national climate plans (called nationally determined contributions, or NDCs). An article by the University College London, published in Nature last month, says that ​​to have a 50% probability of limiting warming to 1.5°C, nearly 60% of oil and fossil methane gas, and 90% of coal must remain in the ground. Oil and gas production must decline globally by 3% each year until 2050. This implies that most regions must reach peak production now or during the next decade, rendering many operational and planned fossil fuel projects unviable. Commenting on the report’s findings, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Lead Climate & Energy said: “We must see leaders turning their words into tangible actions, and clear plans on how they are going to deliver their pledges. Global leaders meeting in the next few weeks, at the G20 Leaders Summit and then at the climate COP26, will decide on the pathways the world chooses for tackling the climate crisis over the next decade, and they must not fail.” Vanessa Perez-Cirera, Global Deputy Lead Climate & Energy said: “We know that an unmanaged transition away from fossil fuels can lead to high oil and gas prices and, for example, create energy access problems. We are already seeing it with inflation and shortages across Europe and elsewhere. But what we also know is that the circa US$5 trillion being spent in fossil fuels subsidies around the world could be repurposed into progressive policies and fiscal incentives to enact a just, clean, and urgent energy transition for all.” Dean Cooper, WWF Global Energy Transition Lead, said: “The discrepancy between country national climate commitments and government fossil fuel production plans is astonishing. The science shows that we must hold global warming to 1.5°C if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. We need to see clarity about the action that will be taken to reduce emissions. We’re already, at 1.2°C of warming, with impacts affecting lives and livelihoods in all parts of the world. It’s no longer an option for individual countries or businesses to participate – we’re all in this together.” The 2021 Production Gap Report tracks how governments worldwide are supporting fossil fuel production through their policies, investments, and other measures. It also shows how some countries are beginning to discuss and enact policies towards a managed and equitable transition away from fossil fuel production. This year’s report features individual country profiles for 15 major fossil fuel-producing countries: China, Russia, US, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Australia, India, Canada, UAE, South Africa, Brazil, Norway, Mexico, UK, Germany. Notes for Editors: Assessment of the production gap is based on recent and publicly accessible plans and projections for fossil fuel production published by governments and affiliated institutions. The report is online here: For further information, contact Mandy Jean Woods
Posted: October 21, 2021, 12:00 am
(22 September 2021) - Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday told the UN General Assembly that the country will not build new coal-fired power plants abroad. The announcement is significant as China is currently the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, and also an important financing, investment and construction party of overseas coal-fired power plants. Withdrawing overseas coal power investment is an important measure to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The announcement comes at a crucial time in the political build up to pivotal meetings in the coming weeks. First, the G20 Leaders Summit in Rome on 30 - 31 October where the push to end fossil fuel subsidies and to provide much needed climate finance will be high among expectations for decisive action. Then, the global climate COP26 conference in Glasgow, starting on 31 October, will see a final push to get leaders to submit ambitious climate plans that will shape the path the world will take to address the climate crisis. Commenting on the news, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF global lead for climate and energy, said: “This marks a clear turning point for the global use of coal in a region where coal has been intensively used. It is also relevant as it comes in a time when we desperately need game-changing commitments.This powerful statement providesa significant signal to coal finance demand countries as well as remaining financiers that the time of coal has long passed. We hope to see similar global announcements both on coal, and oil and gas, the next frontier we immediately need to tackle." Ms. Lunyan LU, CEO of WWF-China said: “The announcement that China will stop building new coal-fired power projects abroad reflects a major step forward towards the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement. It will fundamentally boost the sustainable development progress towards a global green and low carbon community shared by all. The momentum will further build up if finance can be redirected towards scaling up renewable energy. In cooperation with other countries and development partners, China can lead and accelerate the global clean and sustainable energy transition powered by solar and wind.” Dean Cooper, WWF global energy transformation lead, said: “Coal-fired electricity generation accounts for 30% of global CO2 emissions. The majority of that generation is currently found in Asia. Redirecting the flows of overseas public finance now to renewables will be a vital part of efforts to completely phase out coal as soon as possible. Shifting towards investment in a transition to renewable energy will set an example for other developing and emerging economies facing coal expansion risks in Asia as well as in Africa.” Cooper said it was encouraging to hear that there will also be increased support from China for low-carbon energy development to address the energy supply gap that will otherwise be created by no further coal use. “This is very well aligned with our own WWF REpowering Asia initiative, aiming to end coal use and support alternative clean energy options that allow a just transition. We must ensure that this energy transition will avoid any further damage to nature and so bring long-term benefits for humankind.” For further information contact: Mandy Jean Woods Shixin Li
Posted: September 22, 2021, 12:00 am
(17 September 2021) - Governments are still very far from closing the emissions gap, according to the latest analysis of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by UN Climate Change, published today. This is cause for deep concern. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Lead Climate & Energy, said: “Governments are failing dismally to address the climate crisis. Their words do not match their actions. We simply cannot waste any more time. Countries who have not yet submitted their NDCs should do so by 12 October. Countries who submitted NDCs that lack the ambition necessary to keep 1.5°C alive must urgently review and resubmit their NDCs. Countries who have enhanced ambition but can do more, must.” The report underscores the point that all is not lost, noting that if conditional targets are fulfilled, the world could peak emissions by 2030. So there can be no further delay for countries to fulfil finance pledges from 2009. A positive reflection in the report was the acknowledgement that some countries have included references to systemic transformative actions in the NDCs, he said. Examples of these include halting investments in unabated coal, phasing out fossil fuel passenger vehicles, and expanding forest cover. These are necessary to move the global economy to be aligned with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement, although still far from the scale and pace needed. “On Monday next week, world leaders will attend an informal Climate Roundtable on Climate Action at the UN, ahead of the crucial COP26 climate conference in six weeks. “They must go into their deliberations clear-eyed about the gaps that remain on actions urgently needed on mitigation efforts, climate finance, adaptation, and loss and damage. Specific focus must be on cutting emissions, particularly phasing out coal, and revitalising and protecting nature. “A strong outcome at COP26 on these issues is essential, as they will chart the pathway to our future for nature and people. We need commitments to be made that will ensure we realize the goals of the Paris climate accord. “If after all the evidence, the devastation, the loss of lives and livelihoods, the destruction of nature, leaders continue to balk about the scale, scope and cost of climate action and adaptation that must be implemented urgently, the credibility of the climate regime will be seriously affected. We can't fail our youth and future generations - we need countries and all sectors of society to deliver climate action and ambition now, and fast. For more information, contact: Mandy Jean Woods Notes for editors: The report synthesizes information from the latest NDCs of all 191 Parties to the Paris Agreement, including 86 new or updated NDCs, as submitted by 30 July 2021. These reflect 93.1% of the total global emissions in 2019. Climate Leaders Round Table: On Monday, 20 Sept, at 9 a.m ET, the UN Secretary-General and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Boris Johnson, will hold an Informal Climate Leaders Round Table on Climate Action. The Round Table will address the gaps that remain on the actions urgently needed from national governments — especially the G20 — on mitigation, finance and adaptation. ends
Posted: September 17, 2021, 12:00 am
Posted: September 3, 2021, 12:00 am
(9 August 2021) - A new global climate science report, published today, sets out in stark detail the future we will have if we make poor choices today. It confirms that humans have irreversibly altered the planet and locked in many changes, and the opportunity to reverse course, while very slim, is scientifically still possible if urgent and strong action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and protect and restore nature is taken immediately. The report by the Working Group I of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science, provides the most up-to-date understanding of the physical climate system, bringing together the latest advances in climate science. It is the first of four contributions to the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). The report brings together multiple lines of evidence showing that the window of opportunity to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels - the most ambitious target of the Paris Agreement - is rapidly closing. With global warming reaching 1.1°C, the world is already seeing devastating consequences of delayed climate action clearer than ever: from wildfires in Turkey to floods in Europe and China, heatwaves in North America to devastating drought in Madagascar. Advances in science now make it possible to directly link the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events to climate change. Dr Stephen Cornelius, Chief Adviser: Climate Change and WWF global lead on the IPCC said, “This is a stark assessment of the frightening future that awaits us if we fail to act. With the world on the brink of irreversible harm, every fraction of a degree of warming matters to limit the dangers of climate change. It is clear that keeping global warming to 1.5°C is hugely challenging and can only be done if urgent action is taken globally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect and restore nature. “The UK government, as host of the most important climate conference since the Paris Agreement in 2015, must step up its efforts and show climate leadership. This must start at home, with a credible strategy to deliver the promised net-zero emissions and a fiscal test to ensure all government spending is compatible with climate targets. We won’t forget the promises that have been made, nor will future generations.” Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Climate & Energy Lead, said. “The report is an important moment in the lead-up to COP26 because it is all about certainty - certainty of the scale of the climate crisis and humankind’s role in driving extreme weather events, certainty of how much we have changed the planet, and certainty that things will continue to get worse unless we immediately change course. “That’s why world leaders must use every opportunity, especially the upcoming G20 Summit and COP26, to deliver climate action that responds to the ambition needed to ensure the 1.5˚C goal of the Paris Agreement does not slip out of reach. “Agreement by leaders on a pathway for international cooperation and implementation, that is just and fair to developing countries, will be crucial. We cannot afford the future of billions of people to be hijacked by stubborn self-interest. Leaders must heed the science because we are fast running out of time.” Rebecca Shaw, WWF Chief Scientist, said: “This report is truly a game changer because it allows scientists to pinpoint humankind’s role in driving extreme weather events with more accuracy and certainty than ever before. It is clear that fires, floods, storms and heat waves are more extreme due to climate change. “Scientists are certain that emissions from human activity have caused dangerous and permanent damage to the planet. Our window to reduce emissions and limit temperatures to 1.5°C is still possible, but it’s closing rapidly. “Conserving and restoring nature is a powerful tool to remove carbon from our atmosphere, but it is not enough unless we also dramatically reduce our emissions.” Notes for Editors: 1. The IPCC is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change. 2. The IPCC publishes comprehensive scientific Assessment Reports every 6 to 7 years. These reports are an authoritative source of information on climate change, and underpin the international community’s understanding of climate change and related issues. The last assessment, the Fifth Assessment Report, was completed in 2013-2014 and provided the main scientific input to the Paris Agreement. 3. This Working Group I report - Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science, is the first of four contributions to the Sixth Assessment Report. The others are Working Group III (Mitigation of Climate Change), Working Group II (Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability), and the Synthesis Report (integrates the findings of the three Working Groups) - all of which will be up for approval in 2022. For more information, contact: Mandy Jean Woods -
Posted: August 9, 2021, 8:00 am
(2 August 2021) - Pressure is mounting on political leaders to ratchet up climate ambition in their country's Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to align with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement, even as countries around the world grapple with the devastating impacts of the climate crisis. As the world counts down to the landmark COP26, NDCs provide an opportunity to translate big picture climate goals into concrete policies, financial commitments and measures by which emissions are reduced, and climate resilience is enhanced. COP26, scheduled to take place in Glasgow in November this year, is shaping up to be the most important conference since the Paris Agreement was approved in 2015. It will be almost two years since negotiators have met face to face, at a time the world’s attention on the environment has been refocused due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and widespread calls for a green recovery. This is also the first COP since the United States, the world’s second-biggest emitter, rejoined the Paris Agreement, and marks the first ‘accounting’ of progress against the Paris Agreement goals following the completion of the first 5-year ratchet cycle. “With the world experiencing increasing record-breaking temperatures and devastating fires, floods, heatwaves and droughts affecting millions of people, the urgency to ramp up climate action is indisputable. The evidence is all there and, according to some estimates, the NDCs submitted so far put us on a trajectory to 2.4˚C global warming - twice the warming we are currently experiencing. We need countries to do much more to avoid that future,” says WWF Global Policy Manager for Climate & Energy Fernanda de Carvalho. According to UN Climate Change, only 110, or little over half (58%) of all member countries, covering 54% of global emissions, submitted new or updated NDCs by the deadline of 30 July. These will be included in a second Synthesis Report to be published in September, just weeks ahead of COP26. The first Synthesis Report was published in February, and assessed the impact of the 75 member countries who had submitted updated NDCs by the first deadline of December 2020. “Although the number of submissions provides an important story about commitment to climate action, so too does the quality and ambition held within, as well as the amount of total emissions they represent. So far, in many countries, the NDC process exposes the vast gap between words and promises and real action on the ground,” says WWF NDC Enhancement Coordinator Shirley Matheson. A number of countries, including 22 that submitted NDCs in July, have complied with the July 30 deadline to be included in the Second Synthesis Report, which is commendable. “But there are still important absences such as China, India and South Africa. Countries with lower capability and responsibility are the ones stepping up, with 13 NDCs submitted in July coming from African countries. WWF urges countries that didn't make use of this opportunity to present enhanced NDCs ahead of COP 26,” says Matheson. Notes for Editors In an effort to foster NDC enhancement, WWF developed the #NDCsWeWant Checklist to benchmark updated NDCs. WWF also provides resources to support enhancing NDCs in several areas, including regionally focused guidelines for decision-makers, and assessments of NDC submissions including the Force for Nature series. China, the United States and the European Union are the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and each are at different stages of the NDC process. China has announced an increased target, though is yet to submit an NDC, while the US published theirs in April. The EU’s updated NDC made it into the first Synthesis Report, and it subsequently released the ‘Fit for 55’ package, setting out proposals for climate and energy laws to support meeting their emissions reduction target. No G20 country has yet demonstrated an ambitious NDC. (G20 countries represent 60% of the world’s population, 80% of the world GDP and 75% of global exports). G20 Climate and Energy Ministers, meeting in Naples on 27 July, issued a communiqué in which they “agreed to update or communicate ambitious NDCs by COP26. According to WWF’s Checklist assessment, six G20 countries turned in a poor effort, with Japan, Brazil and Russia in particular delivering disappointing NDCs. WWF is urging that these be revised ahead of COP26. Five more G20 countries are still to submit a new or updated NDC (including Turkey, which is also yet to ratify the Paris Agreement). Argentina and the UK have submitted NDCs which, while well received, could do more. We urge other countries to redouble their efforts to renew or update their NDCs with Paris Agreement aligned ambition, particularly the G20 countries. WWF applauds South Africa, China and the Republic of Korea for announcing increased ambition and setting long term targets, but for this to hold credibility it must be backed by ambitious and transformative short-term planning and action through the NDCs process. Likewise, as COP26 approaches, the brighter the spotlight needs to shine on the remaining members: India, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, who are yet to set any new targets and on Indonesia, which has already signalled it will not submit greater ambition. We can celebrate the efforts of Rwanda, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Suriname who, while not G20 countries, have submitted ambitious proposals. Climate Action Tracker estimates suggest that current pledges and targets would result in 2.4˚C of warming by 2100. For further information, contact Mandy Jean Woods
Posted: August 3, 2021, 12:00 am
(26 July 2021) - The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today opened its first ever virtual meeting to approve its next report - Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science. The reports are used by governments at all levels to inform their climate policies. The report of Working Group I is the first of four contributions to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). It will provide the most up-to-date physical understanding of the climate system and climate change, bringing together the latest advances in climate science and multiple lines of evidence. There will be a greater focus on regional information that can be used for climate risk assessments, according to the IPCC. The report runs to several thousand pages. So, subject to the decisions of the Panel, a summary of the report will be approved line by line during the meeting, and be released on 9 August at 10am CEST. The remaining three parts of the AR6 report will be finalized in 2022. The latest IPCC report will show us what lies ahead if we don’t take urgent action on runaway climate change, said WWF’s Stephen Cornelius. “To limit climate change risks, we must rapidly and drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, get out of coal, oil and gas, and protect and restore natural carbon sinks. While the previous IPCC Assessment Reports sounded the alarm on climate change, the warnings from this report will hopefully be a megaphone that amplifies the alarm even louder.” WWF expects decision-makers at G20 and COP 26 can make use of the information and take stronger action to reverse climate impacts. Notes to Editors: Read WWF’s blog setting the scene for the IPCC Working Group I report here. Comprehensive scientific assessment reports are published every 6 to 7 years; the latest, the Fifth Assessment Report, was completed in 2013-2014 and provided the main scientific input to the Paris Agreement. The last (synthesis) report of the Six Assessment Report will be published in late 2022. The first-order draft of the IPCC Working Group I report received 23,462 review comments from 750 expert reviewers’ the second-order draft received 51,387 review comments from governments and 1,279 experts; and the final government distribution of the Summary for Policymakers that ended on 20 June received over 3,000 comments from 47 governments. Over 14,000 scientific papers are referenced in the Working Group I report. For further information, contact Mandy Jean Woods
Posted: July 26, 2021, 12:00 am
Your Excellencies, I would like to congratulate the COP26 UK Presidency for their initiative of bringing a representative group of ministers together to discuss expectations for Glasgow, the shape and substance of the potential outcome and to provide guidance on outstanding issues such as keeping 1.5 alive, scaling up adaptation, loss and damage, Article 6 and mobilizing finance. It is essential that the COP 26 outcomes capture, reflect and build upon the intense momentum and unprecedented developments on the political climate agenda in 2021, such as the US-led Leaders Summit on Climate, the G7 Leaders Communiqué and a potentially supportive result from efforts through the G20 process. We consider the July Ministerial a key opportunity to mobilize political will and determination around some central issues in the climate negotiations this year. Moreover, it could also be a moment to focus not only on what this COP should deliver but what could be a legacy in terms of formal and informal steps needed to provide clarity for future COPs and ensure the Paris Agreement lives up to its promise through effective implementation in the critical subsequent five years. In a spirit of collaboration, I would like to offer my views on the discussion questions posed in the COP President's open letter to all Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in the text that immediately follows, and share WWF’s COP26 Expectations Paper with you. Another key reference is the Five-Point Plan for Solidarity, Fairness and Prosperity, by developing country leaders and civil society organizations. My team and I wish you enormous success in the Ministerial and in COP26, and stand ready to support you in achieving the goals we all hold dear. Sincerely, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal WWF Global Lead Climate & Energy Former Minister of Environment, Peru COP20 President Responses to questions Scaling up adaptation What outcomes are needed on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) at COP26? How can we ensure an effective assessment of collective progress towards the GGA ahead of the Global Stocktake? COP 26 needs to adopt a decision on operationalizing the GGA and identifying a clear process to set out to measure progress, defining parameters and/or a matrix (e.g: National Adaptation Plan (NAP) formulation, NAP Implementation, national development policies integrating climate risks, vulnerability assessments based on different temperature rise scenarios, finance received by countries for adaptation implementation at national level). The UNFCCC needs to help develop methodologies to translate the GGA to national frameworks in terms of the parameters and/or matrix to allow national governments to understand and report on their path of achieving the GGA for the Global Stocktake. Countries must do the reporting based on the agreed parameters/matrix. What can be done to improve the quantity, quality, and predictability of finance for adaptation, including improving the accessibility of finance for locally-led action? A share of proceeds (SOP) applied to both Articles 6.2 and 6.4 of the Paris Agreement should be adopted and allocated to the Adaptation Fund. Concluding the review of the Adaptation Fund as soon as possible, indicating new pathways and a possible replenishment process not to depend exclusively on a SOP from carbon markets, would also be very important. At least 50% of international public climate finance should be allocated to climate change adaptation in developing countries. Capacity building at the national level is key for countries to write quality proposals for the different International financial Institutions. Loss & Damage What does the Santiago Network on Loss & Damage need to deliver for countries most at risk of loss and damage? How can the process led by the presidencies ensure that this can be achieved? By the Glasgow COP, the Santiago Network on Loss & Damage (SNLD) needs to be fully operationalized through a COP decision. It must become an effective platform for countries to get technical support that helps in averting, minimizing and addressing Loss and Damage, and not become a forum purely for debate and discussion. To do this, the SNLD should fulfil at least the following key functions: Information gathering, management, and sharing, to increase knowledge and expertise on Loss & Damage. Broker technical support and capacity building between parties and organizations. Provide technical support and tools for the Loss & Damage assessment, design, and implementation of projects. Provide assistance with accessing finance, technology, and capacity building. Technical support for bringing Loss & Damage issues to global platforms (UNFCCC, Convention on Biological Diversity, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and other global processes). Beyond the Santiago Network, how can assistance and support from within andoutside the UNFCCC enable enhanced action to avert, minimize and address Loss & Damage? There is still no clarity on Loss and Damage finance in terms of sources, scale, and institutions. It is important that, at COP26, Parties take bold decisions on the topic of Loss and Damage finance, its institutional arrangements, sources, and scale. COP26 should decide to: Establish a Loss and Damage finance facility to address the needs of vulnerable developing countries. It could be a combination of the existing UNFCCC financial instruments (GCF, GEF, Adaptation Fund, etc) and beyond (Global Disaster Risk Reduction Fund, etc). For emergency responses (e.g. responding to climate-induced disasters), the disbursement of funds needs to be fast, easy and with simplified procedures for prompt access. Agree on sources of new and additional Loss & Damage finance, which can include both the public and private sectors. The fund should provide financing in the form of grants with direct access. Ensure the inclusion of Loss & Damage finance in the discussions on the new finance goal to come into effect from 2025, with new and additional sources and levels of finance for averting, minimizing, and addressing it. Periodically present a Loss & Damage finance gap report for discussion at the UNFCCC COPs. Cutting emissions to keep 1.5°C within reach What do Parties consider to be the critical steps that we must collectively take to deliver on the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement to keep 1.5°C within reach? Parties should be urged to deliver enhanced NDCs aligned to 1.5˚C before COP 26. The ones who have already presented updated insufficient NDCs should aim to resubmit them. Short-term and long-term plans should reflect commitments to phase out fossil fuels, redirect perverse subsidies and realize the full potential of nature-based solutions. Net-zero commitments by 2050 by countries should be backed up by strong Long-Term Strategies that connect to their NDCs. How should these steps be reflected through outcomes at COP26, and which other issues might need to be captured beyond those listed above? As a political response to the fact that the sum of 2020 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) might not put us on track to 1.5˚C, COP26 should call on parties to review and strengthen their 2030 targets in the next ratchet cycle, following the first Global Stocktake. A key issue not listed above but of utmost importance is common time frames. The outcome most compatible with an effective Paris ratchet mechanism and ambitious NDCs is agreement on five-year common time frames or implementation periods for future NDCs. The next round of NDCs submitted by 2025 must have targets for the period to 2035 - 5 years after the current 2030 targets (which should also be revised, as stated above). The alternatives, either 2040 targets or a mix of 2035 and 2040 targets, could lock in low ambition and be an obstacle to achieving net-zero global emissions by 2050, and so contribute to a failure to limit warming to 1.5°C. As a legacy, COP26 should set out a clear, time-bound and actionable agenda for the next five years of the climate regime. That could be a program of action/process that responds to the lack of ambition in 2021 by providing clarity about the timeline for responding to existing mandates, and greater confidence that the multilateral climate regime and real economy initiatives can converge to respond to the challenge of the climate crisis. A key component of such a program of action/process could be a focus on sector-specific decarbonization through alignment of goals and collaboration between Parties and other actors, with the active participation of ministries responsible for the respective sectors. Mobilizing finance How can confidence be built that the $100 billion a year goal will be delivered through to 2025? After presenting one road map to the US$100 billion back in 2016, and missing the goal in 2020, developed countries have a clear task: deliver on the goal by COP26. This should involve new announcements of increased finance reflecting each country’s fair share, with clear and unambiguous commitments on: Meeting the goal for the 2020 to 2025 period (with more US$600 billion mobilized during this period) and going beyond US$100 billion in future years to make up for any shortfall in 2020 and 2021, as well as ensure an upward trend to enable more ambitious actions in developing countries on adaptation and emissions reduction throughout the decade. Establishing a trend towards greater provision of grants as opposed to loans, especially for adaptation measures, as well as avoidance of reliance on the available loopholes in the accounting methods such as accounting for loans, even non-concessional loans as if they were grants, and including entire project financing where only a part is climate related, combined with robust transparency of support system, would also help to build trust and encourage greater ambition. What key questions do Ministers consider need to be addressed in Parties' deliberations on the new collective quantified (post-2025) goal, and what should the key components of the process to be agreed at COP26 be? Questions that need to be addressed to successfully kick off the negotiations over the new post 2025 goal: Deadline for agreeing on the new goal - a strong case can be made for finalizing it by 2023, so developing countries will have a better idea of the level of financial support available when finalizing their next round of NDCs by 2025. Agreement on parameters for the scope and scale of the new quantified goal, which should have a specific goal for public finance that will lead to a substantial increase over the current US$100 billion goal. How to ensure a constructive discussion of the contentious question of who pays, in the context of differing levels of responsibility and capacity, and recognizing that developed countries have the primary obligation to provide predictable finance. How to ensure adequate finance for adaptation, including the possibility of a specific quantitative goal. How to ensure new and additional finance for Loss & Damage, on top of the increased amount for adaptation and mitigation. Read WWF's COP26 Expectations Paper.
Posted: July 23, 2021, 12:00 am
(23 July 2021) - Ahead of the city of Glasgow hosting the global COP26 climate conference in November, the Scottish Government has published its national plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 as its contribution to the global efforts to address the climate crisis. Scotland’s mitigation targets are aligned to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2045 and are 1.5°C compatible. Under the Paris Agreement, Parties should submit climate plans - called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) - that include targets, policies, measures and contributions to global climate action. Previously, the UK, including Scotland, were part of a joint EU 2015 Indicative NDC, which set an EU-wide emissions target. On 12 December 2020, the UK, including Scotland, submitted its NDC to the UN, committing to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by at least 68% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. Central to the NDC approach is the principle of national determination. Scotland, as a devolved nation of the UK, has jurisdiction over many of the areas related to climate change, including environment; agriculture, forestry and fisheries; tourism and economic development; many aspects of transport; and housing. With these powers, the Scottish government has legislated for its own climate change ambition, targets and delivery, set out in a number of areas, not least the Climate Change Plan 2018 and Climate Change Plan update 2020 and to reach net-zero GHG emissions by 2045. While not a Party to the Paris Agreement - and therefore not obliged to publish an NDC - the Scottish Government has adopted the NDC approach. In developing and publishing its sub-national NDC, the Scottish Government responded to a call from WWF and others to demonstrate leadership that will inspire ambitious climate action globally and champion climate justice in advance of COP26 being held in Glasgow. WWF is assessing all NDCs in line with its #NDCsWeWant Checklist. This aims to highlight all kinds of progress, encourage best practices, identify key challenges and call out laggards, with the goal of increasing the overall ambition of the NDC process. While demonstrating “a comprehensive approach to tackling and adapting to climate change with high ambition,” WWF's overall assessment of the Scottish indicative NDC concluded that it has a ‘Short Way to Go’ to become an ‘NDC We Want’. The assessment praised Scotland’s mitigation targets for 2030 and 2045 as showing “genuine global leadership in aligning to the 1.5°C ambition” and the publication of an indicative NDC as “a strong example of Scotland’s participatory and just transition policy-making in practice.” However, following three years of missed targets, the assessment highlighted that “current levels of implementation indicate that a step change is needed to ensure these targets are credibly aligned with implementation.” Responding to the assessment, WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “The Scottish Government is to be commended for having demonstrated its commitment to tackling the climate and nature crises through the development of its indicative NDC. And while an NDC might not be appropriate for every sub-national, we hope it inspires other actors to set out clear action plans of their own. “However, as the WWF assessment makes clear, actions to deliver on targets is what the world desperately needs now if we are to keep the 1.5°C ambition alive. That is why we now look to Scottish Government to show how its climate action will be reset to match its high ambition, especially around financing those pledges.” Notes: Scotland is one of the original signatories to the Climate Ambition Alliance, launched in December 2019 at COP25. It is also a leading member of the Under 2 Coalition of states and regions committed to keeping warming to below 2˚C while striving for 1.5˚C. It has committed to achieve net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2045. Glasgow will host COP26 from 31 October - 12 November 2021. For further information, contact Lexi Parfitt, Head of Communications WWF Scotland.
Posted: July 22, 2021, 11:01 pm