UNFCCC Synthesis Report Card Shows World is Failing At Emissions Reduction Planning
Major Emitter Nations Must Show Real Ambition To Lead the Way
Earlier today, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) released a new Synthesis Report detailing the level of ambition from national climate plans submitted by December 2020. John Verdieck, Director of International Climate Policy for The Nature Conservancy, issued the following statement in response to the data shared from the report:
“If the UNFCCC Synthesis Report is a report card grading progress towards the Paris Agreement goals, right now, we’re failing. Even with only 30% of global carbon emissions represented in the data, the combined ambition we’ve seen from those revised national plans is simply not good enough.
“The COVID-19 pandemic may have delayed the publication of those plans, but the effects on communities from climate change have not slowed down. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we may have just eight years left to make the scale of changes to keep the planet below 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming.
“Now is the time for action. Last year, we saw China, the European Union, and others announce net zero goals that raised ambition and inspired other countries to do the same. Now is the time for U.S. leadership to take up the torch by increasing U.S. ambition and encouraging others to follow.
“This April, the U.S. will be hosting other major nations at a Climate Summit, where the U.S. expects to announce a revised climate plan. It is likely that several major emitters have been waiting to see what signal the U.S. puts forward, before releasing their own updated commitments. It is critical that the U.S. demonstrate a substantive leap in ambition, as well as a tangible path for implementation of climate action across all industrial sectors, as well as commitments to the powerful role nature can play in helping reduce climate impacts.
“This report is a stark reminder that collective action requires everyone - countries, corporations, and individuals. Right now, the report shows projected emission reductions of just 1% by 2030 compared to 2010 levels. The IPCC, by contrast, has indicated that emission reduction ranges to meet the 1.5C temperature goal should be around 45% lower. We have so far to go to protect our future, and so little time to get there. The UNFCCC will release another round of synthesis data just prior to global climate meeting in November. We hope to see significant growth towards these critical goals.”
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.