Country climate pledges a starting point; much more needed to tackle gaps in climate action | WWF

Country climate pledges a starting point; much more needed to tackle gaps in climate action

Posted on 30 October 2015    
© Mike Eames / WWF
(Gland, Switzerland, 30 October, 2015)  - The UNFCCC has released a landmark Synthesis report on member countries’ climate pledges, setting out their aggregate effect.
These climate pledges - called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCswill be an integral part of a new global climate deal expected to be agreed at the UN climate meeting to be held in Paris in December.
The submissions reflect 119 separate INDCs from 147 members (including the EU with 28 countries) of the UN climate body, covering 86 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Responding to the release of the UNFCCC’s Synthesis of the INDCs report, Samantha Smith, leader of the WWF Global Climate and Energy Initiative said, “The commitments represent a broad and significant dent in what’s needed to fight climate change.  Much is offered, and much more is needed.
Commitments at today’s level are about half of what scientists say is required to avoid really dangerous climate change. We need further action to close that gap, or else we will be on track for warming globally of roughly 3 degrees Celsius by 2100. That is too much for vulnerable people and sensitive ecosystems. To fill the ambition gap, all countries must and can do their fair share through an immediate, collaborative and fair effort.
The report gives a sense of how more could be done. It identifies a large amount of emissions reductions that poorer countries have offered but that are conditioned on support from wealthier countries. We must ensure this financial and technology support is available, so that all countries can do their fair share.
To catalyse this ambition, governments need to make the right decisions in Paris. Those decisions should include a fair plan to ramp up ambition on emissions cuts, finance, technology access and adaptation immediately, in 2016. All parties should agree to take steps beyond their unconditional INDCs to cut the post-2020 emissions gap by half or more before 2025 and close it entirely soon thereafter. For wealthier countries, that includes bigger emissions cuts and also commitments of finance and technology support to poorer countries so they can increase their efforts. It should also include a commitment to reviews of pledges every five years against both science and equity.
Finally, the synthesis report considers only emissions cuts. Adaptation to the impacts of climate change, support for vulnerable countries that cannot adapt, and finance and technology access are also part of the massive, global and public partnership required to fight climate change. WWF hopes that future reviews of this global effort will include all of these dimensions.”
For editors:
  1. Read the report online here.
For further information, contact:
Mandy Jean Woods / @MandyJeanWoods  / +27 72 393 0027
Sam Smith  / @pandaclimate / +47 450 22 149
About WWF - WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. The Global Climate & Energy Initiative (GCEI) is WWF’s global programme addressing climate change, promoting renewable and sustainable energy, scaling up green finance, engaging the private sector and working nationally and internationally on implementing low carbon, climate resilient development.
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