WWF responds to release of second UN Climate Change Synthesis Report

Posted on September, 17 2021

(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 mwoods@wwfint.org

Notes for editors:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.





African Savannah
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