The NDCs We Want | WWF
© WWF-US / Keith Arnold

The burning issue: Our world is on fire

The world as we know it is under threat. A climate crisis is taking place in front of our very eyes: floods and tropical storms escalating, forest fires, heat waves, desertification and rapidly melting polar ice caps, to name a few of the impacts.

Over the past few years, we have experienced record-breaking weather in all parts of the world. As the UN Secretary General, Antionio Guterres, has said, ‘we are now facing a dramatic climate emergency’.

The last decade was the warmest on record and the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is the highest in human history.

Greenland, the second largest ice cap, experienced unprecedented melting during July 2019. Simultaneously there was a spike in fires in Siberia, Alaska, Canada, Greenland in the Arctic Circle. The Amazon region saw a dramatic surge in fires in the tropical dry-season, with more than 80 000 fires across Brazil alone recorded by the end of August 2019, a 77% increase compared to the same period last year. 

If you look around you — really look — you’ll see that our world is, unequivocally, on fire.

What is the world doing about it?

In December 2015, 196 countries agreed to the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change, pledging to fight the climate crisis and intensify the actions and investments needed to save our world. Its goal is to keep this century’s temperature increase well below 2°C – and further, to limit the increase to 1.5°C.

However, the pace of implementation of this Agreement by key countries has been far from what is needed to change the situation. The climate catastrophe we are facing has been set into motion.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with 1.5°C of global warming Arctic summers are projected to be ice-free once per century, and with a 2°C increase, once every 10 years. An increase of 2°C also means a 170% increase in flood risk and three times as many people exposed to extreme heat waves across the globe.

The current pledges in the Paris Agreement will see us continue on our trajectory towards increases of 3°C – and hotter.

We need to do more

Short, mid and long-term solutions are needed to secure our future; significant cuts to greenhouse gas emissions are crucial and global carbon dioxide emissions need to be reduced by 50% by 2030 (and they need to reach net zero by 2050).

We have to invest in renewable energy sources, change the way we use land and the oceans and choose more sustainable lifestyles, or this climate emergency will continue. The clock is ticking …

© Jason Houston / WWF-US

All about NDCs

Under the Paris Agreement, each country has to put together a plan of action to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and deal with the impacts of climate change. These are called nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

Revised NDCs are expected to be submitted in 2020 and will have to be updated every five years to ensure that each country’s efforts towards limiting temperature increases will grow and become more ambitious (the so-called Paris Agreement 'ratchet' mechanism).

If every country fully implements the commitments set out in their first round NDCs, global temperatures are expected to rise between 2.7°C and 3.7°C this century alone. That’s nowhere near the 1.5°C goal set out in the Paris Agreement.

2020 is the date set for the ratchet mechanism to formally start, so countries have a chance to review their NDCs and submit stronger ones. There is still much more we have to do — and it has to start now.

The #NDCsWeWant

WWF's #NDCsWeWant Checklist aims to shine a spotlight on 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.

As countries submit revised NDCs, we will review them against our #NDCsWeWant Checklist and publish our analysis. This website will be updated as this process progresses, and countries which have been evaluated will be marked on the map below and added to the list of assessed NDCs

Zoom in and click on the pins on the map below to see our assessment and rating for each country.

WWF assessment in progress

NDC We Want

Short Way to Go

Some Way to Go 

NDC We Don't Want