Posted on 13 November 2019
Over the past year new science and impressive grass-roots action have driven climate change back up on the international agenda. Four groundbreaking reports by IPCC and IPBES - on 1.5°C, land, and oceans and cryosphere, and biodiversity - show us the dangers and costs of business-as-usual and the benefits of urgent and transformative actions and halving emissions by 2030.
The global movement of youth and other citizens has brought millions to the streets, sending a powerful message that societies demand immediate action on climate change, social justice and equitable access to the benefits of development.
The Climate Action Summit 2019 called for greater climate ambition from countries. While it was framed as “the start of the race,” the response was weak from countries representing the vast majority of global emissions. Seventy other countries indicated they would enhance their national plans or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This is an inadequate response, given that climate change impacts the world’s poorest countries more than the rich countries who are historically responsible for the problem.
The Summit did, however, further channel energies by subnational and non-state actors, including investors, towards climate action with stepped up efforts towards sectoral decarbonization and an accelerated transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy and zero-carbon technologies.
The coming year provides a huge opportunity for Parties to the Paris Agreement to mobilize and harness concerted action to avert a climate catastrophe and the worsening social conflicts that will inevitably emerge. We are now well into the first iteration of the agreement’s five-year ambition cycle, where countries must revisit the ambition of their NDCs and submit ambitious long-term strategies (LTS) to bring the world closer to the goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C.
COP25 is a chance for all countries to take meaningful collective decisions to inform NDC revision and enhancement in the current ambition cycle. It is also an opportunity to ensure, through progress on Loss and Damage, that the poorest and most vulnerable communities have the resources to respond to severe and irreversible impacts that they did not cause.
WWF recommends the Chilean COP25 Presidency and all Parties focus on three priorities: closing the 1.5°C gap with enhanced NDCs, mobilising urgent action from state and non-state actors, and filling gaps and strengthening the multilateral response to the climate crisis.
Read more: Responding to the Climate Crisis - WWF expectations for COP25