The world is lagging behind on its climate pledges ahead of the United Nations’ annual climate conference COP27. Just under two dozen countries have submitted ahead of the November summit, despite close to 200 of them promising more ambitious goals at last year’s COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.
“Nations, following a resolution at COP26, are now asked to come up with stronger plans on an annual basis. No country is exempt. The pressure is on, and civil society has made it clear: they want results,” then-UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said during an address in Jan. 2022.
At COP26 in 2021, close to 200 nations convened to strategize ways to maintain 1.5 degrees Celsius of temperature rise, a goal set under the Paris Agreement. In order to do that, global emissions must be roughly halved by 2030.
“Everyone was looking towards COP26 as being a major moment, ‘It's gonna be a Paris part two,’” Adam Lake, the Climate Group’s head of Climate Week NYC, told Cheddar News during the weeklong event. “There was some success at [COP26], but nowhere near what we needed.”
That’s why leaders like Simon Stiell, executive secretary of UN Climate Change, urged stakeholders during NYC Climate Week to make bold commitments in advance of COP27.
“Multilateralism and collective action provide the only way forward. It’s often messy, difficult, and frustrating. Consensus building is hard. But we succeed together, or we fail,” Stiell said.
“Nationally Determined Contribution” is the official name for plans nations are expected to lay out to achieve the aims of the Paris Agreement. These pledges can help establish transparent steps toward progress, and they also help the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) create more accurate calculations of future climate warming.
Still, few countries have submitted their pledges. Those that have include Australia, Brazil, Egypt, India, and Indonesia. Of them, only Australia’s plan actually entails further cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, which the country aims to reduce by 43 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Brazil’s plan is weaker than a pledge the country made in 2016, Bloomberg reported.
“Every moment counts. There are only eight COPs left until 2030, and we need to start working backwards from that date. Now,” Stiell said at NYC Climate Week.