What Effect Will National Climate Plans (INDCs) Have on Global Emissions? 5 Things to Know

In the run-up to COP 21 in Paris, more than 150 countries have now submitted their post-2020 national climate plans, known as “intended nationally determined contributions,” or INDCs. This is an unprecedented effort, and indicates countries’ increased seriousness in how they’re addressing climate change. But what has the INDC process triggered, and how much will these plans reduce global emissions? And how do they differ from past action and planning both nationally and internationally?

The new synthesis report from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reveals answers to these questions and more. It finds that all countries have upped their ambition from their pre-2020 climate actions. It also finds that these climate plans are more complete and transparent than ever before. When looking at the combined effect of all of these INDCs, it finds that there is an aggregate reduction of approximately 4 GtCO2e in 2030.

Thus, there is progress, but this progress is not yet adequate to keep global average temperature rise below 2 degrees C (3.6 F). In the final weeks before Paris, this gap places great focus on the new international climate agreement itself, and what signals and provisions it can include to keep the 2 degrees C goal within sight. The Paris agreement will need to strengthen the pace and scale of the global transformation to a zero-carbon economy.

In light of the findings in the synthesis report, here are five major things to know.

 

1) INDCs represent greater climate action and go beyond business-as-usual emissions trends.

This round of INDCs is far more ambitious than the climate plans countries submitted in 2010, with some major economies not only slowing emissions growth, but committing to a peak and decline of emissions. Importantly, they signal a new phase of climate policy, in which climate action is strongly rooted in domestic policies and national development and economic agendas, and aligned with country priorities.

The synthesis report finds that if countries achieve their INDCs, global emissions will be approximately 4 percent lower in 2025 and 7 percent lower in 2030 than they would have been with existing 2020 pledges, but without the INDCs. Without the INDCs, the report estimates that global emissions would be 57.7 GtCO2e in 2025 and 60.8 GtCO2e in 2030; with the INDCs, these figures fall to 55.2 Gt CO2e in 2025 and 56.7 GtCO2e in 2030. Other studies, like those by the Climate Action Tracker, Climate Interactive, the IEA, and MIT, reach similar conclusions. Compared to the synthesis report, some of them even find that the INDCs will result in more significant emissions reductions.

2) But countries still need to do more.

To limit warming to below 2 degrees C and prevent some of the worst climate impacts, however, countries will need to go further. The synthesis report estimates that with the INDCs, emissions would be 19 percent higher in 2025 than levels that would be consistent with the least-cost pathway to a 2 degree C world (8.7 Gt CO2e), and 35 percent higher (15.1 Gt CO2e) in 2030. Other studies present similar findings, indicating a substantial “gap” between where emissions are going and emissions pathways consistent with a least costly chance of limiting warming to 2 degrees C and avoiding the worst climate impacts.

If countries do not increase action prior to 2030, very steep, unprecedented rates of emissions reductions would be required later in order to achieve the 2 degrees C goal, significantly increasing costs and risks.

3) The Paris agreement can increase ambition.

The Paris agreement can send the right policy signals to countries to further reduce emissions beyond the INDCs. Governments should agree on a process for countries to scale up their emissions-reduction commitments every five years, starting in 2020. Indeed, we know that many countries already have options available to go beyond their current commitments. These five-year cycles could be coupled with a global long-term goal in the agreement framed as a certain percentage of emissions reductions that must be achieved by mid-century, the timing of a phase-out of emissions, decarbonization of the economy, and/or the timing for peaking emissions.

The additional effort resulting from strong signals in the agreement could avoid an additional 5 GtCO2e in 2030, ensuring a smoother transition to a zero-carbon economy.

 

For more Information, please consult:  What Effect Will National Climate Plans (INDCs) Have on Global Emissions? 5 Things to Know

 

Image credit: WRI

Go back

CBFP News

WWF: Rainforest deforestation more than doubled under cover of coronavirus -DW

Tropical rainforests shrank by 6,500 square kilometers in March — an area seven times the size of Berlin. Criminal groups are taking advantage of the pandemic and the unemployed are getting desperate, the WWF said.

Read more …

Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park Monthly update April 2020

"At a time when many countries are beginning their gradual deconfinement and when there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon of returning to normal life, I wanted to share with you some good news that also fills us with hope for the future of the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park."

Read more …

Resources and follow-up from the virtual FAO-EcoAgriculture Partners Roundtable

Last April 30th FAO and EcoAgriculture Partners organized a virtual Roundtable on Territorial Perspectives for Development, in which over 170 people participated.

Read more …

ATIBT -CBFP: Private Sector mobilized around the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany

ATIBT co-facilitated the mobilization of the private sector of the timber sector to participate in the first meeting of the private sector college of Congo Basin Forest Partnership with the new facilitator Dr Christian Ruck and his team German Facilitation.

Read more …

Development and institutionalization of a PAFC certification system for the Congo basin: opening of the second public consultation on Sustainable Forest Management Certification Standard, 23 May 2020 - 22 June 2020

This second public consultation will be open for a period of 30 days from tomorrow Saturday the 23rd of May 2020 and will be closed on Monday the 22nd of June 2020. The public consultation is open to all stakeholders of forest management in the Congo Basin interested in participating to the PAFC Congo Basin certification standards development process.

Read more …

Forest defenders on the COVID-19 frontline stand ready to assist the global EU response – Fern

These efforts go hand in hand with ensuring continued responsible management of natural resources and preventing unsustainably and illegally sourced forest commodities. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, forest-monitoring organisations Observatoire de la Gouvernance Forestière (OGF) and Réseau des observateurs indépendants des ressources naturelles (RENOI) are set to carry out COVID awareness-raising in at-risk forest areas, and will also assess COVID’s impact on forest management and governance commitments under the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI). Across the Congo Basin, fears that a proper lack of oversight may put forests and forest peoples in danger are looming despite emerging initiatives.

Read more …

22 May 2020 International Day for Biological Diversity

The theme of the 2020 International Day for Biological Diversity is “Our Solutions are in Nature”. It shows that "Biodiversity remains the answer to a number of sustainable development challenges that we all face. From nature-based solutions to climate, to food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity remains the basis for a sustainable future."

Read more …

CBFP News Archive

2020