State of climate ambition around the world

19 Aug, 2022 - 00:08 0 Views
State of climate ambition around the world

eBusiness Weekly

Countries can be more ambitious in their climate pledges, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says.

In its 2022 State of Global Ambition Regional Snapshots, the agency highlights progress, gaps, trends and opportunities on climate goals across five regions.

The snapshots cover more than 120 countries and territories supported through UNDP’s Climate Promise, an initiative to help developing countries strengthen their goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

Countries are encouraged to submit increasingly ambitious goals — called nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — every five years.

Across all countries, UNDP says including more people and communities in national climate goal setting, including women, young people and other vulnerable groups, leads to more ambitious goals.

Here are some key points from the five regions.

Africa is home to over one billion people and spans 46 countries, including 33 states that are considered fragile. Its annual emissions account for just over 7 percent of global greenhouse gases — about a quarter of this from Nigeria and South Africa — but it’s one of the regions most impacted by climate change.

More than 400 million people have no access to safe drinking water and climate change is expected to worsen this. Loss of life, falling food production and reduced biodiversity are some of the other climate change threats they face.

UNDP helped 44 countries in Africa submit second-generation nationally determined contributions through its Climate Promise. All of these countries are enhancing their targets to adapt to climate change, and 91 percent are raising targets to cut emissions through mitigation measures — including South Africa and Nigeria, the region’s two highest emitters.

The Central African Republic, for example, committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by between 12 percent and 25 percent by 2030, up from just 5 percent in its original pledge. Changes to achieve this include expanding the country’s updated goals to cover the transport, mining, land use and housing sectors.

Countries in Africa are promising to raise their goals for climate mitigation and adaptation measures.

Climate ambition in Asia and the Pacific

More than half the world’s population lives in the Asia-Pacific region, which accounts for 42,4 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Of the region’s 41 countries, 11 are high emitters, responsible for 40,8 percent of these emissions. Asia-Pacific also includes nine fragile states, 17 small-island developing states and 11 of the world’s least developed countries.

Between 2000 and 2018, 82 percent of natural disasters in Asia were caused by extreme weather events, UNDP says. Isolated Pacific island nations are especially vulnerable.

Of the 27 countries in Asia and the Pacific the UNDP is supporting through its Climate Promise, 78 percent are raising their mitigation targets and 89 percent are raising adaptation goals.

Around 10 countries are developing finance and investment plans to help fund mitigation and adaptation work. These include Bangladesh, which has developed cost estimates for mitigation work in different sectors, and Cambodia, which has looked at investments needed in early warning systems and disaster reduction measures.

Arab States accelerate adaptation

The 19 countries and one territory of the Arab States region include four of the world’s least developed countries and several of the biggest oil and gas producers. The region is home to 394 million people and contributes 5,4 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate change is predicted to worsen water stress, which already affects 84 percent of people. Crop-growing land is also shrinking, with falls of at least 45 percent in more than half the region’s countries between 1990 and 2015.

Seven countries in the Arab States — Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan and Tunisia — were supported through the UNDP Climate Promise to prepare second-generation nationally determined contributions. All seven raised their adaptation ambitions. Country plans also showed a “clear increase” in ambitions to mitigate climate change.

Iraq, for example, raised one of its targets to reduce emissions through mitigation measures from 13 percent to 15 percent. The country’s revised nationally determined contribution includes a proposal to install 12 gigawatts of utility-scale renewable energy capacity, to help transform the power sector.

Flooding and drought fuel action in Europe and Central Asia

Europe and Central Asia spans 54 countries and is responsible for 15,4 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The European Union, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom collectively emit 11,5 percent of this.

From “catastrophic flooding” in the Western Balkans to prolonged droughts in Central Asia, every country in the region is seeing and feeling the effects of climate change, UNDP says.

Of 18 countries in Europe and Central Asia supported through UNDP’s Climate Promise, 12 countries — 67 percent — have updated their nationally determined contributions or created new ones.

Two of the region’s highest emitters, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, are among the 88 percent of countries who have raised their mitigation targets, UNDP said. In addition, 82 percent enhanced, or plan to strengthen, their climate adaptation pledges.

Countries in the Western Balkans, including Albania, Turkey and Serbia, increasingly want to make sure that moving to a more sustainable economy is fair to everyone. Actions in these countries have included an assessment of green jobs needed to switch to renewable energy and an analysis of coal-intensive regions and communities.

In Europe and Central Asia, 12 developing countries supported by UNDP’s Climate Promise are updating their emissions reduction and climate adaptation goals.

Bolder climate goals in Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin America and the Caribbean covers 33 countries and 650 million people. The region emits 8,1 percent of global greenhouse gases with Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela contributing 5,7 percent of this. Climate change — including droughts, floods and glacial melts — impacts food and water security, forces people to migrate and worsens poverty and inequality across the region, UNDP says.

Twenty countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have enhanced their nationally determined contributions — 80 percent of those supported through the UNDP Climate Promise.

For example, Colombia has pledged to cut 51 percent of emissions through mitigation measures — up from 20 percent last time. The country’s 148 mitigation measures and 30 adaptation targets include limiting deforestation to no more than 50 000 hectares a year by 2030.

Cutting emissions in heavy industry

Gathering data on emissions and climate goals enables countries and sectors to see where action is most needed, make changes and monitor progress.

A new tracking initiative from the World Economic Forum and professional services company Accenture is the Net-Zero Industry Tracker. This aims to “comprehensively and consistently” track progress on the decarbonization of industry, which accounts for more than 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

“There will be no net zero future if industries don’t decarbonise,” the partners say.

The Net-Zero Industry Tracker focuses specifically on six heavy industries — steel, cement, aluminium, ammonia, oil and natural gas.

It includes a set of standard metrics to measure how industries are reducing their emissions and improving energy efficiency. The tracker will also monitor technology developments, access to support and demand for low emission products. — WEF.

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