By Henry Opondo
While countries are stepping up institutional arrangements for planning, funding, implementing, monitoring and evaluating climate action, they however still need to make full use of key opportunities this year to shift gears.
According to a report published by UN Climate Change, prepared as UN Climate Change input to the UN Climate Action Summit, provides insights into action taken by governments to address climate change, presenting a wealth of knowledge and experience that can be deployed by governments to ramp up crucial climate ambition.
“The next two years offer a crucial window of opportunity for all nations – as well as non-State actors – to capitalize on our current framework, build on our existing momentum and make the changes we desperately need,” said UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa.
The report “Climate Action and Support Trends” puts a spotlight on the progress made over the past 25 years since the inception of the UNFCCC. This can help in scaling up further action, as governments prepare to submit the next round of national climate action plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), by 2020.
“The good news is that much of this work has already begun. There is a solid basis on which to build ambition, and there is a clear sense of urgency to address the existential threat of climate change. But the pace of action remains too slow and must be accelerated.”
The report warns that after a short period of stabilization, global greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise. Despite clear progress in some areas, efforts by countries to achieve their national climate action plans are currently not sufficient to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
The growing sense of urgency to act is shared by many countries that have been reporting an increase of climate-related impacts and hazards.
The new UN report outlines these impacts and the measures countries are deploying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to build resilience to climate change.
It also details the levels of support provided and received by developing countries to do so, including finance, technology and capacity-building, crucial for countries to achieve their climate objectives.