UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell at the Ministerial Opening of the Africa Climate Summit and the Africa Climate Week in Nairobi, Kenya. PHOTO/UN
By DUKE TSUMA
While Parties to the 2015 Paris Agreement have taken widespread actions to address climate change and its impacts, ambition and implementation must be accelerated rapidly.
Many creative and actionable solutions to overcome challenges are ready to be implemented, finds a key technical report on the global stocktake published recently.
The global stocktake was designed under the Paris Agreement to assess our global response to the climate crisis and chart a better way forward. The global stocktake is held every five years and is intended to inform the next round of nationally determined contributions to be put forward by 2025.
The global stocktake started with a data collection phase in 2021, collecting a wide range of inputs from Parties, international bodies, and non-Party stakeholders.
A technical dialogue was carried out across three meetings in 2022 and 2023 and was chaired, with the assistance of the UN Climate Change secretariat, by two co-facilitators Farhan Akhtar and Harald Winkler, nominated by developed and developing countries respectively.
The scope of technical discussion was very broad, including mitigation, adaptation and support, as well as loss and damage and response measures. Cutting across all these topics were ambition and equity – all informed by best available science.
“The technical dialogues were based on the best available science, drawing on the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other sources of knowledge, with broad participation of experts and non-Party Stakeholders with diverse backgrounds,” Akhtar said.
Akhtar added that across the discussions it was clear that the Paris Agreement has inspired widespread action that has significantly reduced forecasts of future warming.
“This global stocktake is taking place at a crucial moment to inspire further global action in responding to the climate crisis,” Akhtar noted.
The synthesis report of the technical dialogue published today summarizes 17 key technical findings from the discussions. Across the topics, the report makes clear that there is progress, but much more needs to be done.
While there are well-known gaps, the technical findings highlighted existing and emerging opportunities and creative solutions to bridge these gaps. Good practices and proposals to accelerate implementation, action and support, are highlighted in all areas.
COP28 President-Designate Dr. Sultan Al Jaber. PHOTO/FILE
The report lays a strong scientific and technical base for the conclusion of the first global stocktake in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, at the UN Climate Change Conference COP28.
“More than 137 non-Party stakeholders submitted input on their actions and support for the Paris Agreement goals, in total over 170,000 pages of written submissions were received, and we had over 252 hours of meetings and discussions over the three meetings of the technical dialogue – in plenaries, roundtables and world café formats,” Winkler said.
Winkler added as the report’s technical findings show, much more is needed now, on all fronts and by all actors to meet the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.
During this final phase – the consideration of outcomes, a series of high-level events will be held to discuss the implications of these technical findings. These discussions will inform a decision and/or declaration summarizing key political messages, identifying opportunities, good practices, and challenges to enhance climate action and support.
“This global stocktake report provides clear direction on how we can meet the expectations of the Paris Agreement by taking decisive action in this critical decade,” said COP28 President-Designate Dr. Sultan Al Jaber.
Al Jaber added to keep 1.5 within reach stakeholders must act with ‘ambition and urgency’ to reduce emissions by 43% by 2030 noting that is why the COP28 Presidency has put forward an ambitious action agenda centered around fast- tracking a just and well managed energy transition that leaves no one behind, fixing climate finance, focusing on people lives and livelihoods, and underpinning everything with full inclusivity.
“I believe we can deliver all of this while creating sustainable economic growth for our people, but we must urgently disrupt business as usual and unite like never before to move from ambition to action and from rhetoric to real results,” he added.
Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, said: “I urge governments to carefully study the findings of the report and ultimately understand what it means for them and the ambitious action they must take next.”
Stiell said it’s the same for businesses, communities and other key stakeholders adding that while the catalytic role of the Paris Agreement and the multilateral process will remain vital in the coming years, the global stocktake is a critical moment for greater ambition and accelerating action.