The opportunity to present new climate targets at UNFCCC in time for COP27 expired on 23 September
sustainabilityenvironment.com) – A year ago, to save what could be saved in Glasgow, COP26 President Alok Sharma argued that the summit results would be seen at the next meeting. The idea was this: Great Britain, the organising country, had failed to inject more ambition into the final text; but it had snatched the promise of an improvement in climate targets by COP27, So a few years ahead of schedule. Today we can say that this hope has turned out to be a dead end and nothing else.
The deadline for submitting updated climate plans to the UNFCCC, the UN body for combating climate change, was 23 September. But few new National Voluntary Contributions (the famous NDCs) have been seen. Only 23 of the nearly 200 countries participating in the COP process have “revised and strengthened” their climate targets, as they committed themselves to by signing the Glasgow Pact. It was born with an inherent weakness: the improvement of NDCs was voluntary, not binding. The agreement simply “requires” countries to update them so that they are in line with the Paris agreement and aim for 1.5 degrees.
Who presented new climate targets and who not after COP26
f you look in more detail at who presented new NDCs after COP26, the ambition fades even further. Most of the documents do not offer better climate targets but only detail the policies that will be deployed to achieve them.
Of the big polluters, only Britain and Australia have presented new climate targets. The first has only touched up here and there, while the second has brought a significant improvement over the previous ones. All this is thanks to the change of government in Canberra, where the Albanian Prime Minister had made the cut in emissions to 2030 from 26 to 43% on 2005 levels one of the cornerstones of the election campaign.
The United States and China have not submitted anything, while the European Union is working on a redefinition of the NDCs to reflect the additional cuts that will result from plans against the energy crisis and to release from Russia’s gas. But it should not be ready for COP27, and it would still be only 1-2 percentage points more than 55% above the 1990 levels at which Brussels had presented itself at COP26 (and would not yet be in line with the 1.5 degree trajectory). Other countries that have introduced new NDCs include Indonesia (which holds the rotating presidency of the G20), Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (countries hosting the COP this year and in 2023).