UN Climate Change publishes NDCs; Gambia is the only country to limit temperature increases to 1.5C

By Asitha Jayawardena

As NDC Synthesis Report is published 1 1/2 months before COP26, Gambia comes as the only country that is doing enough to limit temperatures to 1.5C.

A synthesis of climate action plans based on the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of countries is published by the UN Climate Change on 17 September 2021. Meanwhile, the independent research group Climate Action Tracker finds just one country (i.e., Gambia) out of 37 nations of the Paris Agreement that is doing enough to achieve the limit of the global temperature increase of 1.5C, compared with pre-industrial levels.

Less than a month to go before the United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP26 take part in November in Glasgow, Scotland.

The NDC Synthesis Report

There is a clear trend of the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over time, reveals in the NDC Synthesis Report. However, it also shows that the countries have to redouble their climate efforts if the goals of the Paris Agreement are to be achieved at the end of this century. According to the Paris Agreement, the global temperature increase should be limited to 2C, or ideally 1.5C, compared to pre-industrial levels.

The Parties to the Paris Agreement requested this report to assess the progress of climate action before the COP26 to be held in Glasgow in November 2021.

113 Parties of the Paris Agreement have submitted new or updated NDCs, corresponding to a GHG emissions reduction of 12% in 2030 compared to 2010. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that the limiting of global average temperature increases to 1.5C requires a reduction of CO2 emissions by 45% in 2030 and, to limit 2C, a reduction of 25% by 2030.

70 of 113 Parties indicated carbon neutrality goals towards the middle of the century, leading to even more decrease of emissions, say 26% by 2030 compared to 2010.

“I congratulate all Parties that have submitted updated or new NDCs”, said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change. “The synthesis shows that countries are making progress towards the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals. This means that the in-built mechanism set up by the Paris Agreement to allow for a gradual increase of ambition is working.”

Research by Climate Action Tracker

Out of 37 nations, only one country is making progress towards meeting the target of the Paris Agreement, according to the analysis just over a month away from the UN Climate Change Summit or COP26 in November.

According to the researchers, Gambia is the country that is making sweeping progress to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5C, compared to pre-industrial levels.

“It’s sobering that in the last few months we’ve seen little movement,” said Professor Niklas Hohne, analysis author and founding partner of the NewClimate Institute in Germany. “The gap between where we want to be and where we are is huge.”

The world will barely stabilise the carbon emissions by 2030 and, according to the Paris Agreement, we need to halve global emissions, said Professor Hohne.  

The Gambia is not a huge contributor to climate change but it has committed to reducing carbon emissions if international finance is available, he said. We have moved very little in the last four months.

Nations that had been categorised as “almost insufficient” are:

  • Costa Rica
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Morocco
  • Nepal
  • Nigeria
  • UK

The UK is the only developed country that has climate plans to limit global warming to 1.5C but climate plans into policies are not formed to make the ambitious targets a reality.

The remaining 37 countries come under “insufficient”, “highly insufficient” and “critically insufficient”.

What’s next?

There is only one month away from the already-postponed COP26 in November. Whether we agree to the reduction of CO2 emissions or not, we can see there. If we do not, the earth will go from bad to worse in time to come.


Full NDC Synthesis Report: Some Progress, but Still a Big Concern https://unfccc.int/news/full-ndc-synthesis-report-some-progress-but-still-a-big-concern

Nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/cma2021_08_adv.pdf

‘Time is running out’: Researchers warn climate progress has stalled as only one country doing enough to meet 1.5C target https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/climate-targets-paris-agreement-cop26-b1919913.html

The Paris Agreement https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-paris-agreement


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