Global Stocktake: An Opportunity for Ambition

Parties to the Paris Agreement are required to undertake a global stocktake (GST) every five years to assess collective progress toward the agreement’s long-term mitigation, adaptation, and finance goals. Informed by the GST, each Party is expected to communicate a new updated nationally determined contribution (NDC) representing a “progression” beyond its previous NDC and reflecting its “highest possible ambition.” This combination of GST and NDC updating is known as the “ambition cycle.” Beginning in 2022 and culminating in 2023, the first GST will be conducted in three phases: information collection and preparation; technical assessment; and consideration of outputs.

Properly executed, the GST process can provide the strong foundation necessary to progressively and effectively enhance climate ambition. In this context, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) are working together on a project to help shape the GST process by ensuring a strong focus on opportunities to scale up climate ambition.

The project, which is expected to run over three years, aims to facilitate accelerated climate action, at the national and international level, so as to contribute toward achievement of the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.

Many governments, experts, and stakeholders are already undertaking an assessment of collective progress towards achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals, as well as identifying remaining gaps. At the same time, countries are also putting a strong emphasis on identifying opportunities and support for enhanced action, as well as implementation, recognizing the goal of higher ambition is best served by highlighting both urgency and opportunity.

In that context we are developing an “opportunities framework” to organize a productive consideration of key opportunities for enhanced climate action, as well as strategies to take these forward in the context of the GST. The framework will work with decision-makers in countries, sub-national stakeholders, and coalitions to better equip them to recognize and leverage momentum, technology, and partnerships. This in turn will help enhance NDCs, their effective implementation, and wider collective climate action.

The formal GST also operates as part of an equally important wider context beyond the UNFCCC GST process, with additional political milestones, related events, and developments that will also shape climate ambition. The success of the GST depends on adequate attention to this dimension, with a strong emphasis on near-term scalable action in the context of the Paris Agreement’s long-term goals.

For More Information: Please contact C2ES Associate Director Jennifer Huang at: