Kaveh Guilanpour on the NDC Synthesis Report

Statement of Kaveh Guilanpour
Vice President of International Strategies, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
October 26, 2022 

On the 2022 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Synthesis Report released by the UNFCCC Secretariat:  

“In light of the IPCC reports leading up to COP26, all countries agreed in Glasgow that those that had not already stepped up to do so come forward to communicate new or updated targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as long-term strategies to transition to net-zero emissions by mid-century. 

“The latest UNFCCC synthesis report shows that only a handful of them have responded to the call from Glasgow and that the world remains far off track from staying within the 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature limit of the Paris Agreement.    

“The 2022 Synthesis Report tells us that, despite disappointingly few countries stepping up since Glasgow, new climate targets—NDCs—submitted in 2022 have made a difference: While last year’s report estimated total emissions in 2030 at 4.7% above 2019 levels, this year, 2030 emissions are estimated to be 0.3% below 2019. In other words, with every COP since 2015, emissions reductions are continuing the trend of going in the right direction. This gives us hope. The Paris Agreement is working. 

“At the same time there is still an important ambition gap with regard to the latest alarming message in the IPCC report on mitigation—to stay within reach of 1.5 degrees requires a near halving of emissions in this ‘critical decade.’ This will need a huge shift in the scale and pace of climate action.   

“It is clear that all countries need to do far more and do so far more quickly, particularly the major economies responsible for some 80 percent of global emissions. 

“The global stocktake process launched at COP26, and the mitigation work programme due to be launched at COP27, present two important spaces to do just that. It is essential to take full advantage of these opportunities.  

“Aside from the importance of setting targets in line with a 1.5 degree pathway, it is critical that, consistent with the COP27 Presidency focus on implementation, countries pursue domestic mitigation measures aimed at fully achieving their targets—too few have put in place the domestic policies and legislation necessary to implement them. This is a legally binding requirement of the Paris Agreement. Many developing countries will also need the benefit of financial, technical, and technological support to do so. 

“As we pivot to implementation, each country must act on its own ambition and demonstrate the Paris Agreement is a commitment we renew each year, each month, and every day. Because we have too few days to spare if we’re to stand up to the task.”