28 November 2019, Madrid, Spain - As the “canaries in the coalmine” the Pacific islands are calling for Parties to the Paris Agreement to honour their commitments and meet the 1.5°C global warming target at the world’s largest climate change conference in Madrid.
The Twenty-fifth Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP25) begins on 2 December, a global event that seals the fate of the Pacific islands on the frontlines of climate change, as well as the whole planet.
Calling for even more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s) from Parties, the Pacific are also asking that these be clearer, transparent and comparable to track progress on how well countries are reducing their greenhouse gas emissions post 2020.
The 2019 UN Environment Gap Emissions Report newly released this month highlighted the need for countries to increase their NDC ambitions threefold to achieve the 1.5°C goal.
“We must do all we can to achieve a 1.5°C world, and every NDC that is submitted must commit to this, but above all, must action it. Science has shown us the impacts between a 2°C and a 1.5°C world are significant for us in the Pacific islands, as well as the whole world,” said Mr Kosi Latu, Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
“Science also tells us that it’s still possible for us to keep global warming to 1.5°C. The longer we leave it, the more expensive, dangerous and difficult will be. Parties must redouble their efforts to increase the level of ambition for the next round of NDC’s.”
In 2015 the Paris Agreement saw 196 Parties unite and agree to limit warning to 1.5 - 2°C. NDC’s are the foundation of the Paris Agreement, outlining what Parties are doing nationally to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions for a 1.5°C world.
Submitted every five years, the next round of NDC’s are due before 2020. Just days before the COP25 is to begin, only the Republic of the Marshall Islands have submitted their second NDC. Pacific leadership also continues to be demonstrated as a regional transparency project is being developed, using common guidance and metrics.
The Pacific is calling for clarity on NDC’s as without this the transparency system fails which in turn sees the compliance system fail.
“While we have the second NDC’s to be put on the table by all Parties so we know just how they are meeting their Paris Agreement obligations, we also need to make sure that reporting on them is comparable,” said Mr Latu.
“They should be quantifiable, use common metrics, timeframes, and methodologies and address the same sectors and gases.”
All NDC’s are now stored in the interim registry at https://www4.unfccc.int/sites/NDCStaging/Pages/All.aspx.
184 Parties have submitted their first NDC, with only one having submitted their second NDC.
The Pacific Islands came together to prepare their strategy to amplify the Pacific voice on the global stage through the IMPACT Pacific Small Islands Developing States Climate Change Ministers and Negotiators COP 25 Preparatory Meeting and Training held in the Pacific Climate Change Centre in Samoa from 5 – 8 November, 2019.
The preparatory training is the culmination of a partnership between Climate Analytics and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) to help ensure strong engagement of Pacific islands at the global climate change conference.
The Twenty-fifth Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is held in Madrid, Spain from 2 to 13 December, 2019.