NDC Synthesis Report

GS Paper III

News Excerpt:

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Synthesis Report by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) shows inadequate climate pledges, with a projected 87% depletion of the global carbon budget by 2030.

Key Findings of the report:

  • The report indicates if the NDC of all countries are implemented, global emission levels will be 2% lower in 2030 compared to 2019 levels.
  • The 2% reduction falls significantly short of the 43% emission reduction required by 2030 to limit global temperature increase to under 1.5 degrees Celsius, as recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
  • Despite improved ambition in updated NDCs, the report estimates that 51.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) will be emitted in 2030, using up 87% of the remaining global carbon budget.
  • Evidence suggests global emissions may peak before 2030 if conditional elements in NDCs are met. However, implementing only unconditional NDCs would result in a 1.4% increase in emissions by 2030 compared to 2019 levels.
    • Many conditional elements in NDCs, particularly from developing countries, hinge on factors like access to finance and technology
  • About 43% of countries outlined long-term mitigation plans in their NDCs. 
  • The collective emissions of countries with Long-Term Low-Emission Development Strategies (LT-LEDS) will be 35.9 GtCO2e in 2030, representing a 6% reduction from 2019 levels.
  • However, uncertainties exist in Net Zero targets, and 43% of LEDS indicate the need for more ambitious emissions reduction measures.
  • The reports are expected to feed into the culmination of the first-ever Global Stocktake — an assessment of the progress of countries towards their climate commitments — at the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) to the UNFCCC in Dubai, UAE. 
    • Following the findings of the NDC synthesis report, the Global Stocktake offers an opportunity to strengthen the implementation of targets and improve the flow of finance to achieve commitments from developed to developing countries.
  • There is a need to rebuild trust in Paris process, i.e., deliver on commitments, especially finance, and enhance resilience to climate impacts globally.

About Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC):

  • NDCs are individual country-level commitments that outline the efforts and actions a country intends to take to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
  • NDCs were a key component of the 2015 Paris Agreement, the legally binding international treaty aimed at addressing climate change. 
  • Each participating country in the Paris Agreement was required to submit its own NDC, which reflects its national circumstances, capabilities, and priorities.
    • NDC comprises specific targets and strategies, reflecting its own domestic considerations, from ending poverty to developing climate finance or improving physical resilience to climate change effects.
  • Countries are encouraged to enhance their NDCs every five years to reflect increased ambition in tackling climate change.
  • NDCs also contain information on either the needs for, or the provision of, finance, technologies and capacity building for these actions.

Conditional and unconditional elements under NDCs:

  • Conditional elements in NDCs: The commitments that a country makes contingent upon certain conditions being met.
    For example, a country might pledge to reduce emissions by a certain percentage only if it receives financial support or technology transfer from the international community.
  • Unconditional elements in NDCs: The core, non-negotiable commitments that a country pledges to achieve irrespective of external factors. These are the targets and actions that a country is committed to implementing on its own, without relying on additional support or conditions.


Prelims PYQ

Q. The term ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions’ is sometimes seen in the news in the context of (UPSC 2016)

(a) Pledges made by the European countries to rehabilitate refugees from the war-affected Middle East

(b) Plan of action outlined by the countries of the world to combat climate change

(c) Capital contributed by the member countries in the establishment of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

(d) Plan of action outlined by the countries of the world regarding Sustainable Development Goals

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