The Marshall Islands’ LTS provides the basis for increasing the ambition level of country’s existing NDC, which it plans to do before 2020.
LTSs are critical for achieving climate goals as they help countries align national development goals with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and serve as a roadmap for future NDCs.
Benin, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Mexico, the US, the UK and Ukraine have also submitted LTSs.
24 September 2018: The Marshall Islands has formulated a plan to reach net zero emissions by 2020 and to revise emission reduction targets. It is the tenth country and first small island development State (SIDS) to submit a long-term strategy (LTS) to decarbonize to the UNFCCC Secretariat in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The document titled, ‘Tile Til Eo 2050 Climate Strategy: Lighting the Way,’ provides the basis for increasing the ambition level of country’s existing Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which it plans to do before 2020. The Marshall Islands is the first country to confirm it will “unequivocally” raise ambition.
The strategy, which is the result of a two-year domestic and donor consultation process, emphasizes adaptation, including through recommending the development of a National Adaptation Plan (NAP) by 2019. It also includes economy-wide recommendations for reducing emissions across the electricity, waste and transportation sectors, highlights gender and social considerations, and suggests embedding the strategy in national legislation and a regular five-year review.
The strategy was launched in New York, US, at the opening ceremony of Climate Week NYC, which is meeting from 24-30 September, and ahead of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Leaders’ week. Speaking at the launch, Hilda Heine, President of the Marshall Islands, said that, to keep the global temperature rise to below 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, every country must increase the ambition of existing targets by 2020 and lay out a long-term pathway to net zero emissions by 2050.
The Marshall Islands is the first country to confirm it will “unequivocally” raise ambition.
To achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and 100% renewable energy, as well as to adapt to the impacts of climate change and increase resilience, the Marshall Islands’ LTS recommends submitting, by 2020, a new NDC, which, inter alia:
- revises the country’s quantified economy-wide target to reduce emissions to at least 32% below 2010 levels by 2025;
- commits to a quantified economy-wide target to reduce emissions to at least 45% below 2010 levels by 2030;
- communicates an indicative target to reduce emissions by at least 58% below 2010 levels by 2035;
- commits to producing a NAP by the end of 2019 that sets out short-, medium- and long-term milestones to adapt to the impacts of climate change and transition to climate resilience, and includes a plan to generate the necessary financing; and
- commits to a gender-responsive and human rights-based approach in all NDC-related planning, programming and implementation.
The LTS also recommends, among other things:
- focusing on the country’s electricity sector to implement emission reductions consistent with achieving its NDC targets;
- reducing the growing waste problem by minimizing organic material in collected waste and generating energy from waste;
- developing polices to encourage more use of public transport, cycling, walking and electric vehicles;
- exploring options to reduce emissions from domestic ocean-based transport;
- continuing phasing out the use of kerosene for lighting;
- developing a long-term finance strategy to implement the LTS; and
- including health education, training and public awareness considerations in the country’s NAP.
LTSs are critical for achieving climate goals as they help countries align national development goals with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and serve as a roadmap for future NDCs, which must become increasingly more ambitious. They also: provide credibility and certainty that the goals of the Paris Agreement can be achieved; increase transparency and trust among Parties; inform national level short- and medium-term political and economic cycles; and provide political certainty to stimulate private sector action. Benin, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Mexico, the US, the UK and Ukraine have already submitted LTSs. [Marshall Islands Press Release] [Tile Til Eo 2050 Climate Strategy: Lighting the Way] [UNFCCC LTS Webpage]