15 Countries Pledge to Update NDCs by 2020, Achieve Net Zero Emissions by 2050
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The Heads of State and Government of the Marshall Islands, Belize, Costa Rica, Denmark, Fiji, Grenada, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Saint Lucia, Sweden, Switzerland and Vanuatu issued a statement, committing to update their NDCs by the first quarter of 2020.

They also commit, by 2020, to submit their long-term low-emission development strategies aimed at achieving net zero global emissions by 2050.

22 September 2019: On the eve of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, 15 world leaders, led by the Marshall Islands, issued a statement, committing to update their emissions reduction targets by early 2020, and, by the end of 2020, to produce long-term strategies (LTSs) aimed at achieving net zero global emissions by 2050.

In the statement titled, ‘Uniting Behind the Science to Step Up Ambition by 2020,’ the Heads of State and Government of the Marshall Islands, Belize, Costa Rica, Denmark, Fiji, Grenada, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Saint Lucia, Sweden, Switzerland and Vanuatu express their conviction that limiting global warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels is fundamental to minimizing and averting the “severe, multiple and interrelated risks” climate change poses to human, land, ocean and terrestrial ecosystems.

For the first time, a group of countries is saying they will unequivocally increase their Paris targets by next year.

Responding to the UN Secretary-General’s call for Member States to submit concrete plans to enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by 2020 to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 45% over the next decade and move to net zero emissions by 2050, the leaders “resolve” to communicate, by the first quarter of 2020, new and updated NDCs for 2030, representing the highest possible level of ambition. They also commit, by 2020, to submit their long-term low-emission development strategies aimed at achieving net zero global emissions by 2050.

The leaders also express support for an “ambitious and successful” replenishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and call on all governments and stakeholders to accelerate and strengthen action on climate change by 2020 by maintaining the momentum from the Climate Action Summit through to the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UNFCCC in December 2019.

In her comments, President of the Marshall Islands, Hilda Heine, said the Statement represents the first time “a group of countries is saying they will follow the Marshall Islands’ lead and unequivocally increase their Paris targets by next year and also put in place plans to achieve net zero global emissions by 2050.”

All of the Statement signatories are members of the Marshall Islands-led High Ambition Coalition, which provides a political forum for coordinating progressive international action on climate change. [Marshall Islands’ Press Release] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Climate Action Summit]


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