The UNFCCC Secretariat published synthesis reports of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement on climate change and of long-term low-emission development strategies (LT-LEDS). The findings reveal that despite increased efforts by some countries, much more action is necessary now to bend the global emissions trajectory and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Titled, ‘Nationally Determined Contributions Under the Paris Agreement,’ the first report (FCCC/PA/CMA/2023/12) synthesizes information from the 168 latest available NDCs communicated by 195 parties to the Paris Agreement and recorded in the NDC Registry as of 25 September 2023.

According to a UNFCCC press release, national climate action plans described in the report “remain insufficient to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

The report shows that while in 2030, emissions are projected to be 2% below 2019 levels, they are still not showing “the rapid downward trend science says is necessary this decade.” To achieve peaking of emissions before 2030, the report argues, “the conditional elements of the NDCs need to be implemented, which depends mostly on access to enhanced financial resources, technology transfer and technical cooperation, and capacity-building support; as well as the availability of market-based mechanisms.”

Commenting on the report’s findings, UNFCCC Executive-Secretary Simon Stiell said “governments combined are taking baby steps to avert the climate crisis.” He stressed that the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 28) “must be a clear turning point.” “Governments must not only agree what stronger climate actions will be taken but also start showing exactly how to deliver them.” Highlighting “the vast array of tools and solutions put forward by countries,” as reflected in the Global Stocktake report released earlier this year, Stiell encouraged governments to “pick up this toolbox and put it to work.”

It is time for a climate ambition supernova in every country, city and sector.

— UN Secretary-General António Guterres

The second report, on ‘Long-term Low-emission Development Strategies’ (FCCC/PA/CMA/2023/10), synthesizes information from the 68 LT-LEDS on how countries plan to transition to net-zero emissions by or around mid-century. The report is based on the submissions received from 75 parties to the Paris Agreement up until 25 September 2023.

According to the report, the LT-LEDS received account for 87% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP), 68% of global population in 2019, and around 77% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2019. “This is a strong signal that the world is starting to aim for net-zero emissions,” the press release underscores. However, “many net-zero targets remain uncertain and postpone into the future critical action that needs to take place now.”

“Inch-by-inch progress will not do, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a message. “Net-zero timelines must be accelerated so that developed countries get there as close as possible to 2040 and emerging economies as close as possible to 2050.”

Released on 14 November 2023, the two reports will inform the first Global Stocktake (GST) under the Paris Agreement and the deliberations at COP 28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). [Publication: Nationally Determined Contributions Under the Paris Agreement] [Publication: Long-term Low-emission Development Strategies] [UNFCCC Press Release] [UN News Story]