Commentary on UNFCCC NDC Synthesis Report

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Below is a commentary from Nicolette Bartlett, Chief Impact Officer, CDP, on UNFCCC NDC Synthesis report, which may affect the outcomes of negotiations at COP26.

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Negotiations At COP26 To Be Affected By This Final Synthesis Report

The findings of this final synthesis report may put greater weight on the outcomes of negotiations at COP26. We know that many of the world’s largest economies are simply not doing enough to reduce emissions and limit global warming to 1.5°C. The impacts of this lack of ambition and action are felt disproportionately by lower income countries, many of whom are already adjusting to the baked in consequences of climate change with significantly less resources.

Firstly, the developed countries need to keep their promises – they committed to $100billion annually for developing countries many years ago and this is still not being met. Secondly, we need robust roadmaps and policies to a 1.5°C minimum target to be agreed. The current level of action remains insufficient.

Short-term action – what happens within the next five years – is likely to determine whether net-zero by 2050 is achievable. COP26 should be seen as the final chance for governments, cities, states and regions, to reset their goals and activities. With national commitments at risk of falling drastically short, the momentum of non-state actors represents what could be possible. In 2021, a record 13,000 companies disclosed environmental data to CDP representing 64% of global market capitalization, alongside more than 1,100 cities, states and regions.

Achieving Net-Zero

With corporate net-zero pledges skyrocketing globally, it is vital that these pledges are based on science and that companies set transition plans to achieve them. These plans should account for actions companies will take in the next five years and must include robust, quantitative, and accredited science-based targets outlining how companies will transition to the 1.5°C-aligned business model, how their capital allocation will align with this and what governance the company has in place to ensure delivery. 983 companies have now set science-based targets through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a figure that has close to doubled since the beginning of the year.

Cutting emissions will only take us so far – nature must be at the heart of COP26 negotiations. The global goal of net-zero by 2050 needs to be matched by an equally clear global goal of net positivity for nature. This requires measures eliminating nature loss, with restoration well underway by 2030, moving us to a nature positive economic system by 2050.