We are in the middle of a climate crisis. But we have the international frameworks, technology and human and financial capital to solve the problem. We must act now.
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres calls climate change “the defining threat of our time”. The warmest 20 years on record have all occurred in the last 22 years, yet as we talk of ambitious action, we are constantly adding to the amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.
For UNDP, UN partners and the wider international community, the mission is clear: to push for countries, communities and the private sector to construct and implement plans that ensure we halve our emissions by 2030 and have carbon neutral economies by 2050.
The Paris Agreement on climate change allows us to do this, and its core elements are each country’s national pledges, called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Many countries are not on track to fulfill the promises they have made. Even if countries delivered on their NDCs, we would still miss the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
This is why we need countries to step up their promises and revise their NDCs to reflect and meet stronger climate targets. Key to this are a series of events where world leaders and decision-makers will gather to discuss more ambitious emission reduction targets and increased financial commitments, which will hopefully trigger a race to the top.
Climate change is running faster than we are, but this is still a race we can win.