Vulnerable Countries Leading the Way in Tackling Climate Crisis

The United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) states that it’s the vulnerable countries that are stepping up in the face of a delayed reaction from some of the world’s top emitters to the climate problem. 

While 93 % of LDCs and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have submitted or plan to submit improved national climate pledges, the G20 has been dragging its feet on adhering to the Paris Agreement’s basic principles to “ratchet up” their climate ambition. 

The G20 plays a crucial role in combating climate catastrophe as the countries are responsible for more than three-quarters of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

Three G20 members, on the other hand, have just filed new pledges in the last few days, missing a major deadline of October 12 for inclusion in UN Framework Convention on Climate Change  UNFCCC analysis, which is expected to guide the UN climate negotiations, which begin in Glasgow in a few days. 

Furthermore, many of the 18 NDCs that have been filed by G20 countries are heavily reliant on long-term targets and lack the meaningful near-term ambition that is required to help avoid the alarming growth in global GHG emissions. 

Vulnerable countries, which are frequently home to the world’s poorest people and are at the forefront of the climate issue, continue to set the pace in terms of climate ambition, leaving richer countries behind. 

LDCs and SIDS’ ambition intentions have risen significantly as of October 12, with 93 % having submitted upgraded NDCs or preparing to do so (up from 42 % in 2019). 

Only looking at intentions to reduce GHG emissions, 86% of LDCs and SIDS plan to increase mitigation ambition (up from 40 % in 2019). However, the analysis warns that this group of 78 countries is only responsible for 7% of global GHG emissions in the long run. 

The Paris Agreement’s ratchet system, on the other hand, is working because most nations have followed its basic premise of revising and submitting progressively ambitious NDCs every five years. In total, 178 nations, accounting for 79.3 % of global GHG emissions, intend to submit upgraded NDCs, up from 75 countries in 2019. 160 countries have improved their mitigation targets as a result of this group. 

The number of countries, big and small, supporting climate action and public engagement has never been higher, which is particularly impressive in light of the Covid-19 pandemic’s problems. 

Since 2019, the number of countries formulating and submitting long-term strategies to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century has increased. 

These promises have the potential to help meet the Paris Agreement’s goals, but they will need to be backed up by robust, credible policies and improved alignment with NDCs.