Nationally Determined Contributions – or NDCs -  form the basis for countries to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement. They contain information on targets, and policies and measures for reducing national emissions and on adapting to climate change impacts.  NDCs also contain information on either the needs for, or the provision of, finance, technologies and capacity building for these actions. Countries communicate new or updated NDCs every five years starting in 2020. UN Climate Change has published a full version of the NDC Synthesis report on September 17, 2021. The full report synthesizes information from the latest NDCs of all 191 Parties to the Paris Agreement.

Commenting on the release of the final UNFCCC NDC Synthesis Report, CDP Chief Impact Officer Nicolette Bartlett said:

"The final Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) synthesis report gives us the fullest picture of how on track, or how far from, the world is to limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Including 39 new or updated NDCs between August 1 and October 12, this report confirmed the worrying trend: we are still on track for an increase in emissions by 2030 when compared to 2010.

The findings of this final synthesis report 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 corporate net-zero pledges skyrocketing globally, it is now 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."

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