COP28 will host a critical discussion on the first-ever global stocktake, evaluating collective progress towards the Paris Agreement’s goals. The September 2023 synthesis report of the global stocktake technical dialogue by the UNFCCC crystallizes the sobering reality of the international community’s current shortfall in meeting the Paris Agreement goals, serving as a foundational document for COP28 deliberations and offering pivotal guidance to close the existing gaps in climate action.
Key Findings of the Synthesis report:
- Current progress is insufficient to limit global warming to the 1.5°C threshold.
- Required reductions in greenhouse gas emissions: 43% by 2030, 60% by 2035, and 84% by 2050 from 2019 levels.
- Energy transitions, industrial and transport emissions reductions, and forest preservation are pivotal.
What the Global Stocktake is:
The Global Stocktake is an integral process under the Paris Agreement, designed to evaluate the world’s collective progress towards its climate goals. It aims to measure how well countries are doing in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to climate impacts, and providing necessary support for these efforts. Initiated at COP26, this process spans two years and will culminate at COP28, where the results will provide a crucial reality check. It informs countries on how they can update and enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and promotes stronger international collaboration for effective climate action. In essence, it is a strategic assessment to identify achievements and shortfalls in the global climate effort, guiding the next steps towards the 2030 targets and beyond. The stocktake will take place every five years after COP28.
The Synthesis Report identifies four critical areas needing attention in the Global Stocktake: mitigation, adaptation, finance, and cooperation.
- Mitigation: Accelerate renewable energy adoption; decrease fossil fuel dependency. Target significant emissions cuts in industry, transport, and deforestation.
- Adaptation: Enhance resilience with local community-focused strategies. Improve the regularity and transparency of adaptation reporting.
- Finance: Address the financial shortfall in climate action, emphasizing the need to meet the $5.9 trillion requirement for developing nations by 2050. Promote private-sector engagement to supplement public funds.
- Cooperation and Knowledge Transfer: Standardize national climate commitment assessments. Boost capacity-building initiatives and technology transfer to developing countries.
Implications for COP28:
COP28 represents a pivotal moment for UN member states to respond to the stocktake’s findings by setting specific targets within the energy sector, establishing scalable financing mechanisms for adaptation, and creating pathways for private sector involvement in climate action. There will also be a concerted effort to bolster national commitments, ensuring equity and recognizing the historical responsibilities of developed countries.