Ahead of the most important climate action event of the year, the international expert community releases key reports with the latest scientific information on climate impacts, national targets and climate action progress over the last 25 years. Now climate diplomats have only one thing to focus on: stepping-up implementation.
The United in Science report, prepared collectively by the world’s leading climate science organizations and released on 22 September 2019, presents in concise manner the most relevant scientific information on climate-related risks, including warming temperatures, sea-levels rise, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and more.
Looking at climate ambition, the joint UNDP and UNFCCC report The Heat is On gives an overview over nations’ climate goals and major implementation barriers, as well as opportunities for stakeholder engagement and synergies between climate and sustainable development. This report states clearly that business as usual is not a viable option – states must find solutions that are much more ambitious and holistic.
And finally, the UNFCCC publication Climate action and support trends demonstrates, based on member-states’ reporting, what works and what does not in climate action. It brings attention to key sectoral and geographical vulnerabilities and highlights obstacles that need to be overcome to implement climate goals.
Based on this work, decision makers have the opportunity to focus entirely on devising concrete climate action plans. The United Nations has already pledged to cut its own GHG emissions in half by 2030 in response to the climate emergency. In a communiqué published ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit, the European Union committed to releasing a long-term strategy on climate neutrality by 2050 early next year. 87 major companies have just committed to limiting their emissions to a level compatible with the 1.5 degree goal and achieving net-zero by 2050. This includes both their operations and value chains.
The question remains: will leaders take up the challenge set by UN Secretary- General António Guterres to step up ambition and deliver concrete climate action plans?
Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are currently engaged in vital talks over the dispute relating to the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Nile River. While non-African actors are increasingly present in the negotiations, the African Union (AU) is playing a marginal role.
Climate change was more central than ever at this year’s Munich Security Conference (MSC), the leading international forum for senior military, security and foreign policy leaders. The release of the inaugural “World Climate and Security Report 2020” (WCSR 2020) by the Expert Group of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) should help policymakers take effective action.
The mission of the Munich Security Conference is to “address the world’s most pressing security concerns”. These days, that means climate security: climate change is the ultimate threat multiplier, and anyone discussing food security, political instability, migration, or competition over resources should be aware of the climate change pressures that are so often at the root of security problems.
The European Green Deal has made the environment and climate change the focus of EU action. Indeed, climate change impacts are already increasing the pressure on states and societies; however, it is not yet clear how the EU can engage on climate security and environmental peacemaking. In this light, and in the run-up to the German EU Council Presidency, adelphi and its partners are organising a roundtable series on “Climate, environment, peace: Priorities for EU external action in the decade ahead”.