73 Countries Commit to Net Zero CO2 Emissions by 2050

By Catherine Benson Wahlén

 

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

> The COP25 Presidency announced additional commitments within the Climate Ambition Alliance.

> Chile's Minister of Environment Carolina Schmidt said 73 parties to the UNFCCC, 14 regions, 398 cities, 768 businesses and 16 investors are working to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

> The UN Secretary-General said he is “deeply encouraged by the growth” in the Alliance, and major emitters will be a top priority between now and COP 26.

The Chilean Presidency of the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UNFCCC announced a renewed Climate Ambition Alliance, in which participating countries commit to accelerate action by 2020 and achieve net zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres asked Chile to lead the Climate Ambition Alliance in the context of government’s role as the original host of COP25. During the September 2019 UN Climate Action Summit, President of Chile Sebastián Piñera launched the Alliance to accelerate the transformation needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change and stabilize the global average temperature rise at 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. 

In addition to 73 UNFCCC parties, 14 regions, 398 cities, 768 businesses and 16 investors are working to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

At the Climate Ambition event on the sidelines of COP 25 in Madrid, Spain, Chile’s Environment Minister Carolina Schmidt said 73 countries have “signaled their intention to submit an enhanced climate action plan” to the UNFCCC. She announced that an additional 11 countries have initiated an internal process to enhance ambition and to reflect this enhanced ambition in their national plans by 2020. Schmidt further announced that 73 parties to the UNFCCC, 14 regions, 398 cities, 768 businesses and 16 investors are working to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

The Alliance will also focus on implementing measures to strengthen the protection of forests and oceans. On adaptation, the Alliance will galvanize actions to improve water management, resilient infrastructure and sustainable cities.

Schmidt observed that more leaders are joining this effort to show “that boosting NDC ambition is both necessary and possible.” She said Chile and the UK will work to mobilize additional actors to join the Alliance ahead of the next UNFCCC COP, which will meet in Glasgow, UK (COP 26).

In Chile’s press release, COP 26 President Designate Claire O’Neill stressed the UK’s commitment to work together to tackle climate change, and called on every country to “come forward as soon as possible in 2020 with a more ambitious NDC.” UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa told Parties that joining the Alliance is a “concrete way to demonstrate that the world is united behind the imperative to boost ambition” and to “publicly commit to enhancing their national climate plans by 2020.”

Addressing the event, Guterres said he is “deeply encouraged” by the Alliance’s growth, noting that the “shift from the grey to the green economy is on, and it is gathering pace.” He stressed that countries must honor their pledges to scale up national climate commitments every five years to reach “what the scientific community has defined as a must”: reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, and achieving net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. Guterres said the world’s biggest emitters must do much more, and will be a “top priority over the next 12 months.”

Source: IISD

Related to SDG 13: Climate action

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