Climate Change

Albania, Serbia among 81 Paris Agreement signatories that haven’t sent new emission cut targets

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Photo: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Published

August 4, 2021

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Published:

August 4, 2021

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Albania, and Serbia are the only countries in the region tracked by Balkan Green Energy News that haven’t sent their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It is the commitment of all 191 signatories of the Paris Agreement.

By the July 30 deadline, the UNFCCC Secretariat received new or updated NDCs from 110 parties to the Paris Agreement or 58%.

It is far from satisfactory, said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary.

NDCs embody national climate action plans that each country designs to address climate change

According to the secretariat, July 30 marked the cut-off date for the submission of new or updated NDCs to be included in a synthesis report that will be issued later this year, ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) to be held in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12.

NDCs embody national climate action plans that each country designs to address climate change. Taken together, they provide the most comprehensive and accurate record of global climate action. The first NDCs were submitted from 2016 until 2018, but the plan is for each country to do it every five years.

BiH, Montenegro, and North Macedonia promised to cut emissions more than in the initial commitments

As for the countries in the region tracked by Balkan Green Energy News, all EU member states – Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Romania – have submitted their NDCs jointly with other member states because it is done for the EU as a whole. Turkey has not ratified the Paris Agreement.

Bosnia and Herzegovina (April 2021), Montenegro (June 2021), and North Macedonia (April 2021) have submitted their updated NDCs in which they promised they would cut more emissions.

The unconditional emission reduction target of BiH for 2030 is 12.8% compared to 2014 or 33.2% compared to 1990. The conditional target (with more intensive international assistance for the decarbonisation of mining areas) for 2030 is 17.5% compared to 2014 or 36.8% compared to 1990, according to the BiH NDC for the period 2020-2030.

BiH’s first NDC was very modest, with an emission cut goal of just a few percent.

Montenegro has increased its commitment from 30% to 35% by 2030 compared to 1990, and North Macedonia from 30% (only from fossil fuel combustion) to 51% (from all sources).

Level of ambition in updated NDCs also needs to be enhanced

The UNFCCC secretariat said the level of ambition reflected in received NDCs also needs to be enhanced.

“One of the key findings in the initial version of the synthesis report showed that collective efforts fall far short of what is required by science to limit a global temperature rise by the end of the century of 2C, let alone the desired objective of less than 1.5C. I truly hope that the revised estimate of collective efforts will reveal a more positive picture, “said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary.

To meet the goal, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has indicated, by the end of this decade emissions must be reduced by at least 45% compared to the 2010 levels.

“Recent extreme heat waves, droughts and floods across the globe are a dire warning that much more needs to be done, and much more quickly, to change our current pathway. This can only be achieved through more ambitious NDCs,” she added.

Espinosa called on the countries that were unable to meet the deadline to redouble their efforts and honour their commitment under the Paris Agreement to renew or update their NDCs.

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