The sprint begins

Ethiopia has undertaken a major national reforestation programme in 2020, with the ambitious target of planting four billion trees. , by Unsplash/Eyoel Abraham Kahssay

The Climate Action Summit has ended, and some 70 Heads of State, along with regional and city leaders, and heads of major businesses, have delivered a raft of new measures, policies and plans, aimed at making a big dent in greenhouse gas emissions, and ensuring that the warming of the planet is limited to 1.5C. The number of countries coming forward with strengthened national climate plans (NDCs) grew significantly today, with commitments covering some of the world’s biggest emitters on display.

The UK, which is hosting next year’s UN Climate Conference, announced that it will cut emissions by 68 per cent, compared to 1990 levels, within the next five years, and the European Union bloc committed to a 55 per cent cut over the same time period.

At least 24 countries announced new commitments, strategies or plans to reach carbon neutrality, and a number of states set out how they are going even further, with ambitious dates to reach net zero: Finland by 2035, Austria by 2040 and Sweden by 2045.

Pakistan announced that it’s scrapping plans for new coal power plants, India will soon more than double its renewable energy target, and China committed to increasing the share of non-fossil fuel in primary energy consumption to around 25% by 2030.. This link will take you to the Summit press release, with full details of the commitments made today.

These announcements are a sign that there is real momentum as we head towards the next big step on the road to carbon neutrality, the COP26 UN Climate Conference, in November 2021. UN News will continue to report on the the fight against the climate crisis, up to and beyond COP26 and, for more features, news stories, interviews and more, you can look through our archive, which you will find here.

– news.un.org

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