At the Sustainable Innovation Forum 2020, David Kabua, President of the Marshall Islands, has called on governments around the world to submit their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) ahead of the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement.
Speaking at the event, Kabua said: “A key part of the Paris Agreement is for countries to submit nationally determined contributions every five years, the second round of which are due by the end of 2020.
“We have submitted ours, Rwanda, and Chile, fellow members of the high ambition Coalitions have submitted theirs, along with nine others. But 12 is not enough. And restating previous NDC commitments is not enough. The deadline is fast approaching. And I call on fellow leaders not to let it slip, live up to your commitments, and submit an ambitious plan by the end of the year.”
Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are countries’ commitments under the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. To date, 12 countries have submitted new NDCs for 2020, including the Marshall Islands, Suriname, Norway, Moldova, Japan, Singapore, and Chile.
These nations pledged, as part of the Paris Agreement, to update their NDCs every five years. This year marks the fifth year since the signing of the agreement and therefore the first test of their intent to commit.
However, due to the pandemic, the UNFCCC’s COP has been delayed to 2021 and with that some countries delaying action on climate commitments. David Kubua urged that despite the crisis, we must still act and NDCs need to be submitted.
The President continued: “As we recover from COVID-19 we have an opportunity to invest in more renewable energy and other new low zero carbon technologies to decarbonize our economies, once and for all.”
In 2014, the majority (60%) of greenhouse gas emissions came from just 10 countries. In contrast, only 3% of GHG emissions were attributed to the 100 least emitting countries. The Marshall Islands are amongst these 100 countries. They represent only a small share of global emissions, nevertheless their ambitious efforts to significantly reduce this share plays a leadership role in promoting global climate action.
The Marshall Islands are experiencing, firsthand, the irreversible effects of climate change that threaten their very existence.
In November 2018, the Marshall Islands were the first country to submit an updated NDC, two years ahead of the UN’s planned COP26 in 2020. The revised NDC sets a new target to reduce emissions to 58% below the levels recorded in 2010 by 2035. The Marshall Islands have also reaffirmed their aspiration to become net-zero by 2050.
The President’s final remarks at the Forum were to look towards a better future: “I hope that you will contribute new and bold ideas (…) so we can create a secure, safe and prosperous future.”
The Sustainable Innovation Forum 2020 was held over five days from November 16 to 20, 2020 to maintain momentum on climate action despite the delay of COP26.