Critical Opportunities for Raising Climate Ambitions

COP26 is a crucial opportunity to prevent the most disastrous impacts of climate change and uphold the credibility of the Paris Agreement. To have a chance of keeping global warming to 1.5°C, emissions of greenhouse gases must halve by 2030 and reach ‘net zero’ by 2050. Every additional increment of warming escalates the risks to people, ecosystems, and communities. National emission reduction targets submitted in 2015 were not ambitious enough to keep the rise in the global average temperature to ‘well below two °C, let alone 1.5°C. And across the world, countries are grappling with increasingly severe and more frequent climate change impacts. COP26 needs to be a turning point. For a positive outcome in Glasgow, substantial progress is needed in three main areas: raising the ambition of countries’ 2030 nationally determined contributions (NDCs); providing support for climate-vulnerable developing countries; and agreeing on the remaining details of the ‘Paris Rulebook’ (Chatam House, 2021).

UNESCAP (2021) states that with the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, the international community committed to keeping the global temperature increase between 1.5 and 2°C above pre-industrial levels while creating resilient climate societies underpinned by the necessary finance flows to do so. Countries submitted Intended/Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as their contribution toward meeting this objective. However, the emission reductions entailed by the NDCs are not enough to keep the world on track to limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Even if they were fully implemented, the world would still be on the path to warming between 3.5 to 4°C, which brings us to the urgent need for raising climate ambition. Five years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement, it is time for countries to step up their commitments to combat the climate crisis. This is particularly important for the region as it is both the largest emitter of GHGs and one of the most vulnerable to climate change.

Based on Climate Transparency Report (2021), Key Opportunities for Raising Climate Ambitions can be done by:

  1. Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies will help expedite the energy transition.
  2. Scaling up the use of electric vehicles (EVs) and sustainable biofuels.
  3. To achieve carbon neutrality, the share of renewables in the primary energy mix must be dramatically increased.

Not only that, Reliefweb (2021) adds to be able to strengthen resilience and raise climate ambition key that the success of COP26 will be a decisive moment not only in addressing the climate risk but also in breaking the links between poverty, inequality, and extreme climate events, especially in developing, least developed and Pacific small island developing States. It’s time to raise climate ambitions to determine how resilient the world will be in 2050. Climate mitigation and adaptation strategy should include participation in local people (giving them ownership of the agenda, and preventing conflict).


Tommy Andrian, S.E., M.Ak, Cert.DA., MOS.