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The Global Stocktake possesses the potential to drive transformative change due to several key factors:

GST is built upon two years of comprehensive technical dialogues and inputs, positioning it favorably to yield tangible outcomes and offer specific guidance in addressing existing gaps in adaptation, mitigation, and support based on robust scientific evidence. The political outcomes will be firmly grounded in sound technical findings, providing countries and stakeholders with concrete directives to expedite transformative change.

The sense of urgency to address these gaps has intensified as the window for action rapidly closes. The real-world impacts of climate change are already manifesting in devastating ways, and the recent IPCC report reinforces the pressing need to accelerate transformative action, focusing on swiftly reducing emissions, enhancing resilience, and providing crucial support for climate initiatives.

Transformations are already underway, spearheaded by numerous countries, actors, including those from the Global South and the private sector. The Global Stocktake can play a crucial role by offering specific guidance on overcoming barriers and accelerating the pace of these transformations.

Promising signs of progress in the fight against climate change

  • The International Energy Agency expects renewables will become the world’s largest electricity source within three years. The world is set to add as much renewable power in the next five years as it did in the past 20. (IEA)
  • From 2019 to 2020, renewables made up 90% of all new power generation capacity.
  • Electric vehicle sales are skyrocketing, reaching 9% of the market in 2021 and projected to reach 23% by 2025 (Systems Change Lab). 
  • More countries have now set greenhouse gas reduction targets compared to initial NDCs and countries have expanded their targets to cover more sectors and types of greenhouse gases. (WRI)
  • Countries nearly doubled the number of priority adaptation actions in their new and updated NDCs. These actions show improved coverage of sectors and systems for adaptation, with a strong focus on food and nutrition security, water and nature-based solutions.
  • To date, 40 countries have completed their National Adaptation Plan documents and submitted them to the UNFCCC, while dozens more are in process. (UNFCCC)
  • Many countries have submitted more ambitious NDCs and are completing their National Adaptation Plans to guide implementation and investment. (Climate Watch)
  • The COP27 decision to establish funding arrangements, including a dedicated fund for loss and damage was a historic breakthrough after decades of inaction.

Will the Global Stocktake bring tangible change or remain mere rhetoric without enforcement?

The effectiveness of the Global Stocktake (GST) hinges on its ability to establish robust mechanisms that hold countries, businesses, and other stakeholders accountable for implementing its recommendations. It is crucial to ensure that the momentum generated by the Stocktake, held during COP28, is maintained and translated into concrete actions during the crucial two-year period leading up to the submission of new Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in 2025. To achieve this, a range of measures must be put in place.

One key measure involves the establishment of new thematic work programs within the framework of the GST, while also seeking synergies with existing processes under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), such as the mitigation work program and discussions on the new finance goal for 2025. This integrated approach can facilitate a comprehensive and coordinated response to the challenges identified in the Stocktake. Additionally, dedicated capacity building and support for countries will be essential to empower them in implementing the Stocktake’s recommendations effectively.

Moreover, the GST should emphasize the importance of further research, recognizing the need to continuously deepen our understanding of climate-related issues and explore innovative solutions. Engaging citizens at the local level is another critical aspect that can drive transformative change. Encouraging their active participation and providing guidance for the development of the next round of NDCs can ensure that the Stocktake’s findings are translated into tangible changes in national policies and foster international cooperation.

By implementing these measures, the GST can bolster its potential to bring about substantial shifts in both national and global climate action, effectively addressing the urgent challenges we face in combatting climate change.