International climate targets could be at risk as only a few countries have updated their emissions reduction targets since last year’s Cop26 summit, campaigners have warned.
Labor say the UK government is ‘asleep at the wheel’ of the COP26 presidency as only 16 of 197 member countries submit new climate action plans.
Only 16 of the 197 member countries of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change have updated their plans on how to achieve climate goals, known as Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs.
Countries must submit their updated plans by September 23.
Labor has criticized the UK government, which holds the Cop chair this year, for setting a bad example as it has yet to come up with a new NDC.
Activists fear it will be difficult to make progress at the Cop27 summit in Egypt in November, when few NDCs have yet been updated.
Mia Moisio of the NewClimate Institute said: “The lack of progress on new climate targets in 2022 is alarming and most major emitters appear to have no intention of updating their NDCs.
Climate targets continue to be delayed
“With less than four months to COP27, all governments must move to more advanced climate action. For developed countries, this also means substantially increasing their contributions to climate finance, otherwise their credibility will be at stake in the negotiations.
There are fears the government will be distracted by the competition for the Conservative leadership, preventing politicians from implementing commitments made at Cop26.
Many declarations still do not have many signatories. For example, the declaration on deforestation, hailed as a historic agreement, has only been signed by four other nations since the summit: the Vatican, Nicaragua, Singapore and Turkmenistan.
Labor accused the government of “wasting time” and urged it to persuade other countries to update their NDCs and lead by example by investing in green technology.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy recently misappropriated £100m of international climate funding, which critics say could have been used to pursue more ambitious climate goals. This despite the fact that think tank ODI, formerly the Overseas Development Institute, said the UK was only providing 55% of its “fair share” of climate finance in 2020, a figure it says will rise. to 63% by 2025.
Kerry McCarthy, shadow minister for climate change, said: “This government is supposed to be in charge during the presidency of COP26. Instead, he fell asleep at the wheel.
“This zombie government has failed to persuade the vast majority of nations to update their climate goals and refuses to use the tools available to achieve it.
“Britain should lead the way, showing that investing in green technology is the best way to cut bills, improve energy security and grow the economy. Ministers must act together to support green solutions at home and encourage other countries to do the same.
The government has been contacted for comments.
By Helen Horton. Articles in English