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NDC Synthesis Report: UNFCCC

  • 03 Mar 2021
  • 7 min read

Why in News

The UNFCCC, in its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Synthesis Report, has called for more ambitious climate action plans by the countries in order to achieve the Paris Agreement target of containing global temperature rise to 2°C (ideally 1.5°C) by the end of the century.

  • The report was sought ahead of the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the UNFCCC which is scheduled to take place from 1st-12th November 2021, in Glasgow, UK.
  • NDCs are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Each NDC reflects the country’s ambition, taking into account its domestic circumstances and capabilities.

Key Points

  • About:
    • The NDC Synthesis Report covers submissions up to 31st December 2020 and includes new or updated NDCs by 75 Parties, which represent approximately 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Findings:
    • Good Performers:
      • The United Kingdom and the European Union are the only regions among 18 of the world’s biggest emitters that have significantly increased their greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets.
    • Under Performers:
      • Sixteen of the world's biggest emitters have not increased their emission reduction targets substantially or at all.
    • Adaptation Action and Economic Diversification:
      • More countries reported on mitigation co-benefits of adaptation action and economic diversification plans.
      • Adaptation actions and economic diversification plans with mitigation co-benefits include climate-smart agriculture, adapting coastal ecosystems, increasing the share of renewable sources in energy generation, carbon dioxide capture and storage, fuel switch and fuel price reforms in the transport sector, and moving to a circular economy for better waste management.
    • Need for the Update:
      • The current levels of climate ambition are very far from putting us on a pathway that will meet our Paris Agreement goals.
      • While a majority of countries increased their individual levels of ambition to reduce emissions, their combined impact will help achieve only a 1% reduction by 2030 compared to 2010 levels.


  • About:
    • UNFCCC stands for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
    • The UNFCCC secretariat (UN Climate Change) is the United Nations entity tasked with supporting the global response to the threat of climate change.
    • The Convention has near universal membership (197 Parties) and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
  • Secretariat:
    • The UNFCCC secretariat is located in Bonn, Germany.
  • Objective:
    • The ultimate objective of all three agreements under the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system, in a time frame which allows ecosystems to adapt naturally and enables sustainable development.

Paris Agreement

  • About:
    • Paris Agreement (also known as the Conference of Parties 21 or COP 21) is a landmark environmental accord that was adopted in 2015 to address climate change and its negative impacts.
    • It replaced the Kyoto Protocol which was an earlier agreement to deal with climate change.
  • Aims: To reduce global GHG emissions in an effort to limit the global temperature increase in this century to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, while pursuing means to limit the increase to 1.5°C by 2100. It also includes:
    • Addressing the financial losses vulnerable countries face from climate impacts such as extreme weather.
    • Providing financial assistance to countries that are less endowed and more vulnerable enabling them to adapt to climate change and transition to clean energy.
    • Climate finance is needed for mitigation, because large-scale investments are required to significantly reduce emissions. However, this part of the deal has been made non-legally binding on developed countries.
  • INDCs: Before the conference started, more than 180 countries had submitted pledges to cut their carbon emissions (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs).
    • The INDCs were recognised under the agreement, but are not legally binding.
    • India also reaffirmed its INDCs commitments to meeting the goals under the Agreement in order to combat climate change.
  • CMA:
    • The CMA oversees the implementation of the Paris Agreement and takes decisions to promote its effective implementation.
    • All States that are Parties to the Paris Agreement are represented at the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA), while States that are not Parties participate as observers.

India's INDC, to be achieved primarily, by 2030

  • To reduce the emissions intensity of the GDP by about a third.
  • A total of 40% of the installed capacity for electricity will be from non-fossil fuel sources.
  • India also promised an additional carbon sink (a means to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere) of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by the year 2030.

Way Forward

  • Participating nations will get more time to review and update their NDCs. This will be compiled in the final synthesis report to be brought out ahead of COP 26.
  • Climate action must be enabled and facilitated through the provision of adequate support where needed. This is critical and must be addressed also with high propriety and urgency – without adequate resources and access to greener technologies the deep transformation we need will not happen.

Source: DTE

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