In 2015, world leaders signed on to a hugely bold and necessary vision: a collective agreement to contain global temperature rise to 1.5 to 2.0° Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
For the world to succeed in realizing the Paris Agreement goals, and averting catastrophic climate change, we must urgently pivot towards low-emission economic development. According to the science, this requires achieving Net Zero emissions in the second half of this century. Net Zero emissions are achieved when there is balance between greenhouse gases produced and those removed from the atmosphere.
To achieve it, we must dramatically change the way we produce energy, how we farm and how we travel, while also drawing down carbon from the atmosphere.
To help ensure NDCs are not one-off, short-term responses, the Paris Agreement invited countries to communicate their long-term strategies for low-emissions development, also known as Long-Term Strategies, looking towards 2050.
The challenge is formidable, and time is of the essence – we have a mere matter of decades. We need ambitious commitments, and we need solid roadmaps to guide us.
Alongside Net Zero targets, we will require a strategy to get there. UNFCCC policy tools such as Long-Term Strategies (LTS) can help provide these roadmaps. In the context of COVID-19 recovery, they also serve as foundations to building forward better.
Momentum is building as countries seek to pair their Nationally Determined Contributions with longer-term visionary thinking. With Net Zero by 2050 in our sights, UNDP is working on a number of fronts to leverage NDC processes for long-term goals, from supporting countries to explore and apply the tools available, to providing resources to policymakers to initiate, design and enhance LTS, to facilitating South-South cooperation and knowledge-sharing.