The Heat Is On - Taking Stock of Global Climate Ambition

In the light of The United Nations Climate Action Summit on 23 September in New York, the United Nations deputy chief Amina Mohammed has launched a comprehensive report on how the world can take swift and meaningful action to slow down climate change.

The Paris Agreement faces its first major test in 2020 against the backdrop of a worrying growth in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since the adoption of the landmark agreement in 2015. Promising signs of ambition are emerging from all corners of the globe, but far more is needed to limit emissions and adapt to the worsening impacts of climate change. Most governments are currently prioritising one of two complementary approaches for addressing climate change in the lead-up to 2020.

This is according to a joint analysis by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), dubbed “The Heat Is On - Taking Stock of Global Climate Ambition" - which takes the world’s pulse on ambition and provides the most comprehensive review to date of intentions for 2020. Some are revising climate plans previously submitted under the Paris Agreement that stretch until 2025 or 2030, while others are preparing longer-term strategies to decarbonize their economies.

A key principle in the Paris Agreement is that nations will toughen their NDCs every five years to ratchet up the fight against global warming. A first opportunity to do so will be in 2020.

The report shows, that of the 112 nations revising their climate plans, 75 are leading by example. Almost all of them are developing nations, including many of the most vulnerable tothe impacts of climate change. They wish to “enhance” the ambition of their current plans – either by curbing GHG emissions, or making their societies more resilient to the worsening impacts of climate change, or both. Collectively, they represent 37 per cent of global GHG emissions.

The report further notes, that the remaining 37 nations, representing 16 per cent of global GHG emissions, intend to “update” their existing plans with new data, information and/or assumptions. Through this process, however, opportunities for bolder action might emerge – for example, renewable energy technology costs have fallen dramatically since 2015 and may now offer an opportunity for ambition.


Read the full report The Heat is On – Taking Stock of the Global Ambition:

More information at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) website:

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