The Paris Agreement on climate change is a binding international agreement. It was first adopted at COP21 in Paris in 2015 by 196 Parties and entered into force in November 2016. The goal behind the Paris Agreement is to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. The Global Stocktake is an central feature of the Paris Agreement.
In order to achieve this goal, countries have to work collaboratively to curb emissions as much as possible as soon as they can. The Paris Agreement is a landmark that will help us gain a climate-neutral planet by mid-century.
But how do we measure our efforts and identify opportunities that further help us protect the environment and keep the Earth habitable? Continue reading to learn about the Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement (GST), which helps us measure this.
About the Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement
Put simply, the global stocktake of the Paris Agreement (GST) refers to the process of taking stock of the implementation of the Paris Agreement. It is a global leadership framework, and its goal is to analyse and assess the world’s collective efforts and progress towards achieving the goals within the Agreement.
The first stocktake went underway at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021. The stocktake will finish at COP28 when it takes place in 2023. Every stocktake is a two-year process, and it occurs every five years.
The first one is particularly important for not only analysing the progress thus far but also addressing opportunities for enhanced support and action. In essence, this worldwide stocktake empowers and spurs countries to step up and take climate action to prevent climate change’s worst impacts.
Why is it important?
The aim of the Paris Agreement is to encourage every country to act by setting up its own plan to curb emissions and adapt to climate change. This led to the creation of national climate action plans, which are formally referred to as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
These NDCs hold countries accountable because they agreed to work to curb their emissions and review and report on their efforts. The global stocktake allows national governments to witness what they have achieved so far in regard to climate action.
Additionally, what they still need to do to achieve their targets and opportunities for more climate action. This is very important because the global community has yet to meet its commitments and needs to act constructively to create a more climate-resilient planet.
The 2021 NDC Synthesis Report revealed the world remains far off the aspiration to prevent temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees. The report shows how if action is taken together, incredible results can be achieved that make a great difference.
As mentioned above, the Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement allows us to measure each country’s progress in achieving the Paris Agreement goals. Additionally, it enables us to identify opportunities to further take climate action to protect the planet. Just as the Paris Agreement is a vital benchmark, we, too, need tools and methodologies to measure our efforts in relation to the climate agreements and the GST provides us with that opportunity.