Five years after Paris agreement: An NDC status review in the MENA region.
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The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) began in 1992 as a framework for international cooperation to combat climate change by limiting the increase in global average temperature and addressing its impacts. To strengthen international cooperation, a global response to climate change was needed, and countries began negotiations that led to the adoption of the legally binding Kyoto Protocol, which focuses on emission reduction targets for developed countries. The 2015 Paris Agreement, adopted in Paris on 12 December 2015, marks the latest stage in the evolution of this UNFCCC process and builds on the work undertaken under the Convention. 2015 was a historic year in which 196 parties agreed to sign the Paris Agreement, committing to transform their development trajectories so that our world is placed on a sustainable development pathway, aiming to limit warming to 1.5-2°C above pre-industrial levels. The parties to the Paris agreement also agreed on a long-term goal for adaptation, to increase adaptive capacity to the adverse effects of climate change, accelerate climate resilience and reduce their carbon footprint in their national development strategies, without threatening livelihoods. Developed countries also pledged to work towards making financial flows available to developing countries to implement climate-resilient development projects.
One key component of the efforts under the Paris Agreement are the nationally determined contributions (NDCs). NDCs are efforts that parties must implement to reduce their domestic emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Paris Agreement (Article 4, paragraph 2) requires each party to prepare, communicate and maintain successive NDCs that it intends to achieve over a five-year cycle. Parties shall implement national mitigation actions with the aim of achieving the objectives of these contributions.
The submission of these NDCs has been lagging behind the initially set-out plan, however. Within the MENA region, only three countries have submitted their updated NDC, namely the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Tunisia. The publication at hand provides an overview and analysis of the efforts taken so far by MENA countries towards fulfilling the obligations under the Paris Agreement.