Climate warming is believed to have taken place at some of the fastest rates in the world in Mongolia, raising the country's average temperatures
by 2.24°C between 1940 and 2015, with the last decade being the warmest of the past 76 years.
For those of us in the international climate action community, 2020 isn’t ending the way we expected when we rang in the new year. Even before 2020 dawned, countries were hard at work planning for their first updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), in line with the Paris Agreement’s five-year NDC revision cycle. NDCs are official statements, prepared by countries themselves, outlining the commitments they are making to reduce national emissions and adapt to climate change’s impacts. They are at the heart of putting the Paris Agreement into practice and pursuing action on a global scale.
Earlier this year, when heavy rains caused massive flooding in Sudan, a three-month state of emergency was declared in September. The floods which began in July, were the worst the country experienced in the last three decades and affected some 830,000 people, including 125,000 refugees and internally displaced people.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted nearly every facet of our lives and delayed what was slated to be a landmark Conference of the Parties (COP26). This pivotal year marks the first due date for countries to submit revised national climate plans per the five-year cycle required by the Paris Agreement. Remarkably, countries are still moving forward with renewed urgency. And many countries are integrating green recovery into their COVID-19 responses, further contributing to climate action. While many countries have positive stories to tell, both of our nations, Vietnam and Cambodia, are sterling examples of nations taking strong, decisive action, particularly with support through the NDC Partnership. Just last month, the people of Vietnam submitted their updated national climate plan and, in short order, the people of Cambodia will do likewise.
Barry de Maine, the director of Green Cross Pharmacy, lost about $ 7,675 worth of stock when The Mall, the largest shopping centre in Mbabane, was flooded back in 2003. But when the flash floods hit again this year, he had already installed a flange to stop water from coming in.
“This is the best I could do under the circumstances,” De Maine told IPS, adding: “Otherwise since we started experiencing floods at The Mall (17 years ago) nothing has been done.”
When President Luis Abinader arrived at his inauguration in an electrically driven car as a symbolic gesture of his Government’s intentions to make sustainable development one of its main objectives – he signalled the start of addressing climate change commitments in the country.
Vietnam is the ninth country to submit its updated NDC
to the UNFCCC. The submission followed a comprehensive process over three years, under the guidance of Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc. Vietnam’s inclusive NDC review and updating process, which was coordinated by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), involved active participation by scientists, ministries, agencies, non-governmental organizations, research institutes, enterprises, international organizations, and development partners. MONRE also spearheaded a series of national, sub-national, sectoral, and thematic workshops to assess feasibility, content, and implementation measures.
On the eve of its bicentennial, Peru is addressing climate change with the needed sense of urgency and ambition. Our inclusive, ‘whole society’ approach aims to awaken new opportunities that are within reach of all of our citizens. Like COVID-19, climate change is a landmark which will have a clearly established before and after period. Without a doubt, it is paving a path towards sustainable development that will improve the well-being of all Peruvians.