UN Climate Change turned 25 in 2019. Thanks to its nearly universal membership of state Parties, it mobilizes governments and non-state actors alike to act on climate change.
The climate emergency continues. Despite progress, never has the gap between climate reality and action been wider. And never has the divide between the global negotiations and the demands of society been deeper.
COP 25 took place under challenging circumstances, but achieved positive results on technology, oceans, agriculture, gender and capacity-building. But more work is needed to ensure that developing countries receive support for actions, and to operationalize market mechanisms of the Paris Agreement.
2020 is proving exceptionally challenging. Many UNFCCC meetings, including COP 26, cannot take place as planned. The secretariat has adapted to ensure continuity of work on climate change. Staff work remotely on ongoing processes, facilitate virtual meetings, and adapt logistical arrangements to the evolving pandemic.
2020 must still be the year of ambition and implementation. Parties are expected to submit highly ambitious nationally determined contributions to keep global temperature increase below 2.0°C or 1.5°C and help the world build back better.
The bulk of the operational rules of the Paris Agreement is in place and ready for implementation. The processes for submitting stronger nationally determined contributions every five years, and for reviewing them under the global stocktake, have been defined. Countries can and must use these rules now to reach highest possible ambition. The secretariat will continue to support Parties and non-party stakeholders in their efforts to put this framework into action.
In 2020, the priority is to ensure continuity of the global climate effort amidst COVID-19. The June conference as well as COP 26 will be postponed and work will continue to assist Parties in submitting their nationally determined contributions and to support to workstreams, constituted bodies and work programmes in an all-virtual environment.
The 2019 Annual Report is available as a PDF.