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Our Synthesis: Global Stocktake 2023
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Blog...Our Synthesis: Global Stocktake 2023

Our Synthesis: Global Stocktake 2023

Ecology News
Policy
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In this article, we’ll give an overview of the most important information discussed in the first Global Stocktake, and explain its main goals and potential challenges.
Ecology News
2023-09-12T00:00:00.000Z
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As climate change begins to grow to be an even more alarming global issue, it’s evident that it’s time to shake up our approach to tackling climate change – and it starts with the Global Stocktake.

Usually, countries organize meetings in order to determine their progress in achieving their collective goals thus far. However, at this year’s COP28, countries plan on doing the opposite – which is to check in on how far away they are from meeting their targets with the help of the first Global Stocktake.  

In this article, we’ll give an overview of the most important information discussed in the first Global Stocktake, as well as explain its main goals and potential challenges.

What is the Global Stocktake?

The Global Stocktake is meant to serve as a crucial turning point, as the global stocktake will thoroughly review all of the issues and roadblocks keeping us from achieving our goals in regards to climate change.

💡Think of the Global Stocktake as the same thing as a grocery store taking inventory. It is essential for the store to take note in detail what products they currently have, which products sell the most or the least, and what products are worth the extra trouble to acquire. The same goes for the Global Stocktake – as it will deserve as an in-depth overview for countries to realize which actions they must improve upon to be successful in the collective fight against climate change.

Therefore, one of the main goals of the Global Stocktake is to help the world dramatically cut down on its greenhouse gas emissions and make true progress in developing a more sustainable world. The global stocktake will accomplish this by allowing countries to take accountability for their actions and ensure they hold up their end of the bargain with the Paris Agreement.

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As a result of this overtly specific document, countries will be encouraged to set more ambitious goals to accelerate the transition to the use of clean energy, sustainable policies, and mitigating the 1.5 C limit. In addition to this, the global stocktake will seek to achieve the long-term goals as depicted in the Paris Climate Agreement.

The Global Stocktake will help highlight areas for improvement in regards to the efforts made thus far in the fight against climate change, as well as encourage international cooperation to make further progress.

What are the key points made in global stocktake 2023?

There are 17 key points, or “findings” – made in the 2023 Global Stocktake 

Key Finding #1: The Paris Agreement Can Still Do More

The Global Stocktake recognizes the success that the Paris Agreement has had so far, such as by encouraging universal action towards climate change, setting concrete targets, and the previous collective action that has been taken. 

However, the Global Stocktake also recognizes that the Paris Agreement has made achieving their collective goals “easier” in a sense – as the expected exceeded global temperature has continued to be lowered every few years. For example, the expected global temperature for 2100 was estimated 3.7 – 4.8 °C at the Cancun Agreements. This was then lowered to 3.0–3.2 °C with the Paris Agreement, and to as low as 1.7 °C at COP27.

Therefore, the Global Stocktake is urging for stronger action – despite the progress made so far under the Paris Agreement. Continuing to lower the expected global temperature increase, and reducing the expected targets for climate goals currently in place – will not help to reduce global emissions or rising temperatures.

Key Finding #2: Sustainable Development Goals are Essential

The Global Stocktake encourages countries to recognize the significance of the 17 sustainable development goals and their potential impact on reducing the effects of climate change. 

In order to further promote eliminating poverty, overall sustainable development, and the importance of preserving natural resources – policy making should be amplified. Seeking to further support sustainable development goals and protect vulnerable components of the environment can help to build the climate resilience that we need. 

Key Finding #3: Accelerated Effort to Avoid Climate Change Can Be Disruptive

The Global Stocktake recognizes that while exceptional efforts to mitigate excessive emissions are good (such as with California seeking to ban the purchase of gasoline powered cars by 2035), they can also elicit disorder in society. 

For example, while it is good that states like California are looking to mitigate the use of greenhouse gas emitting cars – it is important that these regions have adequate forms of clean transportation readily available to them. Areas like Los Angeles are next to impossible to get around without a car, and without a viable public transportation system in place – implementing legislation like this might do more harm than good for residents. 

Therefore, the Global Stocktake highlights the importance of inclusion and equity when seeking to make such drastic changes to daily lifestyles – even if improving the current environmental circumstances are in mind. 

In addition to this, the Global Stocktake accentuates how achieving net-zero this century is imperative, but would require extensive effort. To be successful in this endeavor, countries should aim to be “slow and steady” when implementing these emission reduction measures – and recognize that collaboration is essential to cope with the potential disruption to transportation.

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Key Finding #4: We Don’t Use Scientific Resources and Data as Much as We Should

Similar to the first key finding, many countries have continued to “cheat” their way out of achieving greater emission reduction goals – which doesn’t help to motivate countries to do all they can to limit global warming to 1.5 °C. 

It is essential that scientific trends are used to develop the necessary tactics to fight climate change. 

Think about it – is it logical to think that every single country in the world has read the most recent IPCC report in full?

Countries should aim to use resources, such as lPCC reports, more often when developing new climate goals or environmental policy. 

Key Finding #5: We Need to Build Greater Incentive to Fight Global Warming 

Bouncing off of the fourth key finding, the Global Stocktake is adamant that more ambition, action, and support is needed to propel the world towards true climate change reform. 

Currently, goals such as reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by 43% in 2030 and by another 60% in 2035 will be difficult to achieve without proper incentive. Unfortunately, it appears that devastating natural disasters (such as the recent wildfires in Maui) will need to occur in order for the world to realize the global threat of climate change. 

As a result, more urgent action and more ambitious targets are needed to prevent future natural disasters from occurring. 

The following can be done to accomplish this:

  • Seeking to implement affordable renewable energy such as wind and solar power are essential
  • Measures that successfully helped to develop other sustainable development goals should be implemented in other contexts to ensure the same success
  • Encouraging creativity is great to develop new ideas and intrinsic motivation
  • Requiring greater transparency can help to track progress and keep incentive alive

Key Finding #6: Achieving Net-Zero Emissions is Essential

Working towards net-zero emissions will be paramount, but it will require extensive and multivarious efforts. Examples include seeking to implement various types of renewable energy, encouraging the development of a low-carbon economy, and targeting industries such as transportation (responsible for 15% of the world’s emissions) to drastically reduce emissions. 

Other tactics include:

  • Strengthening power grids, which is essential for energy efficiency and reducing power consumption.
  • Recognizing the cross-benefits of how developing SDGs can help to drive down emissions, such as mitigating air pollution and creating jobs with renewable energy. 
  • Realizing that fossil fuels should only be used by those who deem it necessary for their economy, but countries who can afford to move forward without it should do so for the sake of the environment.
  • Encouraging wealthier countries to use carbon capture and storage systems.
  • International cooperation and creativity is essential – fighting climate change shouldn’t be similar to a “space race”. 

Key Finding #7: Small Steps Matter

The Global Stocktake expresses the notion that small, personalized – but effective measures can be helpful. Countries should seek to develop reasonable goals while remaining aligned with the Paris Agreement.

Key Finding #8: Developing Countries Deserve the Spotlight

More efforts should be made to assist developing countries who have suffered from the effects of climate change and who do not have the financial resources to improve their current situations.

This could scare countries that are worried about shifting their current job markets, but it is also important to remember that while some jobs may be lost in some regions as a result of these climate change mitigation measures – these efforts could help to create new and more durable jobs that can support long-term goals to reduce emissions. This could ultimately be good for the global economy.

In addition to this, minimizing and addressing loss and damage is compulsory. Efforts such as last year’s loss and damage fund at COP27 will not be sufficient to aid the future negative impacts of natural disasters to come. 

Basically, the world will continue to be like a hamster running on a wheel if we don’t help those who need it – and true progress will never be made.

Key Finding #9: No One Is Safe From Climate Change

Just like death and taxes, even wealthy countries can’t escape the effects of climate change – and the Global Stocktake pontificates that humans will have to get smarter if they want to beat it once and for all. 

However, while all countries should make greater efforts to reduce emissions – aiming to help developing countries and vulnerable regions is most important.

The following is essential to remember:

  • Addressing those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change is imperative
  • Ecosystems and crops shouldn’t be overlooked as humans cannot survive without them 
  • Climate change will elicit heat productivity losses and have an impact on our economies
  • Investments may seem expensive in the short term, but are crucial for long-term protection against the effects of climate change. (I.e., the cost to rebuild destroyed infrastructure is not as expensive as properly designing and remodeling plans that will address climate risks and build climate resilience) 
  • Long term efforts will be more successful and less of a tedious process in the long run.
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Key Finding #10: There Is a Need for More Coherent Planning

The Global Stocktake recognizes that while more countries have shared their plans to improve upon sustainability, transition to low-carbon economies, and reduce emissions – that many of these plans are too murky and need more widespread, quantitative measures. In other words, targeting a single sector in a single region is not conducive to tackling climate change as a whole. 

The good news is that 140 countries have already developed a NAP, or National Adaptation Plan – but the progress has been slow considering the urgency of climate change. In addition to this, efforts are failing to keep pace with increasing climate impacts and risks and plans on paper are not necessarily being implemented in practice – depicted elsewhere, such as with Biden’s oil policy.

However, more transparent reporting can help to encourage implementation and international cooperation – as it will help to explain in depth how the proposed goal would positively impact the country and then the world as a whole.

In addition to this, all stakeholders should seek to implement long-term plans that incorporate all potential climate change risks – and also develop plans that are adjustable with changing circumstances in regards to climate change. 

Key Finding #11: Continuous Collaboration is Key to Fighting Climate Change

The Global Stocktake pontificates that when people come together, there is more opportunity to conquer climate change.  

The effectiveness of such measures are best supported when these circumstances are communicated and promoted by everyone. Therefore, various actions must be taken to ensure this is possible, such as:

  • Lawmakers should continually evaluate a country’s climate risks and vulnerability to be able to be adjusted accordingly
  • Continuous learning is essential; (i.e., there is no end-point – similar to a life-long learner).
  • Financial choices should be made carefully and consistently with climate climate-resilient development
  • Governments, communities, education institutions, businesses, and the media all play a role in communicating the importance of collective action to fight against climate change
  • Developing partnerships with marginalized groups such as women and indigenous people is essential

👉 International cooperation can help create change and save vulnerable areas when in need. An example of this is when there is worldwide fundraising for disaster recovery, such as with Haiti Relief in 2010.

Key Finding #12: Support Vulnerable & Impacted Communities 

Seeking to reduce the likelihood of future loss or damages in areas vulnerable to the effects of climate change around the world is paramount – and will require the new policies to enhance risk management to be developed in addition to providing direct support to these impacted areas. 

An example of this being put into effect is with the efforts on behalf of the Santiago Network – which addresses these issues, seeks personalized approaches, and prioritizes assisting developing countries. 

Key Finding #13: Seek to Develop Climate Finance

Finances are one of the biggest challenges in achieving more sustainable economies and mitigating emissions, seeing as green technology will continue to play a key role in the fight against climate change.

Money is one of the biggest roadblocks to achieving our collective climate goals, and therefore – funding to help prevent loss and damage or to provide immediate support must be adjusted in alliance with the current and growing needs of these vulnerable areas.  

This can be achieved through:

  • Public support and finance seeking to become more knowledgeable to develop the tactics necessary to build greater climate resilience
  • Resources, unbeknownst to most, which are available – such as:
  1. Green Climate Fund Productive Investment Initiative for Adaptation to Climate Change
  2. Project Preparation Facility and Private Sector Facility
  3. GEF Challenge Program for Adaptation Innovation
  4. World Bank’s Global Practice for Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land (GPURL)

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Key Finding #15: Climate Resiliency Starts with Finance 

Building off of the previous two key findings, the Global Stocktake implores the importance of creating financial flows in line with developing climate resiliency and GHG emissions reduction schemes. 

In fact, AR6 explains how there is enough capital to develop this kind of financial climate, but that there are still obstacles present to prevent this from happening. 

Therefore, it is important to recognize why failing to work past this is detrimental to society – as climate change vulnerability has the potential to negatively impact finances for everyone, such as with credit ratings. Other impacts might include damage to existing infrastructure, people fleeing large cities due to high costs of living, and negative consequences for businesses – such as failing to file for taxes on time due to a limited financial resource pool. 

👉 Did you know? Global investment needs to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement are in the order of trillions of United States dollars.

These issues could be solved with a systematic approach to shifting financial flows towards funding for activities and projects associated with low GHG emissions and building climate resilience, and by avoiding other traditional investments. 

Key Finding #16: Clean Technology is Crucial

One of the best ways out of the climate crisis would be to rapidly implement and encourage the development of clean technologies. However, when this deployment is uneven (noticeably the lack of clean energies deployed in developing countries) – it is ultimately ineffective.

💡 Think of when you’re studying for a test. It isn’t a good use of your time to be reviewing what you already know, but to work on your weaker points. The same goes for implementing clean technologies around the world – it is better to send clean technologies to developing countries that don’t have any of these resources.

For this to successfully happen, it will be essential to drive down the average cost of capital for clean technologies in order to make them more affordable and accessible to developing countries.  

👉 However, it is important to remember that while researching and developing green technologies will help to reduce emissions – it isn’t a requirement to limit the global temperature from exceeding 1.5 °C, as they won’t tackle the root of the problem. 

Key Finding #17: Importance of Capacity Building

Capacity building can help to develop consistent climate action, but would require each nation to dedicate extensive effort. This would include strengthening both developed and undeveloped countries to be able to assess their climate risks and seek ways to improve them moving forward.

Capacity-building is a systemic challenge.

However, this key finding of the Global Stocktake is mainly essential for developing countries – and will take time to do so adequately in line with the Paris Agreement.

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What are the next steps following the global stocktake 2023?

The first Global Stocktake, or GST, will end with an “output” phase – which refers to the discussions that will be held by various Parties to determine the political outcome of the Global Stocktake, develop a unified message, and ways to implement these practices effectively.

After these discussions, there will be another round of NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) on behalf of the Paris Agreement – which will be drafted and shared with the Parties in 2025 to discuss the results of the first Global Stocktake. 

This will occur every five years, and in 2024 – Parties will share their first biannual report to help establish transparency and accountability, as these are two main points in the Global Stocktake. Parties will be able to adjust their adaptation plans to be shared through a new NAP (National Adaptation Plan), NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution), or general national communication.

What could stop the global stocktake from being successful?

There could be a few challenges with the Global Stocktake. 

For instance, taking inventory still doesn’t mean action will be taken – even if it is detailed and states exactly what action should be taken. Also, if countries are only required to report every five years after the first Global Stocktake – it is likely that much of the detail presented will go to waste, as a lot can happen in half a decade.

Continuous monitoring and adjustments are pivotal when trying to achieve any goal, but especially when it comes to climate change – therefore, periodic monitoring isn’t likely to be effective.

In truth, the Global Stocktake tells us much of what we have already known about – but this time, it is in excruciating detail. Hopefully, this is what finally sends every participant around the world on the edge to take the actions necessary – as they have been brutally depicted in the Global Stocktake. 

What about Greenly? 

If reading this article about how Global Stocktake 2023 has made you interested in reducing your carbon emissions to further fight against climate change – Greenly can help you!

Checking to see if your company complies with all the necessary regulations can be stressful, but don’t worry – Greenly is here to help. Click here to schedule a demo to see how Greenly can help your company to build climate resilience and remain functional during a natural disaster. 

Greenly can help you make an environmental change for the better, starting with a carbon footprint assessment to know how much carbon emissions your company produces.

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