The Covid19 pandemic is taking place against the backdrop of an ecological crisis. Just like the pandemic, the climate crisis has no borders and will require sustained international efforts and global solidarity.
There is no doubt that capacities and resources are being stretched as the Covid19 pandemic unfolds in different regions, but countries still need to step up climate action.
As Patricia Espinosa, Executive Director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), made clear during her statement at the opening session of the June Momentum, December 2020 still is the deadline for new nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to be submitted.
NDCs should be enhanced to the highest possible level of ambition every five years and submitted to the UNFCCC taking into account every country's fair share.
Unfortunately, only a few of the revised NDCs presented so far actually step up to the levels they are expected to. The briefing paper, "What are Transformative Nationally Determined Contributions?" aims to provide countries with a set of guidelines on what raising ambition in climate action plans should entail in order for them to fully tackle the challenges in addressing the climate emergency.
These guidelines involve targets that will put us in the path for a Just Transition and that are developed considering a whole of civil society approach.
In a context in which global climate meetings are being postponed to protect people's health, it becomes even more critical to have stakeholders and initiatives that act to both ensure that more ambitious climate commitments are taken by governments and that civil society participation and pledges are not left behind in the process.
This happened, for example, in Japan - whose civil society was left out of the whole NDC revision process. It's, however, never too late, and the country can still show that it's willing to make use of a more inclusive approach by inviting civil society to join the ministerial online meeting on climate and recovery to be hosted in early September.
It is essential to set the course right because the collective ambition we need to keep us on track is unlikely to be achieved if civil society is not deeply involved in the process.