What is the Global Stocktake and what does it mean for climate and nature?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report says that every fraction that global temperatures increase above 1.5ºC, set by the Paris Agreement, has catastrophic and irreversible damage to the world’s societies and ecosystems; every year of inaction contributes to the worsening social and climate crises. The Global Stocktake, happening at the end of 2023, offers an opportunity to assess the collective progress made by nations so far and act towards achieving the agreement’s long-term goals.
Ambitious climate action is critical to meet 1.5ºC, and in recent years governments have made several commitments to protect, manage and restore nature. Data from Nature4Climate’s nature-based solution commitment tracker shows that while the ambition gap is slowly closing, the implementation gap still remains widely ignored. By following the 80 commitments that include nature-based solutions (NbS) in nationally determined contributions (NDCs) we have found that 45% of commitments show only small signs of progress or no progress at all.
We are almost halfway through the 2030 deadline to halt and reverse nature loss, as well as meeting net zero targets, and many countries are still yet to publish detailed plans for delivering high-integrity nature-based solutions and finally unlocking the funding needed to meet climate and nature goals. As part of the Global Stocktake process, parties must publish these and update their NDCs accordingly.
What is the Global Stocktake?
The Global Stocktake is an assessment of global efforts to reduce emissions, finance climate solutions, adapt to climate change and minimize loss and damage. This means looking in depth at national climate plans, policies, pledges and implementation evidence over the course of the last five years and assessing where and how they are contributing to progress toward the 1.5-degree target.
The assessment will evaluate the effectiveness of countries’ climate actions, measure the impact of implemented policies, and identify areas that require additional efforts to meet the overarching goals of the Paris Agreement, making sure that countries are being transparent, accountable, and ambitious in their efforts to address climate change and nature loss.
“[The Global Stocktake] must tell us where we are, where we need to go, and how we’ll get there”
Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Why is the Global Stocktake important now?
As we rapidly approach 2025, the halfway point of this crucial decade of delivery, we must ensure that there is the ambition to tackle climate change, as well as the roadmaps to show how this ambition will be implemented.
By assessing the state of play through the Global Stocktake, government commitments on climate change and nature loss will be visible so that governments can be held to account, in the hope that promises turn into accelerated action. By evaluating the collective progress of nations towards their efforts toward reducing carbon emissions, adaptation, and nationally determined contributions, among many other factors, the Global Stocktake promotes transparency and encourages countries to adhere to their commitments. A key part of this transparency is ensuring countries also share their frameworks and detailed plans to implement nature-based solutions.
What is nature’s role in the Global Stocktake?
Nature-based solutions can provide over one-third of the global mitigation required by 2030 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. It is also a vital tool that helps ecosystems and communities adapt to the rapidly changing climate– increasing food security and reducing the negative health effects on local communities. The Global Stocktake offers a chance to reflect existing commitments and commit to prioritizing efforts to accelerate emissions reductions, by including nature-based solutions (NbS) in a country’s nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
A survey of 400+ experts from 90 countries revealed that despite national governments being considered the most important actors to lead the ‘Nature Agenda’, lack of implementation of nature-positive policies and incentives is causing significant barriers to progress on nature conservation and restoration.
In order to achieve Paris Agreement goals, governments must share their plans, budgets and frameworks on NbS. They must also update their NDCs to complement decarbonisation efforts and unlock necessary funding to finance NbS projects to create a nature positive world that is able to adapt to increasing temperatures and is resilient to climate disasters.
When will the Global Stocktake take place?
The Global Stocktake is structured around five-year cycles, ensuring periodic assessments of global progress. In November 2023, the first-ever Global Stocktake will take place following a series of moments throughout the year to collect and assess country data.
There are several key periods in the Global Stocktake process:
- Information collection and preparation: November 2021 – June 2023
The initial step in the Global Stocktake process involves the compilation of comprehensive and up-to-date information from participating countries. Each country submits information such as national greenhouse gas inventories, emission reduction targets and progress reports on climate actions taken at the national level.
- Technical Dialogue: October 2022, March 2023, May 2023
After the analysis, three technical dialogues are hosted as an opportunity to engage in a transparent and inclusive dialogue between different parties, forums and organizations involved in the process. In the discussion, dimensions including issues such as social equity, justice, as well as the most recent science, are taken into account to produce a summary report of the findings.
- Technical assessment: June 2022 – June 2023
Once the relevant information is collected, it undergoes rigorous technical analysis and assessment by expert bodies within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). These expert bodies take into account the information collected and recent scientific evidence from the IPCC AR6 Synthesis Report (read our blog on this here) to assess the overall progress toward achieving the Paris Agreement, and identify areas where improvements can be made.
- Consideration of output: November 2023
Based on the findings summarized in the report released following the technical dialogues, countries will come together to share experiences, exchange best practices, and identify potential collaborative opportunities to enhance their climate efforts in a series of high-level events. Countries are encouraged to raise their climate ambition and update their emission reduction targets (NDCs).
Why is it critical for the Global Stocktake to also acknowledge the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities?
Despite constituting less than 5% of the global population, Indigenous Peoples and local communities manage at least one-quarter of the world’s lands and 80% of the world’s biodiversity, acting as stewards to our global carbon sinks and wildlife.
It is therefore crucial that the voices of Indigenous peoples and local communities are amplified and listened to during the Global Stocktake process. The Global Stocktake outcome needs to call upon Parties to strengthen the role, participation, and rights of Indigenous and local communities – the stewards of nature. Any policies or plans must include the implementation of safeguards to ensure equitable delivery of NbS, including legislation on Free, Prior and Informed (FPIC) consent.
Discover Nature4Climate’s tools tracking action on nature
There are multiple tools and resources that can support the integration of nature into the Global Stocktake:
Nature-based solution commitment tracker
Nature4Climate has developed an “NBS commitment tracker” – an evaluation of progress on joint action commitments that have been made on nature-based solutions from 2019 to 2022.
Nature-based solution policy tracker
The Nature-based Solutions Policy Tracker maps key policies that support the implementation of nature-based solutions (NbS), and interventions which use nature for climate action (for example reforestation and protecting mangroves). Using an automated search process, Metabolic, Arboretica, and Open Earth Foundation identified enabling policies and government budgets that mentioned NbS. The tracker will help stakeholders to learn from best practices, understand investment needs and opportunities, and improve the allocation of resources.
Set to launch later this year, Naturebase is a free online tool that helps decision-makers identify, analyse and execute the most effective nature-based solutions. To get early access, sign up here: firstname.lastname@example.org
How can you stay updated on the progress of the Global Stocktake and the role of nature in climate action?
- Follow Nature4Climate – here
- Read this blog on what needs to happen next – here
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“The Global Stocktake is a vital time to take stock of our commitments to nature and climate. We must use this opportunity to accelerate action on nature-based solutions with respect, transparency and integrity.”
James Lloyd, Nature4Climate Coalition Lead