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UN Secretary-General Details Ten Priority Areas to Achieve Paris Agreement

The Climate Action Summit reinforced 1.5°C as the socially, economically, politically and scientifically safe limit to global warming by the end of this century, and net zero emissions by 2050 as the global long-term climate objective for all. Countries need to urgently accelerate work to define what this entails for the short-term (2020) and mid-term (2030) commitments that will be captured in their Nationally Determined Contributions and ensure the alignment of strategies to meet those commitments.

While 70 countries committed, during the Summit, to deliver more ambitious NDCs in 2020, they account for less than 10% of global emissions, with no major emitters formally committing to ramp up ambition. In his report, Guterres says he will ensure climate change remains a priority on the international agenda. He will do so by convening high-level platforms for countries to present more ambitious plans; pushing financial actors to accelerate the transition from the grey to the green economy; facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogues; and coordinated UN system engagement.

Further, the report elaborates on outcomes under the 12 themes of the Summit, and ten priority areas for 2020, namely:

  • securing more ambitious commitments from major emitters, with the goal of reducing emissions by at least 45% by 2030 in line with achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and the SDGs; 
  • ensuring all countries come forward with 2050 carbon neutrality commitments;
  • increasing ambition in sectors not fully considered in the past, including nature-based solutions;
  • addressing the social dimension of climate change by ensuring NDCs include a just transition;
  • curtailing current coal capacity and ensuring no new coal power plants are built after 2020;
  • accelerating the transition to 100% renewable energy;
  • accelerating the shift of financial flows, taxing pollution not people, and ensuring access to sustainable finance;
  • stepping-up support for people affected by climate change and transitioning toward a resilient future;
  • delivering on commitments made at the Summit to SIDS and LDCs; and
  • implementing initiatives aimed at decarbonization of key economic sectors.


Member States •  China and New Zealand: set up a “NBS Group of Friends” and tap into mitigation potential of nature to cut 10-12 billion tons of GHG globally annually.

•  Tree planting: Pakistan (plant 10 billion by 2024) New Zealand (1 billion by 2028); Barbados (one million by 2020); Sierra Leone (2 million by 2023); Nigeria (mobilize youth to plant 25 million by 2020); Kenya (2 billion by 2022) Ethiopia (4 billion per year); Ireland (440 million); Turkey (in the past 17 years planted 4 billion and will plant  11 million additional ones);  and City of Surabaya in Indonesia (millions).

•  Stabilization of forest cover: Costa Rica (60 percent by 2030); Democratic Republic of the Congo (63 percent by 2030); Indonesia (conservation of mangrove forests by 2030); Chile (comprehensive reforestation plan); Turkey (increase forestry wealth); Russia (conserve Boreal Forests); Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of the Congo (increase protected areas in Congo Basin forests).

 Increase of forest stock: China (4.56 billion cubic meters from 2005); Hungary (increase reforestation by 30 percent by 2050); City of Surabaya in Indonesia (expand urban forests by 46 hectares); Turkey (“Gardens of the nation” project to increase green areas, parks and forests); and Republic of the Congo (1 million hectares by 2025).

Reduction of deforestation: Colombia (70 percent); and Ecuador (24 percent).

•  Restoration of ecosystems: Pakistan (30 percent of degraded forests;5 percent degraded croplands; 6 percent of degraded grasslands and 10 percent of degraded wetlands); Guatemala (1.5 million hectares of forested land by 2022); Indonesia (2 million hectares of peatlands; rehabilitate 12 million hectares of degraded lands and mangroves by 2030); Colombia (300,000 hectares of forest by 2022); Nigeria (ecological restoration and recharge of Lake Chad); and Kenya (5.1 million hectares of forests by 2022 under the AFR100 initiative).

•  Sustainable management of ecosystems: Democratic Republic of Congo (reduce 17 percent of GHGs by 2030 through NBS, including sustainable management of peatlands); Pakistan (land degradation neutrality by 2030); Colombia (commit 900,000 hectares to agroforestry and sustainable forest management); Fiji (100 percent sustainable management of economic exclusive zone by 2030 and 10-year moratorium on seabed mining); Chile (prioritization of forests and oceans for climate action); Ecuador (guarantee rights of nature for future generations), Seychelles (increase protection of exclusive economic zone from 26-30 percent by 2020); Kenya (advance sustainable ocean-action policies at UN Ocean Conference); and Ecuador (guarantee rights of nature for current and future generations, conserve the Amazon rainforest and Galapagos Islands).

•  Food systems transformation: New Zealand (in next five years every farmer will have systems to measure, manage and reduce GHG emissions from food production; NZ to become the most sustainable food producer in the world; and to continue to lead international collaboration through the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases); and Nigeria (climate-smart agriculture practices to capture 74 million tons of carbon per year). 

Read further from the report 

sg climate report