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As of August 2022, 39 out of the 49 Asia-Pacific member States included in this report, have made carbon neutrality and net-zero pledges, and have started developing enabling frameworks to the support implementation of their commitments. However, very few of these pledges are supported by updated and ambitious NDC commitments that will scale down greenhouse gas emissions to keep global warming within 1.5°C pathway . The Asia-Pacific region will only be able to drive ambitious climate action when such pledges are supported with higher ambition of NDC commitments. Since COP26, 13 countries have updated their approach to fight climate change. Progress is being made across different subregions, and by countries with different income levels. While there is some progress in developing synergies between green growth, development strategies and long-term low- emissions strategies, more can be achieved during the NDC updates process, which can start any time with a final submission in 2025. Indeed, those Asia-Pacific countries that have included innovation and roll out of decarbonization technologies will be at an advantage during the implementation of their commitments. Given the current volume of greenhouse gas emissions in the Asia-Pacific region, it is important to focus on removing the barriers to decarbonization of key and carbon-intensive sectors through phasing down and phasing out coal, reducing dependence on other fossil fuels, scaling up penetration of renewable energy resources and e-mobility, and enhancing energy efficiency, as well as encouraging low-carbon recovery from COVID-19 pandemic, which can create jobs and contribute to sustainable economic revival.

With the current turmoil in energy markets and fast declining costs of renewables, now is the time for Asia-Pacific countries to aggressively scale up investments in renewable energy production and improve energy efficiency in order to enhance decarbonization efforts substantially. Additional opportunities to scale up decarbonization and enhance current NDC commitments as recommended by the Glasgow Climate Pact, include increased investments in nature-based solutions (NbS), and ensuring protection of that natural wealth, which can help reduce the gap between the current NDC commitments and the required greenhouse gas emissions reductions to keep global warming within 1.5°C pathway. Most governments in the Asia-Pacific region have indicated, in their NDCs, that the delivery on nature-based solutions (NbS) is contingent on external financing. However, international financing for NbS is contested and limited.

Further, in recent years, youth and children have begun to recognize their potential as agents for raising climate ambition and are voicing their concerns regarding current insufficient climate action. This prompts governments to ensure that the youth and children can take a seat at the decision- making table, and that their concerns are taken into account when reviewing the next steps for NDC commitments

With a Special Feature on Engagement of Children and Youth in Raising National Climate Ambition

Nowhere is the urgency for action more apparent than in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2022, countries experienced unprecedented climate-induced disasters, such as dreadful typhoons and floods, as well as heatwaves and droughts, resulting in human and economic losses that are undermining hard-won development gains in developed and developing countries alike. 

As of August 2022, 39 out of the 49 Asia-Pacific member States included in this report, have made carbon neutrality and net-zero pledges, and have started developing enabling frameworks to the support implementation of their commitments. However, very few of these pledges are supported by updated and ambitious NDC commitments that will scale down greenhouse gas emissions to keep global warming within 1.5°C pathway . The Asia-Pacific region will only be able to drive ambitious climate action when such pledges are supported with higher ambition of NDC commitments.

This ESCAP, UNEP and UNICEF joint assessment report:  2022 Review of Climate Ambition in Asia and the Pacific: Raising NDC targets with enhanced nature-based solutions conveys several recommendations for national policy and engagement and regional policies for the Asia-Pacific region for achieving  1.5°C pathway. The Special Feature on Engagement of Children and Youth in Raising National Climate Ambition shows that civil society, and especially young people, are leading the charge and are championing more urgency, faster action and greater ambition. It advocates that creating a seat at the table for all stakeholders, and in particular children and young people in the design, development and implementation of climate action policies, programmes, and decisions will facilitate implementing carbon neutrality and net-zero pledges.

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Environment and Development Division +66 2 288 1234 [email protected]