Climate Action Now


for Policymakers


The Summary for Policymakers (SPM) summarizes information from the technical expert meetings focusing on mitigation and adaptation policies, technologies, initiatives and actions, and highlights other related new developments since the publication of the 2015 SPM and the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties in Paris.

Table of Contents:

Foreword by Patricia Espinosa Foreword by the High-Level Champions Key messages for Policymakers Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Chapter IV

It is my sincere hope that the 2016 Summary for Policymakers will provide a solid foundation for successfully supporting and enhancing pre-2020 action by Parties and non-Party stakeholders alike.

By Patricia Espinosa United Nations Framework Convention
on Climate Change

Foreword by Patricia Espinosa

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris culminated in a transformative, universal climate change agreement. This landmark agreement articulates the social and economic opportunities offered by a lowemission and climate-resilient future, as well as the intrinsic relationship of climate change action, sustainable development and poverty eradication.

The Paris Climate Change Agreement will enter into force on 4 November 2016. The speed at which countries have made the Paris’s Agreement’s entry into force possible is unprecedented in recent experience of international agreements and is a powerful confirmation of the importance nations attach to combating climate change and realizing the multitude of opportunities inherent in the agreement. Additionally, the adoption by the Assembly of the International Civil Aviation (ICAO) in October this year of the first ever global market-based measure to offset CO2 emissions from international flights and a comprehensive roadmap for the sustainable future of international aviation, as well as the expected adoption of an amendment to the Montreal Protocol on hydrofluorocarbons management in the second half of October 2016 are further historic milestones in implementing urgent and accelerated climate action.

The entry into force of the Paris Agreement together with these milestones bode well for the urgent, accelerated implementation of climate action that is now needed to realize a better, more secure world and to support also the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). National governments alone cannot perform all the actions required to achieve the climate change objectives and the SDG goals. It is therefore reassuring and heartening to witness the ever-increasing mobilization around the Global Climate Action Agenda. This mobilization includes partnerships and cooperative actions aimed at addressing mitigation and adaptation needs across sectors and through integrated approaches. The technical examination processes on adaptation and mitigation provide an interactive platform to showcase existing and emerging climate policies and practices that can be scaled up and replicated by governments as needed, depending on their national circumstances.

I am delighted that the two high-level champions who were appointed in 2016 to provide strategic guidance to these processes, Their Excellencies Ms. Hakima El Haite and Ms. Laurence Tubiana, have advanced the Global Climate Action Agenda and actively engaged all stakeholders. Moreover, I would like to convey my gratitude to Ms. El Haite and Ms. Tubiana for their guidance on the structure and content of the 2016 Summary for Policymakers.

In light of the temperature goals established by the Paris Agreement, the 2016 Summary for Policymakers identifies immediate actions that can promote emission reductions, enhance climate resilience and further engage non-Party stakeholders, including through low-carbon development and national adaptation plans. The 2016 Summary for Policymakers also highlights policies, cooperative initiatives and partnerships that can leverage new levels of national and international action around the world.

It is my sincere hope that the 2016 Summary for Policymakers will provide a solid foundation for successfully supporting and enhancing pre-2020 action by Parties and non-Party stakeholders alike.

Ms. Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Foreword by the High-Level Champions

The 2015 Paris Agreement, for the very first time in history, unites the world in action on climate change and on the push for sustainable development and economic transformation. It calls for a paradigm shift as we move from negotiations to implementation under the Convention and for enhanced and accelerated climate action by all in the lead-up to 2020 and beyond, provided that adequate means of implementation are made available to all. We therefore call upon developed country Parties to scale up their level of financial, technology and capacitybuilding support, with a concrete road map to achieve the goal of jointly providing USD 100 billion annually by 2020 for mitigation and adaptation action.

Action needs to be undertaken and supported without delay and it is crucial to demonstrate in 2016 how the action agenda can be implemented to help governments to accomplish their climate change objectives and contribute to the peaking of global emissions as early as possible. Fuelled by the ‘’esprit de Paris’’, in our role as climate champions, we seek to be an interface between action on the ground and the UNFCCC negotiation process, and between non-Party stakeholders and Parties.

Early this year we established a Global Climate Action Agenda to boost cooperative action between governments, cities, business, investors and citizens to cut emissions and help vulnerable nations adapt to climate impacts and build their own clean energy and sustainable future. Our road map, which supports this agenda, builds on existing initiatives, partnerships and coalitions, supports the new ones and connects all of them with national climate actions.

The technical examination process on mitigation and adaptation under the subsidiary bodies of the Convention are great avenues for laying the groundwork for success as they offer a space for incubating, inspiring and catalysing new ideas and action. The 2016 Summary for Policymakers highlights the key messages for policymakers emanating from these processes and presents a broad range of policy options and collaborative initiatives with the potential to significantly enhance pre-2020 action on adaptation and mitigation.

We look forward to the 2016 high-level event in Marrakech, to further strengthening high-level engagement on the implementation of adaptation and mitigation policy options and actions and to learning about new or strengthened voluntary efforts, initiatives and coalitions so that we can collaboratively increase our pre-2020 ambition.

Through this summary, we very much hope that Parties are provided with the relevant information to fully engage with non-Party stakeholders, and be empowered to scale up and replicate the good practice policies, actions and initiatives that best fit their national circumstances with a view to enhancing their pre-2020 action, paving the way for limiting global warming to well below 2°C, increasing the resilience and adaptive capacity of communities and ecosystems, and laying a strong foundation for more ambitious post-2020 action.

H.E. Ms. Hakima El Haite, High-level Champion of Morocco and Minister Delegate to the Minister of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment

H.E. Ms. Laurence Tubiana, High-level Champion of France and Ambassador for Climate Change

Key messages for Policymakers
1. The 2015 Paris Agreement represents a historic turning point in global cooperation on addressing climate change and its global goal of limiting warming to well below 2 °C or 1.5 °C provide direction and help to frame climate change action.

Given the gap between the emission level implied by the aggregate effect of countries’ national plans enshrined in their intended nationally determined contributions and the level consistent with limiting warming to well below 2 ºC or 1.5 ºC, urgent pre-2020 mitigation action is needed to reduce climate risks in the 21st century and beyond and increase the prospects for effective adaptation. While greater levels of mitigation can reduce the need for additional adaptation efforts, failure to mitigate can result in higher adaptation costs or in adaptation options being no longer available or being financially non-viable.

2. Addressing global climate change goes hand in hand with ensuring sustainable development.

Reducing poverty as well as securing food, water, health, energy and livelihoods are contingent on our mitigation and adaptation efforts. National climate change policies will be most effective if linked to broader sustainable development strategies, including those geared towards the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals enshrined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

3. Through the process of preparing national contributions and their implementation, countries demonstrate that they are increasingly introducing national policies and related instruments for lowemission and climateresilient development.

This rise is driven by increased mainstreaming of climate change in national and sectoral development priorities and increased collaborative climate action between Parties and non-Party stakeholders. All key economic sectors and areas are being addressed as laid out in this year’s report.

4. Financial support, technology development and transfer as well as capacity-building at scale continue to be urgently needed.

Successful planning and implementation of adaptation and mitigation measures requires very large investments. As such, in many developing countries, financial, technological and capacity-building support is critical. Developed country Parties should continue to seek to scale up their level of support to developing country Parties, with a concrete road map to achieve the collective mobilization goal of jointly providing USD 100 billion annually by 2020 for climate mitigation and adaptation. It is also critical to further explore ways to increase private sector financial investments.

5. Institutions need strengthening to enable them to plan for and implement adaptation and mitigation in an effective and sustainable fashion.

Institutions and stakeholder groups at all levels of government, as well as civil society, are more likely to engage in climate action when they have the necessary human, technical and financial capacity.

6. The UNFCCC process offers a platform to scale up cooperative action.

Evidence continues to prove that cooperative initiatives are important to enhance climate action as such initiatives can facilitate access to support and knowledge. The UNFCCC process, including the technical examination processes and the Non-state Actor Zone for Climate Action platform, supports the incubation and fully fledged development of cooperative action by facilitating solutionoriented dialogue, knowledge-sharing and learning between cooperative initiatives and government leaders and encouraging the scaling up of existing and the establishment of new initiatives.

Go to Chapter I