Global economy transformation underway

President Biden’s Earth Day Summit revealed the growing momentum en route to a successful COP26. By Gonzalo Muñoz and Nigel Topping, UN High Level Climate Action Champions for Chile’s COP25 and the UK’s COP26 climate summit | May 4, 2021

An encouraging array of announcements of new commitments and partnerships – both public and private – and the nearly exponential growth in membership of the critical Race to Zero campaign shows that the transformation of the global economy is truly underway.

There appears to be a positive uplift in momentum for the strengthening of NDC targets for 2030 first made in Paris. The announcement of a new US commitment to halve emissions by 2030 was swiftly followed by new emission reduction commitments by Japan (a 46% reduction by 2030, with the ambition to raise it to 50%) and Canada (a 40-45% cut below 2005 levels by 2030). Brazil’s joining of the group of countries committed to net zero by 2050 is also a step in the right direction, and we look forward to more countries joining global efforts to halve emissions by 2030.

Whilst there has been some progress, much more needs to be done. Collectively, Climate Action Tracker suggests that the week’s new pledges close the ambition gap to 2030 by 12-14% – a considerable improvement but still far from the reductions required to deliver the promise of the Paris Agreement.

We welcome the announcement of a new US International Climate Finance Plan, and the commitment by the US and ROK to end overseas financing of coal.

Together with the launch of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, there are encouraging signs that public and private actors are starting to mobilize in earnest the trillions of dollars necessary to build a global zero emissions economy and deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement.

We also heard the clear call from developing countries most affected by climate impacts for better mechanisms for response, including the transfer of green technologies, and deeper solidarity on international financial flows as COVID recovery efforts take their toll. We will look for further progress, including through our Race to Resilience, on adaptation planning and finance, and work to build partnerships for forest protection, climate-friendly land use and biodiversity.

We are excited to work with companies, investors, and subnational governments across the world to translate ambition into action and implementation, to deliver the shifts in the global economy required in this “Decisive Decade” for climate action.

We look forward to the forthcoming P4G Summit in ROK in late May, and the G7+4 Summit in the UK in mid-June, as further opportunities in the first half of 2021 for greater delivery and improvements on climate action, and to critically close the remaining gaps on mitigation ambition, adaptation and finance.


COP27: Day 10

Across the two weeks, non-State actors offered a wide range of actions, announcements, and events across thematic areas. This included the launch of the African Cities Water Adaptation Fund, an African-led insurance commitment to provide cover for up to USD 14 billion in climate losses, and the Sharm-El-Sheik Adaptation Agenda in partnership with the COP27 Presidency.