At COP28 this year, leaders will assess the world’s progress towards the Paris Agreement, and the outcome will shape the future of net zero. In this article, we explain what the Global Stocktake is and why it’s so important.
The Global Stocktake (GST) is a periodic assessment of the world’s collective progress towards the Paris Agreement. It is a two-year process which takes place every five years. The first-ever stocktake began in 2022 and will conclude in 2023 at COP28.
All aspects of climate action, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation schemes, climate finance, and green technology development are considered in the assessment/ Additionally, it also considers the existing impacts of climate change and the progress that has been made so far in building greater resilience.
The purpose of the GST
The stocktake is critical to ensure that countries are on track to meet their climate goals. It provides a clear overview of the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead, and it helps countries to identify where more action is needed. The GST also serves as a global forum for countries to come together in solidarity to share experiences and share learnings and best practice.
It is a critical moment for leaders to take a step back and collectively assess the world’s progress on climate change.
The GST also provides countries with an opportunity to update their climate plans and commitments based on any new data, evidence and emerging trends.
The Phases of the GST
The stocktake is conducted in three phases:
- Phase 1 – Data collection and analysis: This phase started in 2021 and finished in March earlier this year, it involved collecting and analysing data on climate action from countries around the world.
- Phase 2 – Technical assessment: This phase began in 2022 and involves an assessment of the data collected in the first phase.
- Phase 3 – Political consideration of the findings: This phase will take place at COP28 in November later this year and will involve a political consideration of the findings of the technical assessment.
What will happen at COP28?
The third and final phase of the stocktake, the Consideration of Outputs, will take place at COP28 later this year. This stage is critical as it will determine how countries collectively respond to the challenges and opportunities identified in the technical phase and is a good marker for how much political will is behind tackling climate change.
During Phase 3, country delegates discuss the technical findings, identify the opportunities and challenges, and assess measures and best practices for climate action and international cooperation. Following this, a summary of key agreements is created, which will then be included in COP28’s final deliberations. This formalises the guidance and commitments which all countries will adopt in developing their future plans and policies to address climate change. .
The stocktake considerations come during the same year that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its latest Synthesis Report, highlighting just how far off-track the world is in terms of meeting the Paris Agreement goals.
Owing to this, the outcomes of the final phase at COP28 have the potential to be highly impactful. With bold political commitments, the GST has the potential to drive breakthrough solutions across systems and sectors. However, it is critical to note that without political will, it risks just becoming an information-sharing exercise which leads to no meaningful action
Stay tuned to Sustainable Future News for all the latest news and updates on COP28, the biggest climate event of the year. We’ll be providing coverage all the way up to the event, as well as updates throughout.
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