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Is 1.5°C within Reach for the Asia-Pacific Region? Ambition and Potential of NDC Commitments of the Asia-Pacific Countries Asia-Pacific

Countries in the Asia-Pacific region are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, yet their climate action commitments are also critical to the achievement of 1.5°C goals. So far, 49 member States of the Asia-Pacific region have submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), 46 of which have evolved into Nationally Determined Contributions. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 30 countries in the region have updated their NDCs and 34 have already pledged to carbon neutrality by 2050 or are in the process of doing that. These are impressive actions, however, the questions is if those updated NDCs and carbon neutrality pledges enough to help keeping global temperatures way below 2℃ as per the Paris Agreement.? What factors at the national level can help raise ambition and create solid policy and institutional frameworks to support such commitment?

The joint UNESCAP, UN Women, UNEP and the greenwerk report on Is 1.5°C within Reach for the Asia-Pacific Region? Ambition and Potential of NDC Commitments of the Asia-Pacific Countries Asia-Pacific provides an assessment that brings some of the key answers to those questions.

The report provides a scenario-based assessment of the collective NDC commitments of countries in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as their individual commitments to action including net zero goals, carbon pricing commitments and removal of fossil-fuel subsidies. It also explores the steps countries in the region have been taking to build up capacity to enable more action, such as climate finance budgeting, and monitoring and reporting. Further, based on the level of country climate ambition and national enabling environment, the study provides a series of recommendations on how to drive-up national and regional ambition to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. The report also offers an exciting new approach to analysing the role of gender mainstreaming in enabling enhanced climate action in the region. Last but not least, the report includes a number of helpful case studies from the region for policymakers in particular to seek inspiration from to increase the ambition needed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Through its practical case studies and analytical approach, this report targets an audience who are not just climate specialists, but also officials from all levels of government, including ministries of planning, and even from specific sectors, such as energy ministries.