The paper formulates 10 points for mitigation ambition and includes recommendations on ways to support ambition raising through international cooperation.


All governments have committed to the long-term goal of the Paris Agreement. The findings of IPCC 1.5 Special Report (IPCC 1.5SR) illustrate the climate impacts and risks associated with exceeding 1.5°C and clearly underscore that greater ambition is urgently needed to achieve this limit as current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are inconsistent with Paris compatible pathways. This has implications for the role of the NDC Cluster and other initiatives (such as the NDC-Partnership) in supporting increased mitigation ambition in new and updated NDCs globally, as well as submission of long-term strategies, by 2020.

The purpose of this paper is to define the term and concept of ambition in the context of long-term strategies (LTS), NDCs and the United Nations sustainable development agenda (Agenda 2030) to inform activities of the NDC Cluster, the NDC Partnership and beyond. Coherent approaches are needed when working with country partners on the question of how to deal with ambition, in particular in countries with limited capacities. The false dilemma between ambitious long-term strategies and short-term implementation of current NDCs and achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) needs to be demystified.

10 points for mitigation ambition:


Remember what all Parties to the Paris Agreement have agreed to:
The Paris Agreement clearly sets out the global ambition agenda and mechanisms including NDCs, LTS and finance alignment.


Urgency to scale up ambition is demonstrated by best available science:
The IPCC 1.5 Special Report highlights the urgent need to do more in the short term to keep the Paris Agreement goals in sight.


Full transformation is needed across all sectors:
Taking a long-term view means all sectors and all countries need to decarbonise to reach net zero CO2 emissions globally by 2050.


A long-term and whole-economy view is essential:
in order to implement the right short-term action and to avoid getting on the wrong path with detrimental social and economic consequences.


Incrementalism risks the Paris Agreement goal slipping out of reach:
Focusing only on short-term implementation of presently insufficient ambition will result in missing the long-term goal.



Higher ambition brings sustainable development benefits already in the short term:
Climate mitigation and sustainable development goals can be synergistic, and sustainable development benefits can help drive the ambition agenda.


All countries matter:
Long-term planning is relevant for large and small countries in order not to risk missing sustainable development goals.


Some countries need to support others:
Countries with higher responsibility and capacities should support others, lead by example, and reduce emissions faster than the global average.


All financial flows need to be made Paris-compatible:
Financial support and government spending should only be used for activities that are Paris-compatible, and governments need to enable and incentivise the private sector to align their activities with zero carbon development.


This task can only be achieved by working together:
The fundamental transformation, which has never been done before, can only be achieved by working together and learning from each other.


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