“Wildly inconsistent” NDC pledges risk undermining climate action

Climate action

WRAP says details of circular economy pledges made in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are “wildly inconsistent” and this risks undermining essential work on climate action.

Inconsistencies range from undefined to more ambitious and comprehensive strategies, WRAP says. The Climate action NGO (non-governmental organisation) has highlighted its findings in Circular Economy: From Commitments to Action which show that “far too many countries” are failing to take serious action on consumption-based emissions through NDCs linked to the circular economy.

133 NDCs have committed to circular economy principles, WRAP says, but it highlights that many more need clear goals and robust plans to reach these. WRAP found that as of October 2022, only 79 countries have directly committed to adopting a circular economy through their NDCs.

WRAP is calling on all countries to robustly incorporate the circular economy into their NDCs, and to connect domestic economic, resource and waste policies to make the most productive use of goods and services.

WRAP says the level of commitment found varies with some countries committing to a circular economy but with no further details on how this will be achieved.

Some commitments are simply to “increase recycling” with no target or plan for implementing it, WRAP says.

Some commitments are simply to “increase recycling” with no target or plan for implementing it, the organisation says, while others provide ambitious targets and comprehensive plans to reach a circular economy. The sectors included in these commitments also vary significantly, with most heavily focused on the waste sector.

As a minimum, all countries must identify that circular economy is an area for action and reference this in their NDCs, WRAP says. After identifying the direction and aim, the NGO says countries must set out what is needed to support that aim and detail how they will support this with policy and strategy documents that detail how a circular economy can be achieved in that country.

WRAP calls for those seeking to achieve a circular economy should integrate specific targets and indicators related to circular economy into their NDCs. But all should include general statements identifying the circular economy as an opportunity, and include actions relating to their engagement with this.

WRAP says this is important as it is only possible to tackle 45% of total global emissions by changing the way we make and consume products and food.

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