Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are the backbone of the Paris Agreement, an international treaty aiming to limit global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, with the aim of limiting the increase to 1.5°C. NDCs are essentially each country`s plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change.
Under the Paris Agreement, each country is expected to submit an NDC every five years, outlining its targets and strategies. These targets are not legally binding, but they are meant to hold countries accountable and encourage them to take action towards reducing emissions.
However, the costs of delayed action when it comes to addressing climate change and meeting these NDCs can be significant. The longer we wait to make meaningful changes, the more expensive and difficult it will be to achieve the goals set out in the Paris Agreement.
One example of this is the cost of building climate resilience infrastructure. Many countries are already experiencing the impacts of climate change, such as more frequent and severe natural disasters. Investing in resilient infrastructure, such as sea walls or flood-resistant buildings, can help protect against these impacts. But the longer we wait to invest in this infrastructure, the more expensive it becomes to retrofit existing buildings and infrastructure to meet these needs.
Another cost of delayed action is the transition to renewable energy sources. Fossil fuels are currently the primary source of energy worldwide, but they are also a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. As countries transition to renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar, there are upfront costs associated with building new infrastructure and decommissioning old fossil fuel plants. The longer we wait to make this transition, the more expensive it becomes to make these changes.
In addition to the financial costs, there are also social costs of delayed action. Climate change disproportionately affects marginalized communities, such as low-income or indigenous populations. Delaying action to address climate change further exacerbates these inequalities and can lead to greater social unrest and conflict.
Overall, the costs of delayed action when it comes to meeting NDCs under the Paris Agreement are significant. It is essential that countries take meaningful action now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience infrastructure. The longer we wait, the more expensive and difficult it becomes to achieve the goals set out in the Paris Agreement. It is time for countries to take responsibility and act swiftly to address the urgent threat of climate change.