Preparing for COP26: How circular are current national climate pledges and how can they be improved?

By Laxmi Haigh (Lead of Editorial) and Matthew Fraser (Lead of the Circularity Gap Reporting Initiative)

Photo by Vladislav Klapin on Unsplash
In our 2020 analysis, we took 176 countries and scored them on their social performance and ecological footprint to assess how far they were from the end goal: a socially just and ecologically safe space. Countries’ fall into three broad profiles: Build, Grow and Shift.

Different countries, different responsibilities — and actions to prioritise

Countries such as Bangladesh are under various climate change threats: sea-level rise, erosion, crop failures and more. Photo by fardouse lomat jahan rumpa on Unsplash

Shift countries’ NDCs need to be more ambitious

Norway, which is only 2.4% circular, also submitted a stronger NDC target to cut emissions by at least 50% by 2030. Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Scattered commitment across Grow countries’ NDCs

Grow countries are rapidly industrialising and expanding. However, one of the biggest emitters in the profile — Brazil — have not yet submitted NDC revisions ahead of COP26. Photo by Vanessa Bumbeers on Unsplash

Despite low-emitter status, Build countries NDCs prove ambitious

Build countries’ NDCs already showcase strong ambitions — such as Ethiopia, which has also delivered substantial revisions in its NDC. Photo by Yonatan Tesfaye on Unsplash

All eyes on COP26

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