Global Stocktake (GST) is an essential feature of Article 14 of the Paris Agreement, an international treaty aimed at combating climate change. The GST provides a solid foundation to empower countries to take bolder climate action.1 It helps countries periodically assess their collective progress towards realising the Agreement’s long-term goals of maintaining the global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to further limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. It assesses progress across three themes: mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to the impacts of climate change, and mobilising support in the form of finance, technology, and capacity-building. The GST provides an opportunity for countries to course correct as well as set more ambitious targets in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
The Stocktake considers the latest scientific knowledge, progress made towards achieving the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, and the overall effectiveness of global climate action. Further, it provides mechanisms to help countries evaluate the need for enhanced support in light of equity and the best available science. The GST process involves a periodic assessment, conducted every five years, with the end of the first Stocktake having taken place at the 28th Conference on Parties (COP28). It is an inclusive, participatory exercise involving different stakeholders including countries, thematic bodies, international organisations, and stakeholders from civil society and academia.
Overview of the GST process2,3
The GST process involves three main phases:
Information collection: Comprehensive inputs are gathered from various stakeholders, including Parties and non-party stakeholders, to identify opportunities for enhanced climate action and support. Beyond governments, city officials, businesses, civil society, and initiatives like the Independent Global Stocktake (iGST) contribute insights and advocacy.
Technical assessment: These inputs are assessed through technical dialogues held at intersessional subsidiary body meetings and COPs. Innovative formats, like roundtables and world cafes, are used to disseminate key messages.
Political considerations: The final phase of the stocktake will take place at the COP held in the last year of the stocktake, where the outputs will be discussed, and a summary of key asks and outcomes will be drafted, which can then be incorporated into a COP decision, guiding countries in updating their NDCs.
Figure 1 Process of the Global Stocktake
Source: CEEW report on ‘Unpacking the First Global Stocktake’
What can be expected as an outcome of the GST?
Help update Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)4: While the GST will measure collective progress, it will also need to account for pre-2020 gaps, and hence, nations might be prompted to revise their NDCs to align with assessment results and bolster climate commitments.
Accelerate the flow of finance through international cooperation, identify various sources and types of funding, quantify the required funds, and emphasise market designs and institutional frameworks for effective finance delivery.
Pave the path of continuous improvement: Insights gained from each Stocktake will guide future cycles, promoting progress, transparency, and accountability. Additionally, they will bolster the prioritisation of technology, partnerships, and collaborations in global climate initiatives.
The GST plays a crucial role in the Paris Agreement’s implementation, providing a framework for countries to collectively assess their climate progress and enhance their ambition. By identifying key priorities and offering pertinent recommendations, the GST process is first-of-its-kind to foster international cooperation and drive effective climate action to limit global temperature rise.5
-  United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. n.d. “Global Stocktake.” Accessed November 22, 2023. https://unfccc.int/topics/global-stocktake.
-  Das, Pallavi, Jhalak Aggarwal and Vaibhav Chaturvedi. 2023. Unpacking the First Global Stocktake: What’s in it for India and the Global South? New Delhi: Council on Energy, Environment and Water. https://www.ceew.in/publications/unpacking-first-global-stocktake-for-india-and-global-south.
-  United Nations Environment Programme Copenhagen Climate Centre. n.d. “The Adaptation Working Group of the independent Global Stocktake (iGST).” Accessed November 22, 2023. https://unepccc.org/project/the-adaptation-working-group-awg-of-the-independent-global-stocktake-igst/.
-  United Nations. n.d. “All About the NDCs.” Accessed November 22, 2023. https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/all-about-ndcs.
-  United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. n.d. “Frequently Asked Questions About the Global Stocktake.” Accessed November 22, 2023. https://unfccc.int/topics/global-stocktake/about-the-global-stocktake/frequently-asked-questions-about-the-global-stocktake.