COP26, otherwise known as Conference of the Parties ended it’s 26th climate summit over the weekend at Glasgow, where leaders from countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) treaty in ’94 convened to discuss what needs to be done to prevent dangerous changes to the climate. Ahead, we take a look at the main highlights from what went down during the two-week long summit meeting.
Why is COP26 important?
For almost three decades, the UN has been bringing together nearly every country across the world for global climate summits. And in the time since its inception, climate change has gone from being a major issue to a global emergency.
The key objective of COP26 is to achieve all the goals made by participating nations at COP21 in 2015, i.e. the Paris Agreement. Under that agreement, nations promised to collectively reduce their greenhouse gas emissions enough to keep the planet from heating up more than 1.5 degrees C (or 2.7 degrees F), compared to pre-industrial times.
As per the UN’s own statistics, we need to reduce our emissions by half over the next decade and find a way to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in order to curb global warming to 1.5 degrees — which in itself has dangerous repercussions for the climate.
As we get closer to 2 degrees, the impact on both people and the environment will be far worse, making every fraction of a change in the temperature count. The closer we get to 2 degrees, on-third of humanity would suffer from severe heat, coral reefs would cease to exist, and ice caps will further melt, leading to a sizeable and irreversible rise in sea levels.
Some of the other goals of COP26 include:
What were the main highlights of COP26?
1. Almost 110 countries that represent 85% of the world’s forests vowed to end and reverse deforestation by 2030.
2. A package worth USD 1.7bn had been created to support indigenous folks conservation of forests and land rights.
3. As one of the most coal-intensive economy, South Africa will receive USD 8bn to end their dependance on coal.
4. Over 20 nations have pledged to phase out coal power by or between the 2030-2040.
5. The United States and Canada, among 20 nations have agreed to stop funding fossil fuel projects in foreign countries by 2022.
6. By 2030, India has committed to increase their reliance in renewable energy by 50%.
7. Within the decade, world leaders have signed a pledge to reduce methane emissions by 30%.
8. 40 global leaders have promised to back and fund clean technology around the world by 2030.
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Published by: Vibhuti Vazirani/ 2021-11-15