COP26 Glasgow: How They Commit for Save The Earth?

COP26 Source: BBC

COP26 Glasgow: How They Commit for Save The Earth?

What is COP26?

COP26 official banner
Source: Europe Parliament

For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits called COPs, which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’. In that time climate change has gone from being a fringe issue to a global priority.

COP26 is the next annual UN climate change conference. The summit attended by the countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty that came into force in 1994.

This is the 26th COP (COP26) summit and hosted in partnership between the United Kingdom and Italy. The conference had held in Glasgow from 1-12 November 2021, a year later than planned due to delays caused by the COVID pandemic. This meeting is held annually.

Why Is COP26 Important?

Tackling climate change is the biggest challenge facing our generation and the transition to clean energy is critical to help us achieve the goal of reaching net zero by 2050. As they’re responsible for delivering energy to millions of homes and businesses in the UK and the Northeastern US, they’ve got a big part to play in this.

Focus on green

They’re focused on finding ways to deliver cleaner, greener, energy from building interconnectors to allow the UK to share clean energy with their neighbours in Europe, to investing in renewable energy generation in the US.

As a responsible business, they’re also committed to caring for the environment. We’ve made our own commitments to achieve net zero by 2050 – and we’re pushing to find even better ways to work.

The Results of COP26

COP26 Meeting
Source: news.cn

Here are some of the notable new commitments by governments, financial institutions, and individuals:

Countries are meeting at COP26, the climate summit work towards the global goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. If this limit is exceeded, scientists have predicted that worsening climatic events will threaten people’s lives, livelihoods and food systems.

Glasgow Impact

In a first for a UN climate agreement, the pact reached by the end of COP26 urged countries to phase down coal and fossil-fuel subsidies. But it did not ask countries to completely phase them out. It called on countries to make more ambitious commitments by the end of 2022. (Previously, countries were asked to submit new pledges every five years.) Countries also agreed on rules for international carbon markets.

Deforestation

More than 130 countries pledged to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by 2030. The signatories possess 90 percent of the world’s forests. Notably, Brazil, home to the Amazon Rainforest, signed on. In addition, Jeff Bezos, one of the world’s richest people, pledged $2 billion to help restore natural habitats and transform food systems.

Methane

More than one hundred countries signed the U.S.- and European Union–led Global Methane Pledge and agreed to collectively slash methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030. 

Coal and Fossil Fuels

Twenty-three countries went further than the Glasgow Climate Pact, making new commitments to phase out coal. Some signed on to an initiative to help developing countries, such as India and South Africa, transition away from coal. Twenty-five countries and five financial institutions committed to stop public financing for most fossil fuel projects by the end of 2022. And a handful of countries joined an alliance [PDF] that aims to halt new drilling for oil and gas. 

India’s Net-Zero Pledge

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India, one of the top emitters after China and the United States, will aim to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070. 

United States-China Agreement

The United States and China, the world’s top emitters of greenhouse gases, agreed to boost cooperation on combating climate change over the next decade. They said they will work together on increasing the use of renewable energy, developing regulatory frameworks, and deploying technologies such as carbon capture. 

Climate Finance

In the Glasgow Climate Pact, governments agreed to set up a mechanism to help countries already suffering loss and damage due to climate change, though they did not work out the details. The pact also urged developed countries to double their collective amount of funding by 2025 to help developing countries adapt to the effects of climate change. During COP26, a few countries made such commitments. Among them, Japan pledged an additional $2 billion per year for the next five years, and Italy pledged an extra $1.4 billion per year. 

Firms’ Net-Zero Pledges

More than 450 banks, insurers, pension funds, and other firms that collectively manage $130 trillion committed to use their funds to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. 

Zero-Emission Vehicles

More than thirty countries, dozens of states and cities, and several automotive companies agreed to work to guarantee that new cars and vans sold are zero-emission by 2035 in leading markets and 2040 globally.

Read also: Great News! The Extinct Animals “The Javan Rhinoceros” is Gradually Gaining in 2021

The Key of COP26 Achievement

Beyond the political negotiations and the Leaders’ Summit, COP26 brought together about 50,000 participants online and in-person to share innovative ideas, solutions, attend cultural events and build partnerships and coalitions.

The conference heard many encouraging announcements. One of the biggest was that leaders from over 120 countries, representing about 90 per cent of the world’s forests, pledged to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030,  the date by which the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to curb poverty and secure the planet’s future are supposed to have been achieved.

There was also a methane pledge, led by the United States and the European Union, by which more than 100 countries agreed to cut emissions of this greenhouse gas by 2030.

Meanwhile, more than 40 countries – including major coal-users such as Poland, Vietnam and Chile – agreed to shift away from coal, one of the biggest generators CO2 emissions.

The private sector also showed strong engagement with nearly 500 global financial services firms agreeing to align $130 trillion – some 40 per cent of the world’s financial assets – with the goals set out in the Paris Agreement, including limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Also, in a surprise for many, the United States and China pledged to boost climate cooperation over the next decade. In a joint declaration they said they had agreed to take steps on a range of issues, including methane emissions, transition to clean energy and decarbonization. They also reiterated their commitment to keep the 1.5C goal alive.

Regarding green transport, more than 100 national governments, cities, states and major car companies signed the Glasgow Declaration on Zero-Emission Cars and Vans to end the sale of internal combustion engines by 2035 in leading markets, and by 2040 worldwide.  At least 13 nations also committed to end the sale of fossil fuel powered heavy duty vehicles by 2040.

Many ‘smaller’ but equally inspiring commitments were made over the past two weeks, including one by 11 countries which created the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA). Ireland, France, Denmark, and Costa Rica among others, as well as some subnational governments, launched this first-of-its kind alliance to set an end date for national oil and gas exploration and extraction.

Memorable Quotes from State Leaders Speech at COP26

The Foreign Minister of Tuvalu made a speech on the rising sea level for COP26
Source: fina.com.fj

Here are some memorable quotes from heads of state and government and others who are giving speeches Monday, the second day of the two-week conference in Glasgow, Scotland:

“It is the hope of many that the legacy of this summit — written in history books yet to be printed — will describe you as the leaders who did not pass up the opportunity, and that you answered the call of those future generations. That you left this conference as a community of nations with a determination, a desire and a plan to address the impact of climate change and to recognize that the time for words has now moved to the time for action.” — Queen Elizabeth

“The people who will judge us are children not yet born and their children, and we are now coming centre stage before a vast and uncountable audience of posterity, and we must not fluff our lines or miss our cue, because if we fail they will not forgive us.” — U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson

“Our addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink. We face a stark choice: Either we stop it — or it stops us. It’s time to say: enough…. Enough of treating nature like a toilet. Enough of burning and drilling and mining our way deeper. We are digging our own graves.” — UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

“There’s no more time to hang back or sit on the fence or argue amongst ourselves. This is a challenge of our collective lifetimes. The existential threat, threat to human existence as we know it, and every day we delay the cost of inaction increases. So let this be the moment that we answer history’s call here in Glasgow.” — U.S. President Joe Biden

“To the world’s most vulnerable who need us to act, to Indigenous people who can show us the way, to young people marching in our streets in cities around the world. It’s true, your leaders do need to do better. That’s why we’re here today.” — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

“We do not want that dreaded death sentence, and we’ve come here today to say: ‘Try harder, try harder.”‘ — Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley

This COP26 must have a good impact on the earth through the commitments made by the leaders of countries in the world to save the environment and their own people. Best of all, this COP26 moment is filled with real action, not just promises.

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