Two weeks ago we saw the conclusion of COP26, the annual climate change conference hosted by the United Nations. This year was the 26th conference of the series which was hosted in Glasgow, UK from 31st October to 12th November. You might have seen social media abuzz with talk about the conference but you might not have gotten a complete picture. Here’s a summary of the most important points.
The COP26 had a set of goals it aimed to achieve. They were:
- Mitigation: Achieve global net zero emissions by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach
- Adaptation: Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats
- Finance: Mobilise finance with developed countries allocating at least $100bn in climate finance per year
- Collaboration: Work together to deliver
The major outcome of COP26 was the Glasgow Climate Pact which aimed to achieve the goals highlighted above. Following are the key achievements made in this pact:
- Over 90% of the world GDP is now covered by net zero commitments with 153 countries coming up with new 2030 emissions targets
- 80 countries are now covered by either Adaptation Communications or National Adaptation Plans to increase preparedness to climate risks. 45 Plans have been submitted over the last year
- Parties have agreed to launch the 2 year Glasgow-Sharm el Sheikh Work Programme in order to assist the roll out of adaptation plans
- Pledging of adaptation finance including committing to doubling 2019 levels of adaptation finance by 2025. This is a significant achievement because it is the first time an adaptation specific financing goal has ever been agreed globally
- The Climate Finance Delivery Plan was published in October 2021 which provided details regarding developed countries meeting the $100 billion climate finance goal
- The Paris Rulebook was finalized which resolved the key outstanding political decisions needed for Parties to begin implementing the Paris Agreement.
- Introduced a new mechanism and standards for international carbon markets, and common timeframes for emissions reductions targets
Written by Hanyia Ahmed, Class of 2022