Tag: COP26

COP26 didn’t save the world but it helps

Glasgow was not a disaster after all. Neither was it a ringing success. Hopes had been building that the Conference of Parties would have reached an agreement that would get us near to capping global warming at 1.5°C. That target has been missed. The promises will be delivered in Egypt next year at COP27 at the earliest, if at all. But the ambition to limit the temperature rise 1.5°C is still alive and that is an achievement. There have been strides forward and the next COP has been brought forward to next year not the usual five year interval. We need to act quickly.  Climate change is happening not just in developing countries, but here in Europe and in North America.

Is Greta right? Has COP26 failed?

It has been a week of announcements. A week of ambitions. And a week of ambiguities. And according to activist Greta Thunberg, COP26 is nothing other than “blah, blah, blah” and has failed. Is that really the case? It’s rather imperialistic to argue that the countries that are trying to build their per capita wealth and standards of living should now pay for the sins of the most developed countries. The developed countries are responsible for most of the increases in atmospheric carbon. They are richer and have the ability to pay. But the reliance of countries like India and China on coal for electricity and the lack of commitment from Russia risks swamping small countries. Quite literally. There have been achievements on forest clearance, on a mixed bag of net zero targets and on financing. But even if countries keep to their pledges, it still doesn’t stack up to keeping global warming to 1.5°C.   One of the first headlines from the week was a commitment to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. Even Brazil, one of the main offenders, signed up. That will be a great achievement if it is delivered. Countries also made…

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