Over the last two weeks, the world’s most powerful leaders congregated in Glasgow, Scotland, for the UN’s pivotal summit COP26Address the climate crisis

While not every country turned up – China and Russia’s absences were particularly notable – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson seemed cautiously optimisticFind out how the participating countries negotiated to decrease their impact on the environment.

How successful was this summit actually? It was enough to keep global warming below 1.5° Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

Here’s a breakdown of all the highs – and the lows – of the last two weeks.

Who went?

Good COP

  • Johnson said “more leaders than ever before” attended the talks – a total of 110 were present.

Bad COP

  • China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin Both countries are major contributors, but they refused to go in person. CO2 emissions.

  • Dettol was the event’s hygiene partner, a company owned by Reckitt which still uses palm oil and has not cut deforestation from their supply chain.

  • Microsoft, SSE, and Unilever were key COP26 players but were criticized for failing to implement eco-friendly practices in their companies.

  • One billionaires Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has been heavily criticized for his high CO2 emissions and 10-minute trips into space as well – yet he had a platform at the event.

  • With more than 500 industry professionals present, fossil fuel companies were the most represented sector at the summit.

COP26 is often criticized because it does not include enough people on its panels.
Phil Noble via Reuters

Promises for health and wellness

Good COP

  • 50 nations pledged to create health systems that can withstand climate change and are sustainable.

  • 45 people pledged to improve their existing systems in order to become more sustainable.

  • 14 will be net zero by 2050, or sooner.

  • The first dedicated pavilion for health was set up at any COP, even though nearly 5% of all CO2 emissions comes from the sector.

Bad COP

  • Low- and medium-income countries are already struggling to afford regular health care. This could make it difficult for them to create greener facilities.

  • Because extreme weather can often cause health crises, poorer countries have less protection against climate change. This could lead to an uphill battle against time.

Gender

Good COP

Bad COP

  • None of these initiatives included anything to do with sexual and reproductive rights, even though gender-based violence increases when there’s major disruption to communities.

XR protesters campaigning to protect the Amazon.
Protesters from XR fighting for Amazon protection
SOPA Images by Getty Images

Deforestation

Good COP

  • More than 100 countries representing 85% of the world’s forests agreed to end and reverse deforestationBy 2030

  • The pledge also has $19.2 billion (£14 billion) in public and private funding behind it.

Bad COP

  • Indonesia – which has the world’s third-largest rainforest – started to pull back on the deforestation deal days after signing the pact.

  • The country’s environment minister said it was “inappropriate and unfair” to force Indonesia to commit to zero deforestation in 2030.

“Even with all new Glasgow pledges for 2030, we will emit roughly twice as much in 2030 as required for 1.5 degrees Celsius”

Climate Action Tracker

All-inclusive

Good COP

  • Five nations and some global charities pledged $1.7 billion (£1.27 billion) to support Indigenous groups’ forest conservation efforts and strengthen their land rights.

  • COP26 claimed they worked “tirelessly” to create an “inclusive, accessible and safe summit.”

Bad COP

  • Many people who were there could not attend the meetings. Karine Elharrar, the Israeli minister of energy, was not able to access the conference venue because it was inaccessible for wheelchairs.

  • Some others noticed the absence of sign language interpreters during the event.

  • Public members were unable to engage with the summit as the venue was at “full capacity” on some days, even when not everyone with a ticket had entered.

  • Vaccine Inequity meant that many poor people couldn’t attend the conference due to Covid concerns.

  • According to campaigner, the most likely to suffer from climate change is the global south. Yet, COP26 was presided over by rich, white voices. Asad Rehman.

  • Reports indicated that Indigenous and Black activists were removed from important events. They also reported being cropped from certain photos or having their names taken from the program.

  • Some said their speeches were even taken down from the UN’s climate change channel and that world leaders left the room before they started talking.

The Minga Indigena, a group of Indigenous leaders participating in official and alternative events at the COP26 Climate Summit
Minga Indigena, a group representing Indigenous leaders that participates in alternate and official events at COP26 Climate Summit
Ian Forsyth via Getty Images

Climate finance

Good COP

  • Japan pledged to donate an extra $10 billion (£7.3 billion) to climate finance over five years.

  • This means developed, rich nations may be able to hit their $100 billion (£73 billion) a year target a year sooner than had been anticipated.

  • These funds are supposed to be sent to the developing world to reduce their carbon emissions and help adapt to weather extremes.

  • The U.K. has pledged £290 million to help poorer countries adapt to extreme climate changes.

Bad COP

  • The developed countries remain a long way from their target of reaching $100 billion (£73.4 billion) a year.

  • The UK’s share is coming from “new funding” from the foreign aid budget – the budget which was cut to 0.5% of national income recently. This reduction won’t be made until at most 2024-25.

  • There are still many nations that pump money into these countries. fossil fuel companies.

Biggest carbon polluters from burning fossil fuels
The biggest carbon polluters are those who burn fossil fuels
PA GraphicsPress Association Images

Net Zero

Good COP

  • India committed to net zero carbon emission by 2070.

  • It has been pledged by other developed countries to be achieved by 2050.

  • In a separate commitment 20 nations promised to end public financing for “unabated” fossil fuel projects overseas by the end of 2022 – meaning coal, oil and natural gas will only be extracted if there is technology to capture the CO2 emissions.

  • Over 40 countries have committed to reducing fossil fuels by funding clean and green technologies that are more affordable than those available.

  • The pledge was made by world leaders to reduce heating gas methane emissions by 30% by 2030.

  • It could reduce global temperature increases by 0.1 to 0.2%.

Bad COP

  • An estimated 400 planes flew into Glasgow Delegations from all over the world were invited to join these historic meetings.

  • Neither the U.S. nor China – two of the world’s most coal-dependent countries – signed up to quit coal.

  • A recent UNEP report claimed that current climate emission commitments will see Earth’s temperature increase by 2.2 to 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100.

A plant in Russia set to produce methane
Russia’s methane plant
Yuri Smityuk via Getty Images

U.S.-China deal

Good COP

  • A surprising deal was struck by the USA to partner closely with China, and lower CO2 emissions for the next 10 years.

  • They pledged to control decarbonization and methane emissions together, as well as fight deforestation, by regularly meeting.

  • As two of the world’s largest CO2 emitters, this was a serious step forward.

Bad COP

  • It was lacking in actual commitments to reduce heat-trapping gas emissions and details.

  • China didn’t offer any additional pledges following the announcement of the agreement, even though it was not present at the summit.

Delegates wait in a long queue for entrance to the summit at the Scottish Exhibition Center in Glasgow.
The queue is long for delegates to get into the Scottish Exhibition Center’s summit.
Daniel Barker via PA Wire/PA Images

Are any of these enough?

  • Climate Action Tracker claimed the pledges themselves are still a long way from meeting the UN”s target of a 1.5 degrees Celsius increase in the next 80 years.

  • It said: “Even with all new Glasgow pledges for 2030, we will emit roughly twice as much in 2030 as required for 1.5 degrees Celsius. Therefore, all governments need to reconsider their targets.”

  • This comment was made in the “optimistic scenario” that nations reach their “net zero” promises which aren’t even legally binding.

  • At this rate, the climate will increase by 1.8 degrees Celsius – a forecast echoed by International Energy Agency as well.

  • According to scientists, the best way to achieve that goal is to cut global greenhouse gas emissions by at least 45% between 2030 and 2050.

  • The final deal was described as “an agreement that we’ll all cross our fingers and hope for the best,” by Greenpeace’s Jennifer Morgan.

Source: HuffPost.com.

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