Highlights from COP26
Details: Written by Eleanor Lodge
After two weeks of negotiations in Glasgow, COP26 has come to an end. The highly anticipated event continued late into the night on Saturday as leaders in final talks battled for conclusions. The outcome of the conference, where almost 200 countries united to discuss the climate crisis, will now guide our world leaders, and hold all attending accountable in the fight against catastrophic global warming.
Our top five moments from COP26:
- The Green Industrial Revolution
- Coal, oil and gas
- Reaffirming 1.5C
Microsoft founder Bill Gates pushed for investment into a “green industrial revolution”, encouraging the development of technologies in support of the climate fight. The business man pledged to contribute $315m from his foundation to support the cause.
The current national determined contributions (NDC’s) were declared as inadequate with analysis suggesting that if leaders followed current NDC’s there would be a “disastrous 2.4C of heating”. In the 2015 Paris agreement, nations agreed to reevaluate and set new NDC’s every five years but with new predictions, came new solutions.
It was decided that the NDC agenda would be revised at next year’s COP, pushing all countries to step up to the mark in their plans to combat emissions.
COP26 introduced a “phasing-down” agenda for coal-fired power generation with forty countries committing to phasing out coal power, including major coal-reliant economies like Chile and Poland. This comes following years of indecision on the direct phasing out of fossil fuels, amid fierce opposition from oil-producing and coal-producing countries who rely on it. This was a key and welcomed step in the fight, given the impact of the burning of fossil fuels on global warming.
Similarly, countries led by Denmark and Costa Rica launched the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance to help in the phasing out agenda with six countries joining.
The amount of funding provided by rich countries to those developing was promised at $500bn at this year’s COP26, rising from £100bn set in 2009. This comes following a failure to provide the funding originally promised, angering those in developing countries who need the financing to both cut emissions and fund adaptation to extreme weather.
Talks at COP26 firmly reiterated the commitment to limiting global warming to 1.5C, following some countries who opposed stronger action – preferring to ensure temperatures remained “well below” 2C. UK hosts referenced modern science, highlighting a much safer approach and reaffirming the 1.5C limit commitment.
To find out more about what happened at COP26 click here
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