Our overview of COP26 Key announcements
“Our last best chance to combat the climate crisis before it’s too late” – The United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26) saw world leaders, business leaders, NGOs, activists and philanthropists flood to Glasgow to discuss our last best chance to combat the climate crisis.
COP26 concluded at the beginning of November and the dust has begun to settle, but from all the hype and coverage what were the key outcomes from the conference?
Ending deforestation by 2030
More than 100 leaders from different countries have agreed to stop and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. In total, the countries that have joined the pledge account for 85% of the world’s forests.
Pledges to participate have come from countries which hold some of the world’s most important and biggest carbon sinks including Canada, Russia, Colombia, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Perhaps one of the most important countries to make the pledge is Brazil, home to the Amazon, where deforestation continues to have catastrophic climate effects.
India’s carbon neutral 2070 goal
India, for the first time, has announced a date to achieve their net-zero goals by 2070.
However, many don’t think the 2070 target is enough, considering it is over a decade later than China’s target, and 2 decades later than the rest of the world.
USA and China’s climate cooperation
The world’s 2 biggest CO2 emitters, the USA and China signed a joint declaration agreeing to increase cooperation on tackling climate change over the next decade. They will work together to achieve the Paris Agreement goals, a treaty the USA has now re-entered following former president Trump’s decision to pull out in 2017).
The quitting of coal
Multiple countries including Indonesia, South Korea, Poland, Vietnam, Chile and the UK have signed the Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement, committing to phasing out the use of coal.
Beginning in 2022, 21 countries will participate in the new fossil fuel-curbing strategy which intends to stop financing overseas fossil fuel projects, and reallocate nearly $18 billion in spending towards clean energy.
Global Methane Pledge launch
A Global Methane Pledge launched jointly by the EU and USA has been signed by more than 100 countries. This pledge to cut methane emission levels by 30% by 2030, will prevent over 200,000 premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma-related emergency hospital visits, and over 20 million tonnes of crop losses a year, if successful. Environmentally, the pledge would reduce warming by at least 0.2°C by 2050.
$130 trillion has been committed through the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), by more than 450 firms from 45 countries to align with the climate goals of the Paris Agreement.
There were also 24 other major finance initiatives announced to help fund and support climate-related reporting; climate risk management; climate-related investment returns and the mobilisation of private finance to emerging and developing economies.
- 100 leaders have agreed to stop and reverse deforestation by 2030.
- India to become carbon neutral by 2070.
- USA and China signed a joint declaration agreeing to increase cooperation on tackling climate change.
- Multiple countries have signed the Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement, committing to phasing out the use of coal.
- 21 countries have agreed to a new fossil fuel-curbing strategy and plan to stop financing overseas fossil fuel projects.
- More than 100 countries have signed a Global Methane Pledge to cut methane emission levels by 30% by 2030.
Do you think any of the pledges made at COP26 will affect your organisation in the future?
Changes at a global level can lead to legislation changes later on, which affect individual organisations. Only time will tell how any of these agreements might affect businesses in the UK in future, but for now don’t forget to keep checking your monthly updates to keep on top of current changes to legislation that affects you.