The UN’s Climate Change Conference in Glasgow was an opportunity for world leaders to define what needs to be done to make a better future. After two weeks of negotiations, talks and pledges, nearly 200 countries have signed a new climate deal that commits to ‘phasing down’ the use of coal.
There has been a mixed response to the conference, with critics concluding that the Glasgow Climate Pact does not go far enough to achieve the goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius. So, what was achieved at COP26?
Key takeaways from the Glasgow Climate Pact
Countries asked to republish their climate action plans by the end of 2022, and to set more ambitious NDCs (Nationally Determined Contribution) and targets for 2030
Richest countries asked to increase funding, beyond the $100bn (£745m) annual target, to assist developing countries with the challenges of climate change and decarbonisation
Language surrounding the use of coal has been included for the first time in a global climate pact, however the language was watered down from “phase out” to “phase down” after late pressure from the world’s biggest coal users
In response to the pact and last minute amendments, Alok Sharma the Cop26 president was quoted as saying:
“We are on the way to consigning coal to history. This is an agreement we can build on. But in the case of China and India, they will have to explain to climate-vulnerable countries why they did what they did.”
Aside from the main pact, countries have agreed to a range of initiatives including cutting methane emissions, stopping oil and gas exploration, protecting forests and switching to greener fuel sources.
The next United Nations climate conference, COP27, will be held in Egypt in 2022. It will undoubtedly involve further debate surrounding measures to reduce the world’s carbon footprint, and the hope is that leaders will stay true to their promises.
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