Issues high on the agenda include finalizing the rules for the Paris Agreement's market mechanism and wealthy countries' unmet finance pledge to the developing countries to help them tackle climate-related challenges.
The 26th United Nations Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP26), delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, kicked off on Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland.
"We postponed COP26 by a year. But during that year, climate change did not take time off... And we know that the window to keep 1.5 degrees within reach is closing... We know that our shared planet is changing for the worse. And we can only address that together, through this international system...And if we act now, and we act together, we can protect our precious planet," COP26 President Alok Sharma said.
As the first conference after the five-year review cycle under the 2015 Paris Agreement, delegates are expected to review overall progress and plan future actions on climate change. The conference comes at a time when the world has gone through a series of climate-change-related weather disasters, from severe flooding to wild fires. Issues high on the agenda include finalizing the rules for the Paris Agreement's market mechanism and wealthy countries' unmet finance pledge to the developing countries to help them tackle climate-related challenges.
The European Union (EU) has assumed the role of a global leader in the climate fight, with its sights set on an energy race for sustainability and towards renewable energy, through which its countries hope to gain international competitiveness.
IYCM: 2015-2021 were the seven warmest years on record. “The indicators are very clear to say that we are still in the situation where climate change is getting worse and worse," says Omar Baddour at the @WMO https://t.co/9tLUfGOQpY #COP26 pic.twitter.com/fOs7ACUM38— Adam Vaughan (@adamvaughan_uk) November 1, 2021
The EU, which has set the goal of reducing its emissions by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990, is designing the necessary legislation to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Although it is no longer part of the EU, the United Kingdom also aspires to achieve "zero emissions" with a reduction path of 68 percent by 2030 and 76 percent by 2035, the year in which the British hope to have completely decarbonized their electrical system.
After returning the United States to the Paris Agreement, President Joe Biden wants to cut pollutant emissions by up to 53 percent by 2030 and reach "zero emissions" by mid-century. To achieve these goals, he previously announced large investments to develop sustainable industrial sectors such as solar energy or electric vehicles.
Much of the attention of the COP26 summit will focus on China, which is the world's first CO2 emitter since 2006. Since the signing of the Paris Agreement, however, this Asian country has raised its environmental targets and is working to reach the CO2 emissions peak by 2030. China, which hopes to reach carbon neutrality by 2060, also announced it will stop investing in coal plants abroad.