The UN Conference crafted three multilateral commitments to phase out hydrocarbons-based electricity generation, which is responsible for 25 percent of CO2 emissions.
Since the start of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) on Oct. 31, the participants have reached a consensus on some partial agreements to fight against global climate change.
Most independent observers agree that these commitments' real contribution depends on a timely application. Greenpeace also noted that the initiatives "are voluntary" and their "fine print includes loopholes."
If the measures announced so far are effectively carried out, countries could reduce 9 out of 22 gigatons of CO2 that must be eliminated before 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees in this century. To keep this Paris Agreement goal viable, nations must agree on concrete mechanisms to provide financial aid to the world's poorest countries.
The UN Conference also generated three multilateral commitments to phase out hydrocarbons-based electricity generation, which is responsible for 25 percent of CO2 emissions.
Firstly, starting in 2022, the United States, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, and 17 other countries will not finance investments in fossil fuels abroad. Russia, Japan, Australia, and China did not sign this pledge, which could free up about US$18 trillion for renewable energy. Previously, however, China pledged not to invest more money in coal plants abroad and to achieve zero CO2 emissions by 2060.
So far, 42 countries are also committed not to build new coal-fired power plants. Among them are Indonesia, Vietnam, South Korea, Spain, and Poland, which is the nation responsible for 96 percent of the coal mined in the European Union. This agreement, however, does not include the United States, India, and China.
Finally, the number of countries committed to the gradual elimination of coal from their "energy mix" increased to 165.
On Nov. 2, COP26 scored its first triumph by announcing an agreement between 110 countries to reduce deforestation-related methane emissions by 30 percent. China, India, and Russia, however, did not adopt this commitment, which should be fulfilled until 2030.
On Nov. 6, forty-five countries pledged to move towards a more natural and sustainable agriculture, a goal that will have a special impact on living conditions in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
The COP26 President Alok Sharma indicated that the next COP should focus on expanding the contributions from the richest countries to developing nations since the US$100-billion financing, which was agreed in 2009 and will be applied in 2022, is not enough to achieve climate adaptation goals. He also recalled that the development of regulations for the full application of the Paris Agreement is still pending.