COP26 Conclusions

Manifestación por el cambio climático

In recent weeks, COP26 has grabbed all the headlines. The issues discussed here are of vital importance for the future of the planet, which is why the agreements reached at this summit have been so much commented on. We present here the conclusions of COP26.

Last Friday, November 12, the Glasgow Climate Summit, known as COP26, came to an end. At this meeting, the world met to concretize and update the commitments established for the first time in the Paris Agreement. However, the sensations left behind have been bitter for most of us. These are the conclusions of COP26. Estas son las conclusiones de la COP26.

In Scotland, during the past 15 days, an agreement has been reached to start abandoning coal worldwide and there has been much talk of “keeping alive” the objective of limiting global warming to 1.5ºC by the end of the century. Likewise, countries have been urged to increase their emission cut targets for this decade by 2022, and a framework for global carbon markets has been approved.

It is a major breakthrough that, for the first time at a climate summit, there is a declaration that the end of coal is near and that the production of fossil fuels will be sharply curtailed. However, most of the nearly 200 countries attending the summit agree that the agreements in place to curb global warming at this time are not sufficient.

But the one consequence of this summit that makes us feel more optimistic is the cooperation agreement reached by the United States and China, which will now work hand in hand to reduce their emissions. India’s pledge to achieve net zero emissions by 2070 also stands out. The wide range of global pacts also holds promise. Some have focused on curbing polluting vehicles or deforestation.

However, the aforementioned statement on ending fossil fuels has been qualified in the wake of opposition from China and India. Despite this, the Glasgow climate package keeps the promise to establish the reduction of carbon and fossil fuel subsidies.

But so much for the good news. According to a report released by Climate Action Tracker, climate plans for the next decade would lead to a scenario with a temperature increase of 2.4ºC by the end of the century. Furthermore, the gap between adopted commitments and real action is a cause for concern. This year is on track to reach one of the highest carbon emissions records in history, something that clashes with the 45% reduction targets for 2030.

For starters, this summit has seen an absolute failure to meet the $100,000 per year climate action finance target. This target has been postponed to 2023. Many environmental experts and activists have complained about the lack of commitment from rich countries, which are primarily responsible for global warming.

In addition, countries such as Liechtenstein and Mexico have criticized the organization of the summit for not being inclusive or transparent and for using unambitious language. Other personalities such as the young activist Greta Thumberg have described the sealed agreement as “blah blah blah”.

After two weeks of exhausting negotiations, everything points to the fact that COP26 will be remembered for postponing global climate action pacts, although there have been advances capable of changing the rules of the game in this field since, starting next year, the new program led by the United Nations will be in charge of monitoring the climate policies of each country. Let us hope that these agreements will indeed mark a new direction.

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