COP26 ends with deal but fails on climate action – world

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It was, in the end, a compromise agreement.

As the Glasgow Climate Pact reached at COP26 on Saturday confirms the global commitment to accelerate climate action this decade, many are questioning whether this deal is enough to limit global warming to 1.5 ° C compared to at pre-industrial levels.

“This is an important step but not sufficient,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in his summary message to the conference. “Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread. We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe. It’s time to go into emergency mode – or our chances of reaching net zero themselves will be nil. “

Some also fear, especially from indigenous communities and civil society, that the agreement – which calls on 197 countries to report on their progress towards more climate ambition next year at COP27 in Egypt – either too small and too late. As a Ugandan climate activist, Vanessa Nakate told leaders: “We are drowning in promises. Only immediate and drastic action will pull us out of the abyss.

Yet despite these concerns, progress has undoubtedly been made. A roadmap for updating Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) has been produced – which analysis by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) shows is failing to meet the targets of 1.5 ° C.

The word “coal” was first used in a COP text, although there was disappointment that the term “phase-out” had been replaced by “phase-out”, but it became clearer. committed to phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.

Beyond political negotiations, the conference also brought together around 50,000 participants online and in person to share innovative ideas and solutions and build partnerships.

Here are some of the main achievements around COP26:

Provide environmentally friendly cooling

The UNEP-led Cool Coalition has announced a series of measures to reduce the climate impact of the cooling industry, including a £ 12million boost from the UK government. UNEP research shows that just 1.5 ° C of global warming, a temperature limit the world currently looks set to exceed by far, could leave 2.3 billion people vulnerable to heat waves. Cooling will be essential to protect human health and productivity.

Reduce methane emissions

With the support of the European Union, UNEP launched the International Methane Emissions Observatory to take action to reduce emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas responsible for at least a quarter of global warming. current. The Observatory will help monitor commitments made by state actors under the Global Methane Pledge – a US and EU-led commitment by more than 100 countries to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030.

Call for more ambition

UNEP’s 2021 Emissions Gap Report: The Heat Is On released in the run-up to COP26 showed that the NDCs are putting the world on track for a global temperature rise of 2.7 ° C d ‘by the end of the century. The new and updated commitments introduced by 120 countries as of September 30, 2021 will only reduce 7.5% of the emissions forecast for 2030, while a 55% reduction is needed to meet the 1.5 ° C targets. Net zero commitments could help reduce the 2.7 ° C by 0.5 ° C.

Likewise, UNEP’s 2021 Adaptation Gap Report: The Gathering Storm called for urgent efforts to increase funding and implementation of actions needed to adapt to the growing impacts of climate change. The report found that while policies and planning are increasing for adaptation to climate change, funding and implementation are still far from what they need to be.

“As the world seeks to step up its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – efforts that are still not strong enough everywhere – it also needs to dramatically improve its game to adapt to climate change,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP.

Stimulate nature-based solutions

The German Federal Ministry of the Environment has announced that it will provide an additional € 10 million to the Global EbA Fund, a pioneering funding mechanism implemented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and UNEP to support nature-based solutions for adaptation to climate change. Despite the cost-effectiveness of ecosystem-based adaptation as a strategy to tackle climate change, only 5% of global climate finance flows are spent on adaptation – although the UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for 50% of total climate finance to be committed to adapt.

Universities commit to zero

More than 1,000 universities from 68 countries have made a series of new commitments to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and transform their impact on nature, including a new initiative on Nature-Friendly Universities. Over the past 12 months, academic institutions around the world have signed the Race to zerocampaign, pledging to reduce their carbon emissions to zero by 2050 at the latest. The initiative was led by the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges and Second Nature with support from UNEP.

End deforestation, protect peatland ecosystems

More than 100 world leaders – from countries covering 85% of the world’s forests – have pledged to end deforestation by 2030 and pledged $ 19.2 billion to that end, while more than 30 financial companies have pledged promised to end investments in deforestation-related activities. Another vital carbon pool, peatlands, saw promises of increased cooperation between countries with large areas of peatlands and the launch of the very first global peatland reference map. Several countries, including Germany and England, have also committed to publishing comprehensive peatland strategies.

UNEP is at the forefront of supporting the Paris Agreement target of keeping global temperature rise well below 2 ° C and aiming – to be sure – at 1.5 ° C , compared to pre-industrial levels. To do this, UNEP has developed a six-sector solution. The six-sector solution is a roadmap to reduce emissions in all sectors in line with the commitments of the Paris Agreement and in the pursuit of climate stability. The six sectors identified are energy; Industry; Agriculture and Food; Forests and land use; Transport, and Buildings and cities.

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