Today is the final day of Cop26 in Glasgow and the last day for pledges to be made.
As the international conference comes to a close, time is running out for leaders from around the world to finalise agreements on how to cap global warming temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius. So with Cop26 – what will change now?
A draft of the Cop26 deal states, “Limiting global warming to 1.5 °C requires rapid, deep and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions, including reducing global carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030 relative to the 2010 level and to net zero around mid-century.”
So what has the conference achieved so far?
Financial institutions are key to the net zero goal. If they limit loans to fossil fuel companies and power stations, the companies would not be able to continue as they are now. Some of the biggest banks around the world have now agreed to cut loans and instead invest in clean energy.
190 countries and organisations signed on to a new pledge to phase out the use of coal power. The burning of coal is the biggest single contributor to global warming, therefore, it was a key focus of the conference. However, no set dates have been put in place as of yet, and the agreement has been criticised for being ‘non-binding’.
The conference saw 90 nations sign up to reduce the levels of methane in the atmosphere by 30% over the next 9 years. Unfortunately, some of the biggest producers – China, Russia and India have not yet committed to the pledge.
Over the last few decades, much of the Amazon has been decimated. So at Cop26, all eyes were on Brazil. During the conference, they were one of 100 countries who vowed to cut and reverse deforestation by 2030. Although this is good news, there are questions about loopholes and what actually counts as ‘deforestation’.
USA and China pledges:
The two super-powers agreed to ‘recall their firm commitment to work together’ to help achieve the 1.5 degree target. Having previously seemed hesitant to fully commit to action, this was declared a huge step in the right direction.
Pledges were also made in regard to farming, the car industry, emissions and climate finance.