COP26 tests countries’ commitment to fighting climate change

Glasgow, UK, Oct 30 (EFE).- The COP26 climate conference getting underway in Glasgow next week will be an opportunity for countries to demonstrate their commitment to fighting global warming.

The meetings come six years after the Paris Agreement was reached in which signatories agreed to keeping global temperature under 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The 2015 deal stipulated that the global emissions targets be reviewed every five years. The first review will be carried out at COP26 after the summit was postponed last year due to the pandemic.

Ahead of the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26), the 197 signatories or “parties” must each announce a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC): their strategy to curb rising global temperatures.

The first challenge of COP26, which runs until 12 November, is to ensure that the NDCs serve to “keep alive” the 1.5 degrees C goal, which would mean that states take on “drastic reductions before 2030”, in addition to carbon neutrality in 2050, Nick Mabey, director of the E3G climate think-tank, told Efe.

Although the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States, among others, have stepped up their climate ambitions for this decade, the position of highly polluting countries such as China, India or Russia has yet to be revealed.

Important leaders such as the presidents of China and Russia, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, will not be in Glasgow in person, although they will take part remotely.

British prime minister Boris Johnson, whose country presides over the COP26, has admitted that reaching a radical agreement in Glasgow will not be easy.

To achieve the necessary reductions, the British government is urging countries to eradicate coal, tackle deforestation, adopt electric vehicles and increase investment in renewable energy.

The COP26 could also reach an agreement on reducing methane emissions – from fossil fuels or agriculture – which, according to the United Nations, would be the fastest way to reduce warming.

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