The final agreementCOP26: Promisions and promises fall shortTo reduce global warming 1.5 degrees Celsius — the metric that scientists say is necessary to prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis. Instead, these pledges will only lead us to 2.4 degrees Celsius — better than our current emissions, but still not enough.
However, several pledges by individual countries and joint agreements by dozens of top-polluting nations — along with a commitment by world leaders to meet again in Egypt in 2022 — suggest reaching 1.5 degrees is possible, even as the window to achieve it narrows.
“COP26 is a step in the right direction,” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, tweetedFollowing the conclusion of the UN conference.
These are the details 11 new climate crisis commitments —The COP26 silver linings
11. Ending deforestation by 2030
Leaders of more than 100 countries signed an agreement to stop deforestation by 2030 as the first major pledge at COP26. These leaders collectively represent more than 85 percent of the world’s forests.
Countries like Brazil IndonesiaIn areas where there is widespread deforestation. Deforestation is a major causeClimate change. Trees store carbon, which gets released into the atmosphere when they’re cut down.
“These great teeming ecosystems — these cathedrals of nature — are the lungs of our planet,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain saidThe new pact. The new initiative aims to reduce financial incentives that drive deforestation, including the demand of soy and palm oil as well as the grazing land for cattle.
10. Expanding the Galápagos Marine Reserve
The government of Ecuador participated in the conference. announced measures to expand protections around the Galápagos Marine Reserve — one of the first and largest marine reserves in the world.
These new measures add 23,000 miles to the existing 50,000 miles of marine reserve.
The measure arrives at a critical time: 2021 studyPublished in Scientific Reports suggests the Galápagos Islands are especially vulnerable to climate change, and these threats endanger its extraordinary biodiversity.
9. A space mission to save Earth
The European Space Agency launched the Traceable Radiometry underpinning Terrestrial- and Helio-Studies mission (TRUTHS), at COP26.
The mission aims to measure incoming solar radiation and “radiation reflected from Earth back out into space” using traceable units. With this more precise data in hand, scientists can better detect changes to Earth’s climate — helping us get ahead of global warming.
8. The Holy See’s Clean Energy Transition
It was a small moment in a conference filled with big pledges, but on November 11The Holy See — the government of the Roman Catholic Church — signed the Clean Energy Transition, which would eliminate fossil fuels and transition towards renewable energy sources.
Francis, the head Roman Catholic Church, has enormous power over the 1.3 billion Catholic individuals worldwide — roughly 17 percent of the world’s population.
7. Brazil makes some big promises (but doesn’t literally show up)
The Amazon is a vital carbon sink — a place that stores significant amounts of carbon dioxide and curbs its release. Recent research has shown that large portions of Amazon may be contaminated by carbon dioxide. are no longer carbon sinks — and are turning into sources of carbon Emissions.
Bolsonaro didn’t help matters by failing to show up to COP26, which many critics saw as an attempt to avoid blowback from the burning of the Amazon.
But at the beginning of the conference, Brazil’s government did make three big pledgesThose watchdog groups will be watching:
- By 2050, become carbon-neutral
- Reduce carbon emissions by half by 2030
- End illegal deforestation before 2028
6. India promises to reduce fossil fuels by 2070
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, has historically been slow to make promises on reducing emissions. His environment minister even dismissed the ideaPrior to the climate conference, of reducing net-zero emission days
Modi’s surprise was somewhat unexpected. pledgedCOP26 to achieve this goal. He pledged to get India to net-zero emissions by 2070 — a later deadline than most countries, but one that could help give the country’s coal-reliant economy time to decarbonize.
In other significant news, Modi also pledged to reduce the emissions intensity of all greenhouse gases — not just carbon dioxide — from India’s economy by 45 percent by 2030.
Other Asian nationsAt COP26, the net-zero movement was supported by many. Both leaders of Thailand and Vietnam committed to making their countries net zero by 2050. Nepal set a more ambitious goal to become a carbon-neutral country by 2045.
5. Seven nations join the “Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance”
Over the summer, Costa Rica and Denmark soft-launched the “Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance,” which they officially unveiled at the UN climate conference. Research has shown that majority of the world’s fossil fuelsTo stop global warming from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius, the earth must be left in its natural state.
The first members of the alliance include Costa Rica, Denmark, Ireland, France, Sweden, Wales, Greenland, and Québec. California and Italy are “friends” of the agreement — parties that want to end oil and gas extraction but have made no pledges yet.
5. Pledged money for developing countries
In September, President Joe Biden was in attendance at COP26. pledgedFunding for developing countries will quadruple by 2024 to help them transition to clean energy and address global warming.
Other world leaders, however, include Modi, called upon the US and other nations to do more to ensure that climate finance aid reaches $1 trillion.
Through USAIDBiden also announced three key steps to further assist developing nations.
- President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience: A government initiative to mobilize more than $1 billion to aid developing countries adapt to climate changes by 2030.
- Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate),: A commitment of $215 million in “climate-smart agriculture to help 200 million people in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
- Plan to Conserve Global Forests – Critical Carbon Sinks A plan to halt deforestation and conserve carbon sinks — largely in developing nations. One component of the plan is $21.5 million to support Indigenous Amazonian leaders.
International banks and philanthropic leaders have also contributed to the creation of a $10.5 billion fundCOP26 will help developing countries switch to renewable energies.
4. A landmark methane accord
COP26 also led to a historic agreement on how to address climate change. methane — a potent greenhouse gas.
More than 100 countries — 70 percent of the global economy — signed the non-binding Global Methane Pledge, agreeing to reduce methane levels 30 percent by 2030. To reduce methane levels, we must reduce leakage from oil- and gas wells. The pledge was jointly made by the US and the European Union.
According to an EU statement, “delivering on the Global Methane Pledge would reduce warming by at least 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2050,” prevent 200,000 premature deaths, and 20 million tons of crop losses annually.
3. China and the US team up on climate
During COP26, both China and the US agreed to “enhance ambition” on the crisis and released a joint statementBoth nations should be committed to doing more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
In the statement, known as the “Glasgow Declaration,” China also committed to tackling methane emissions for the first time and to “phase down” coal consumption in 2026. The US has also pledged to eliminate carbon-polluting electricity by 2035.
2. Nations pledge to phase out the use of coal
Coal is the world’s most carbon-intensive fossil fuel and it is responsible for roughly 0.3 of the 1-degree Celsius riseGlobal temperatures have increased since the Industrial Revolution. According to scientific research, we should leave 90 percent of the world’s coal in the ground to have a shot at limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Although the two biggest coal-burning countries — India and China — continue to burn coal at significant rates, overall, coal extraction ratesIn other countries, they have been falling.
This decline is being followed by another. 77 nationsAt COP26, a landmark agreement was reached.
The agreement proposes that more developed countries will eliminate coal by 2030s, and less developed nations will do so by 2040s. However, the absence of Australia, India, the US, and China — among the top coal polluters — weakens the influence of the agreement.
1. “Fossil fuels” is included for the first time in a final UN climate agreement
Much of the media coverage on the COP26’s final agreement, or “Glasgow Climate Pact,” focused on changes made in its final hours, which activists, scientists, and some world leaders have heavily criticized.
India and China were both involved weaken the final agreement at COP26, changing the language from a “phase out” to a “phase down” of coal.
But what went overlooked was the agreement’s landmark Inclusion of the phrase “fossil fuels” — the first time in the conference’s history that fossil fuels have been openly recognized as the leading cause of climate change in the final text.