It’s been a long and tiring week at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow and after a flurry of big announcements in the past few days, the theme of the day on Friday was the impact of climate change on future generations.
If you didn’t catch it, here’s what happened.
“Green wash festival”
The conference venue’s briefcases and suits were replaced by the city center, where thousands of people were present. kids made sure their voices were heard by marching though the town.
From all over the globe, young activists poured into Glasgow. demanding action from leaders at a Fridays for Future demonstration.
Greta Thunberg, the event’s headliner, called the COP event a Global North greenwash festival and stated “it should become obvious that we can’t solve a crisis using the same techniques that got us in it in the beginning.”
A few words on the “good news,” as reported by the IEA
Many analysts have questioned the International Energy Agency’s (IEA), assessment that global warming can be limited to 1.8 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels in 2100. This assumes that all COP26 commitments as of Wednesday night are met on time. Alok Sharma, President of COP26, asked the IEA to keep track of the pledges.
Professor of earth sciences at University College London Mark Maslin wasn’t convinced. Maslin stated that this was irresponsible because it only holds true if all country pledges are fulfilled and policies are 100% effective. Which they never are. “It’s almost that the IEA wants everybody to believe they have solved climate changes. However, we climate scientists know that 2 degrees is not enough.
Al Gore believes the tools are in our possession
Al Gore, the former US Vice President of Operations, gave a lot praise to the young people marching through Glasgow last Friday. During the conference, he stated that the world leaders should “legitimize the expectations for a better future.”
He said, “We can do it but we must put the time of delay, distraction and expedience behind us, recognize that the period has ended and find solutions.”
Gore, a strong climate change advocate, stated that humanity has the ability to save the planet if it can find the political will to do so. Gore stated, “It’s almost as if we could flip a switch and save our civilization’s future.” He also stressed a common theme this week: while promises are great, they must be kept.
“We have the tools to solve the crisis. We have heard promises that will lead us in the right direction to these solutions. Gore stated that we must make sure these pledges are kept.”
America’s plan for carbon capture to be cheaper
Jennifer Granholm, US Secretary of Energy, announced Friday that the Department of Energy has a new goal. removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Granholm stated Friday that the DOE’s goal to reduce carbon emissions to $100 per tonne by 2030 was the goal of COP26. It currently costs $2,000 per tonne, according to the department.
Scientists agree that greenhouse gas removal is key to net-zero emission by 2050 and a global temperature of 1.5 degrees Celsius. The technology is still quite young and costly. It needs to be scaled significantly to make a difference in the emissions that have already been emitted by humans.
Negotiators hard at their work
The first week’s COP26 summit will conclude on Saturday. Meanwhile, negotiations for key elements of the Paris Agreement are well underway. The national delegates are still working out how to implement Article Six of the treaty. This article outlines the need to carbon emission trading.
They are also trying to reach an agreement on emission reduction transparency rules. This includes questions such as how often countries must report their progress and how to avoid double counting.