Late Saturday night, the Glasgow COP26 was finally completed. It wasn’t without its trials and tribulations. In the eleventh hour, scientists issued a dire warning and video calling for mobilization and bold climate action.
Despite everyone being disappointed that their “red lines” had not been met, they all were pleased with the collaborative work achieved after long hours. The Glasgow Climate Pact was approved.
This is the first global roadmap to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. In Paris, they had struggled to bring it down to 2 degrees. In Poland, there was great reluctance to go below 2 degrees. In Glasgow, however, demonstrators and scientists made their voices heard. Nobody spoke to anything greater than 1.5 degrees.
The Glasgow Climate Pact is the first COP to follow up on plans with action and to commence implementations. If all commitments are met, we may see a rise of 1.8 degrees. If there are spin-off benefits, limiting it to 1.5 degrees is possible.
One of the biggest disappointments from COP26 is that financing for damages and loss, and climate-resilience, is woefully inadequate for smaller nations. Pacific Islanders have changed the dialogue declaring: “We are not victims, we are warriors!”
But America and other countries did make some substantial commitments in the fight against climate change:
✅ Ending deforestation. More than 100 world leaders, covering about 85% of the world’s forests, have promised to end and reverse deforestation by 2030.
✅ No more financing international fossil fuel projects. The US and 20 other countries will stop spending $18 billion a year supporting international fossil fuel projects and direct the funds toward clean energy projects in developing countries.
✅ Ending support for overseas coal projects. The world’s 20 biggest economies agreed to end public financing of overseas coal projects. Without government assistance, these investments become less attractive to private investors.
✅ 18 countries agreed to phase out coal by 2031. Eighteen countries, including Poland, Vietnam and Chile, committed to phase out coal by 2031.
✅ Reducing Methane Emissions. Methane/natural gas was addressed for the first time at a COP. 100 countries promised to cut methane emissions 30% by 2030, and the US pledged a 30% reduction by 2050.
✅ Implementation of the Action for Climate Empowerment. Respecting, promoting and considering their respective obligations on human rights, as well as gender equality and empowerment of women.