COP 26 aims to accelerate action towards Paris climate deal

COP 26 aims to accelerate action towards Paris climate deal
By Marwa Nassar - -

The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) – which the UK will host on 31 October – 12 November 2021 – will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action ahead of COP26.

The COP 26 – also named the Glasgow Climate Change Conference – will be the culmination of tireless work by the UK Presidency over the course of 2020 and 2021, which will continue until at the end of 2022.

What is COP26?

COP stands for Conference of the Parties. Parties are the signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty agreed in 1994 which has 197 Parties (196 countries and the EU).

The 2021 conference, hosted by the UK together with its partners Italy, in Glasgow, will be the 26th meeting of the Parties, which is why it’s called COP26.

The United Nations climate change conferences are among the largest international meetings in the world. The negotiations between governments are complex and involve officials from every country in the world as well as representatives from civil society and the global news media.

“COP26 presents an opportunity for the world to take immediate action to end the fossil fuel era and start regenerating nature while ensuring that all our remaining natural ecosystems stay intact. As nations look to rebuild their economies in the wake of COVID19, we have seen an emphasis on ‘building back better’ through a green recovery. More and more countries, businesses, and investors are also coming forward with commitments to decarbonize by 2030 or 2050,” said Elizabeth Wathuti, the Global South Co-Chair of the Cop26 Civil Society, Youth Advisory Council and the Founder of the Green Generational Initiative.

“But while these long-term commitments send a very important signal, it is the decisions we make today that really matter. What we say yes to. What we say no to and where we choose to invest our human and financial capital right now and not in years to come. The eyes of the young people are on COP26 and beyond and every day, minute, and hour that passes without urgent action translates to failing future generations,” she added

“The climate crisis is already causing loss and damage for so many people and while we may all be in the same storm; we are definitely not all in the same boat. COP26 is an opportunity and a time to move from commitments to real urgent action,” she said.

“Finance is essential to accelerating the transition to net zero and achieving the full ambition of the Paris Agreement. Over the past year, the public and private sectors have been working hard to put the plumbing in place to ensure that every financial decision takes climate change into account. In the final 6 months to COP26, we must build on that foundation through commitments to net zero from the world’s major private financial institutions and with new markets that help meet the needs of the developing world.” said Mark Carney, the UK Prime Minister’s Finance Adviser for COP 26.

The goals of COP 26:

The first goal:

The first goal of COP 26 is to secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.

Countries are being asked to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century.

To deliver on these stretching targets, countries will need to accelerate the phase-out of coal, curtail deforestation, speed up the switch to electric vehicles, and encourage investment in renewables.

The second goal:

The second goal of COP 26 is to adapt to protect communities and natural habitats.

The climate is already changing and it will continue to change even as we reduce emissions, with devastating effects.

At COP26, the conferees need to work together to enable and encourage countries affected by climate change to protect and restore ecosystems and build defenses and warning systems as well as resilient infrastructure and agriculture to avoid loss of homes, livelihoods and even lives.

The third goal:

The third goal of COP 26 is to mobilize finance. To deliver on the first two goals, developed countries must make good on their promise to mobilize at least $100 billion in climate finance per year by 2020.

International financial institutions must play their part and we need work towards unleashing the trillions in private and public sector finance required to secure global net zero.

The fourth goal:

The fourth goal of COP 26 is to work together to confront the challenges of the climate crisis.

At COP26, the conferees must finalize the Paris Rulebook and accelerate action to tackle the climate crisis through collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society.

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