More than 120 leaders will speak on Monday in Glasgow to begin the COP26 climate talks. The world leaders will negotiate for two weeks to either end with a proper plan to make the planet carbon-free or may not come out with a proper plan. Experts and climate leaders are calling this meet the last chance for the world to address climate change.
According to remarks sent to journalists, the UK Priminister will say, “It’s one minute to midnight, and we need to act now. “We have to move from talk and debate and discussion to concerted, real-world action on coal, cars, cash and trees. Not more hopes and targets and aspirations, valuable though they are, clear commitments and concrete timetables for change.”
The G20 leaders’ meeting ended on 31st October, which was held in Rome. The discussion indicates that leaders are finally listening to the science. However, there is still a lack of unity at the political level to make the ambitious decisions required. COP26 is one of the most significant international events, and it came after a year of extreme weather. The latest UN Climate science report published in August mentions that humans need to limit global warming to as close to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures to control climate change.
To achieve this, the world must reduce the emissions to half over the next decade and, by mid-century, reach net zero. The greenhouse gas emission should not be greater than the amount removed from the atmosphere. Many member nations will need to lift their emissions-reductions pledges over the decades. The world has failed to end coal, which is the single most significant contributor to climate change. The countries that use and produce fossil fuels still have tremendous sway in global deals on climate.
China last week submitted the new emissions pledge, but it is just a fraction higher than the previous one. Russia’s Foreign Minister said Sunday it wouldn’t be strong-armed into net-zero by 2050. Australian Prime Minister showed no interest in consigning coal to history. India has made no net-zero pledge. It is good that leaders have acknowledged that they need to work more on emissions this decade. But the most crucial part is making sure that nations that are big emitters have proper plans to keep the warming below 1.5 degrees.
COP26 must not be a summit for delay tactics, and countries should agree to phase out coal, even if the G20 leaders failed to agree on that point. According to the International Energy Agency, there can be no new fossil fuel infrastructure to avert dangerous warming. Earlier this summer, the G7 nations committed to phase out coal and not to support new coal projects. Similar commitments from the G20 countries is also needed.
The G20 statement did commit to an end to coal financing abroad by the end of this year. At the UN General Assembly in September Chinese President said China will not fund international coal. According to experts, the current emissions and the agreement are not ambitious enough to keep global warming under control and will not keep countries on track for their net-zero plans. Nations need to set 2030 climate targets that are realistic to achieve the net-zero to keep the 1.5°C goals within reach. Currently, many of the G20 nations are not on track to reach their net-zero goals.