COP26 CONCLUDED in Glasgow recently , with nearly 200 countries agreeing at the Glasgow Climate Pact to keep 1.5C alive and finalise the outstanding elements of the Paris Agreement .
Climate negotiators ended two weeks of intense talks with a consensus on urgently accelerating climate action .
The Glasgow Climate Pact , combined with increased ambition and action from countries , means 1.5C remains in sight , but it will only be delivered with concerted and immediate global efforts .
The Glasgow Climate Pact will speed up the pace of climate action . All countries agreed to revisit and strengthen their current emissions targets to 2030 , known as Nationally Determined Contributions ( NDCs ), in 2022 . This will be combined with a yearly political roundtable to consider a global progress report and a Leaders Summit in 2023 .
The Paris Rulebook , the guidelines for delivering the Paris Agreement was also completed after six years of discussions . This will allow for the full delivery of the landmark accord , after agreement on a transparency process which will hold countries
to account as they deliver on their targets . This includes Article 6 , which establishes a robust framework for countries to exchange carbon credits through the UNFCCC .
And for the first time , heeding calls from civil society and countries most vulnerable to climate impacts , COP26 agreed on action on phasing down fossil fuels . The decisions went further than ever before in recognising and addressing loss and damage from climate change ’ s existing impacts .
There were also commitments to significantly increase financial support through the Adaptation Fund as developed countries were urged to double their support to developing countries by 2025 .
The final COP26 text follows two years of intense diplomacy and campaigning undertaken by the UK Presidency to raise ambition and secure action from almost 200 countries . Work focussed on driving short-term emissions to limit temperature rises to 1.5C , mobilising both public and private finance , and supporting communities to adapt to climate impacts .
New national targets
When the UK took on the COP26 mantle , in partnership with Italy , nearly two years ago , only 30 per cent of the world was covered by net-zero
targets . This figure is now at around 90 per cent . Over the same period , 154 Parties submitted new national targets , representing 80 per cent of global emissions .
The UK Presidency has also been focused on driving action to deliver emissions reductions . We have seen a huge shift in coal , with many more countries committing to phase out unabated coal power and ending international coal financing .
Alongside this , we have seen a marked commitment to protect precious natural habitats , with 90 per cent of the world ’ s forests covered by a pledge from 130 countries to end deforestation by 2030 .
While on the world ’ s roads , the transition to zero-emissions vehicles is gathering pace , with some of the largest car manufacturers working together to make all new car sales zero-emission by 2040 and by 2035 in leading markets . Countries and cities are following ambitious petrol and diesel car phaseout dates .
Current policies would leave us on a path to a devastating temperature rise . But work done by independent experts Climate Action Tracker shows that with the full implementation of the fresh collective commitments
could hold temperature rise to 1.8C .
Even with the action committed both during and before COP26 , communities worldwide will continue to feel the impact of our changing planet .
Reflecting on the task ahead , COP26 President Alok Sharma said : “ We can now say with credibility that we have kept 1.5 degrees alive . But , its pulse is weak , and it will only survive if we keep our promises and translate commitments into rapid action . I am grateful to the UNFCCC for working with us to deliver a successful COP26 .
“ From here , we must now move forward together and deliver on the expectations set out in the Glasgow Climate Pact and close the vast gap which remains . Because as Prime Minister Mia Mottley told us at the start of this conference , for Barbados and other small island states , ‘ two degrees is a death sentence .
“ It is up to all of us to sustain our lodestar of keeping 1.5 degrees within reach and to continue our efforts to get finance flowing and boost adaptation . After the collective dedication which has delivered the Glasgow Climate Pact , our work here cannot be wasted .” — @ Green