The most Impactful Actions at COP26 Point to Progress on Climate Change
The result of COP26 known as the Glasgow Climate Pact, negotiated through consensus of the representatives of the 197 attending parties which agreed to accelerate action during this decisive decade to cut global emissions in half, to reach the temperature goal of 1.5 °C as outlined in the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Alexandre Soares of UN News, Martina Donlon, said of the many agreements and initiatives announced at the 26th UN Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, the UN Climate Communications Lead at the Department of Global Communications narrowed down the three that she deemed most impactful.
- Phasing down coal
Moreover, Ms. Donlon noted that the pact calls for a phase down of coal and a phase out of fossil fuel subsidies, “two key issues that had never been explicitly mentioned in a decision at climate talks before – despite coal, oil and gas being the key drivers of global warming”.
- Doubling financial support
The second most impactful outcome of the Glasgow pact is its call for the doubling of finance to support developing countries in adapting to the impacts of climate change. “Although this will not provide all of the funding needed by poorer countries, the fact that developed countries agreed to double their collective funds for adaptation is a major improvement,” Ms. Donlon underscored.
- Methane, Coal and Forests
There were a host of other deals and announcements, such as on methane, coal, forests and sustainable transport that could all have very positive impacts if they are implemented, the UN official said. “However, most of these are voluntary commitments so there are no guarantees that Governments, investors and corporations will deliver,” she said.
Ms. Donlon acknowledged that while there would not likely be an immediate impact in our daily lives, she stressed that the decisions taken at COP26 will affect Governmental actions on a range of measures and would eventually translate into noticeable differences in people’s lives. and COP26 also sent a signal to markets that it is no longer acceptable to invest in heavily polluting sectors.