COP is one of the decision-making agents that monitors and reviews whether the proposed actions by UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) have been implemented.

COP is considered vital among numerous conferences since it relates to the effects of climate change and the countries’ target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Those countries who are members of UNFCCC, founded in 1994, can be a member of COP, which arranges summits targeted at minimizing the effects of climate change, one of the dire issues in the present context.

In the COP, each country participates by submitting its emission inventories. Based on the submission, COP reviews all the checklists and the national communication, making decisions based on it. 

In total, 197 countries have agreed to implement the decision made by UNFCCC, where the aim is to lessen the emissions of greenhouse gases and tackle the effects of climate change.

All participating countries get together and negotiate to mitigate the effects resulting from climate change. It’s noticeable that climate change has influenced a wide array of sectors. 

Thus, it is very crucial to come together and get a discussion on a serious topic. It is the global platform where world climate leaders are joined together to tackle climate crisis issues.

Schedule of COP26

COP president - COP 26
COP 26 President Alok Sharma (source)

COP 26 was scheduled in the previous year, but the pandemic of COVID-19 was postponed to 2021. The event is to be held from 31 October to 12 November, hosted by the UK government in Glasgow with the partnership of Italy. 

The politician of Britain, Alok Sharma, will be represented as the President of the COP summit. He will be involved in the ceremony’s opening and closing, managing the speakers’ orders.

Likewise, it is expected that Joe Biden, the current President of the United States, and the climate change activist Greta Thunberg will join the conference. Their attempts to join the discussion and minimize climate change’s effects look excellent.

The COP 26 targets all the richer and the poorer, developed and the developing countries, thereby demanding global attention regarding the halt of climate change. 

Agendas for COP 26

Despite the Paris agreement being set up in COP 2015, it did not function enough to reduce the effects of climate change. COP 26 aims to revise the treaties and the agreements made so far. 

During the two weeks of COP 26, approximately 30,000 representatives from various countries are expected to attend the program, which entails the stakeholders such as policymakers, climate change investors, scientists, negotiators, and activists. 

The two zones will be managed during the summit; the blue zone is prioritized for official negotiations and assessment. The other is the green zone, the area provided to the general public.

The green area aims to create awareness of climate change through several workshops, discussion groups, climate change, and exhibitions. 

The presentations and workshops being targeted so far can signify the role of nations in combating the climate change crisis.

Importance of COP 26

GHGs emission - COP 26
Regional Greenhouse Gas emissions from 1990 – 2018 (source)

In COP 26, 2021, every country under UNFCCC will present its plans to reduce fossil fuels and shift to renewable energy. 

The UK government will support the party leaders of each country to discuss various topics such as nature protection and the financial investment needed to halt the effects of climate change and the shifting of renewable energy. 

During the Paris agreement, a critical decision was that the prosperous countries would provide funding to the poorer ones to reduce the emissions.

Despite establishing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) in 2015, the promised agreements to reduce carbon emissions in various sectors did not exist.  

COP 26 can assist a lot in combating the climate change issues and tackling the climate crisis for the long term, further fulling the aims of the Paris Agreement.

Despite these, pollution, youth and climate, digital waves on earth’s environment, and waste-related issues could be significant discussions for COP 26.

Failure of the Paris agreement, 2015

paris agreement - COP 26
Paris agreement illustration during COP21 (source)

The Paris Agreement’s major decision was to limit global temperature to less than 2 degrees celsius and achieve net-zero emission by 2050.

The agreements are doomed to fail as the rise has crossed 1oC by 2020, and emissions are far from minimizing. Though some countries use alternative sources to fuel daily life, most countries are still using fossil fuels.

The poorer and the underdeveloped countries have emitted fewer greenhouse gases than the developed countries. However, these inferior and underdeveloped countries still rely on fossil fuels today and have become the victims of the worst effects of the climate change crisis. 

The agreement also promised to uplift climate resilience and adaption status and provide financial flow to poorer countries to acquire that.

For the poorer countries, climate funding always becomes crucial to shift towards cleaner and green technology.

But the developed countries are behind in providing climate funding. This inadequacy has failed the negotiations and broken the promises made in the Paris agreement and the earlier COPs.

Without climatic funding, the poorer countries may not achieve cleaner technology and cope with climate change effects. 

The later COPs promised the developed countries would provide $100 billion per year in climate funds to the poorer countries by 2020, but the promise is not fulfilled yet. COP 26 may be a huge platform to discuss these severe topics and invest more in climate finance. 

Expectations from COP 26

COP 26 is inferred as the most significant climatic movement after the Paris agreement in 2015 and the most prominent climate summit. 

  • It is expected that this conference will try to address the issues of climatic funding to the poor and developing countries. 
  • The negotiations have been failed by the environmentalists and the world’s top climatic leaders. The nations cannot cut off the level of greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • COP 26 is expected to address all the issues to minimize carbon emissions and shift towards alternative energy.

Conclusion

Every country is suffering from climatic change issues. Since COP 26 is on the way, we believe it will address all the problems to tackle the effects of climate change.

The developed countries are highly responsible for the climate crisis. Even the poorer countries are becoming the victims of such dire issues. 

COP26 will play a vital role in addressing and meeting those commitments which have not been fulfilled yet. These issues entail climate funding and a lack of proper coordination between the climate leaders. 

Despite several countries’ approaches to renewable energy through eco-brands and reducing fossil fuel emissions, the globe still needs huge attention to consider the mother planet for us and our future generations.

Kalpana Ghimire holds a post-graduate degree in Environmental Science from Nepal. She possesses numerous research experiences working in water pollution, community forestry, environment conservation status, and wildlife ecology. She was an internee in the Department of Environment (EIA monitoring and auditing section) under the Government of Nepal. Kalpana Ghimire is an avid traveler, an enthusiastic wildlife researcher, and has a huge passion for working in the environment sector. She loves far traveling to the natural areas, conducting field wildlife research and reading the novels.