10 Critical decisions of COP 26, 2021

Feature image - COP 26 decisions

It’s pretty much apparent that the United Nations have brought almost all the nations together, intending to discuss and implement the global climate summits inferred to as COP.

From COP 1 in 1995 to COP 25 in 2019, numerous decisions were set up. Recently, under the UNFCCC (United National Framework Convention on Climate Change), the COP 26 was held in Glasgow, the United Kingdom, dated 31 October to 12 November 2021, with the partnership of Italy.

Close to 30,000 representatives from across the globe attended COP 26, entailing climate investors, decision-makers, climate activists, scientists, environmentalists, and many more in two weeks of the climate summit.

This article critically involves crucial decisions the countries have made in COP 26 through the unity of all the participants from every country.

Various decisions have been set up to halt and tackle climate change issues and the effects that multiple countries have been suffering.

A quote ‘Think globally act locally’ stressed by Patrick Geddes, a Scottish planner, and conservationist reminds us of the climactic action that we need to carry on at the local level thinking for the mother planet.

The globe is facing an unprecedented rise in carbon emissions. With the ongoing challenging climate crisis, every country is forwarded to discuss the climate-induced effects, their adaptation, and the resilience approach with increment in the climatic investment so far.

The first week of COP 26 was limited to the significant decisions regarding methane emissions, finance, and forestry.

No one does deny the fact that climate change-induced crisis has covered all the countries in the present context of the globe.

No, any countries are an exception. It is to be noted that we must face the natural causes of severe climate change. 

But we can implement the commitments made in COP 26 regarding curbing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) as a cause of anthropogenic-induced activities.

Multiple decisions have been made so far aimed to halve the climate crisis issues and tackle the climate change-induced effects in numerous sectors, as mentioned below:

1. End deforestation by 2030

Deforestation - COP 26 decisions
Deforestation of Australia vowed to end soon (source)

During COP 26, the major decision of the climate summit was to end and reverse the rate of deforestation by the year 2030.

In New York, 2014, the implementation of the New York declaration on forests signed by the roughly 200 countries remained unimplemented to cut off deforestation by 2020 and got failed, according to the report published in 2019.

We still hope that it will implement the Cop 26 decision and we will be successful in clearing the deforestation by 2030.

Numerous research depicts that deforestation in tropical forests contributes roughly 20 % of the greenhouse gas (GHGs) emitted annually.

Such scary data urges huge attention to implement the decisions made in COP 26, 2021. Around 85 % of the world’s forest is covered in multiple countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, China, Canada, Russia, the UK, the US, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

These countries should think about reducing the deforestation rate. The government from 28 countries committed to curbing the deforestation rate carried for palm oil, cocoa, and soya production.

Approximately more than 30 financially more prosperous countries, including Axa, Aviva decided to end the investment in the activities associated with deforestation within and out of the country.

The £1.1 bn is expected to be established to conserve the second-largest tropical rainforest across the globe situated in the Congo basin.

2. Climate adaptation and resilience Investment

UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) has been working in the field of disadvantaged children’s welfare that may be either in terms of environmental, social, or economic factors.

This COP remained very fruitful since UNICEF had included its message to all the climatic leaders in COP 26.

Most troublingly, UNICEF insisted that almost every child is the victim of at least one of the climatic and environmental hazards such as water scarcity, natural disasters, and pollution throughout the globe.

Considering this situation, UNICEF urges all the developed countries governments to think about children’s welfare and implement the promise of 2009 intended to invest and mobilize $100 billion per year in climate finance to fight against the climate crisis.

It has been very late to get out of the climate crisis since every sector has been hugely affected by the climate change-induced consequences.

UNICEF has targeted the marginalized, indigenous, and vulnerable groups of children to invest the climate funding by the developed countries in climate resilience and the adaptation measures to be taken, which looks pretty imperative.

The climate change mitigation and adaptation decisions have been set out to transfer the technology and enhance capacity building.

Moreover, decisions entailed minimizing the loss and damage induced by the climate crisis basically in developing countries. The developing countries are more vulnerable to climate change and the victim of the climate-induced problem.

3. Nature-based solutions

protect - COVID 26 decisions
Protecting ourselves and preserving nature, Alger, Algeria (source)

COP 26 has decided to emphasize the various sectors such as saving and restoring the forests and enhancing biodiversity richness.

It will launch activities concerning nature-based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches out. It can undoubtedly contribute significantly to the conservation of our natural resources and nature as a whole.

It is believed that once the methane emissions are curbed out, using several sophisticated types of equipment could save 0.50Celsius of the temperatures across the world by 2100. India announced to the globe that the country would achieve net-zero emission by the year 2070. 

Since carbon dioxide, methane gas, and coal accounted for a considerable percentage of greenhouse emissions to curb these, decisions on a 50 % reduction in methane emission by 2030 are indeed beneficial.

4. Youngsters climate negotiations and decisions

UNFCCC stressed that children and young people had not been given massive priority in climate actions and decision-making.

It’s a matter of pride to depict that the young people are the pillars and builders of the nation. Once they are given the genuine opportunity to involve in the decision-making, they inevitably motivate other young youths to think about climate-related issues and seek attention, thereby implementing goal-oriented plans.

5. Reduction of GHGs by 45 % by 2030

GHGs - COP 26 decisions
Factory of Poland emitting Greenhouse gases (source)

UNFCCC has warned the globe that a temperature will rise roughly 2.70 Celsius by the century’s end. UNICEF, during COP 26, has urged the countries to keep the temperature within 1.50 Celsius, no more than that.

It too gave attention to reducing the greenhouse emissions by at least 45 % by the year 2030. Even to save the children from the climate crisis, we need to take immediate action, as the UNICEF yells.

It has been revealed that if the decisions made in the COP 26 are not implemented as per the commitment, the children may be at ‘extremely high risk’ condition by the climate change-induced severe effects. Therefore, it seems crucial to address the children’s rights and their voices being raised.

6. National Adaptation Plans

Considering paragraph 13 of article 7 of the Paris agreement, the preliminary decision made during COP 26 was to provide international support to the developing countries by the developed countries to implement the national adaptation plans and the adaptation communications.

It’s inevitable that until and unless the developed nations do not provide climatic funding to the developed countries, it would be complicated to halve the climatic crisis and the climate change-induced issues in several sectors throughout the globe.

Additionally, finance seems of utmost necessity to the developing countries to prepare for climate change and its devastation.

7. Shifting away from the coal

Over 40 countries have committed to shifting to alternative energy, thereby reducing the use of coal. Since most countries such as Chile, Poland, and Vietnam still use coal for industrial purposes, there is high emission of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, promoting global warming in the coming days.

The countries such as China and the US who use coal in larger quantities, did not sign up the agreement in COP 26. more coal accounted for higher emissions of greenhouse gases and resulted in climate change.

Therefore, the best option to shift to the renewable source of energy can be to eradicate the coal use by the countries.

8. Working on UK’s 2050 net-zero target

10 things on UK’s net-zero emission. Copyright: BAKER BOTTS

Under the treasury rules proposed, most financial institutions and UK companies should establish detailed plans and show the public how they will shift towards the low carbon mechanism by 2023.

Moreover, the UK has set that by 2050 all the companies and institutions will be moving towards a greener and cleaner technology, thereby leaving behind the fossil fuel emission.

It does balance the emitted carbon to the atmosphere and the carbon removed from the atmosphere.

During COP 26, the decisions focused hugely on climate risk surveillance, climatic data consistency, global reporting standards, and green bonds.

Besides these, around 450 firms of the UK agreed to fulfill the commitment made to limit global warming to 1.50 Celsius above the pre-industrial levels, which requires enormous investment.

Most scientists yell that carbon emission should be cut by 45 % by this decade if we keep the temperature limit to 1.50 Celsius.

But it has been visualized that some of the developed countries are not serious in this dire matter. If the countries always stick with their decisions, it’s sure to create issues concerning climate decisions.

9. Preparation of the climatic reports

COP 26 requests all the secretariat to prepare a report mentioning how the countries adopted strategies to lower the rate of carbon emissions and create a subsidy for fossil fuels.

It’s very significant to know that such a synthesis of the report critically investigates how several countries implement lower greenhouse gas emissions.

10. Climate cash

cash - COP 26 decisions
To support your planet, a climate fund is a must (source)

Approximately 45 countries, including insurance companies, banks, and investors, discussed the topic of climate cash. The country intends to target and reach net zero emissions by 2050 by moving the US $130 trillion of funding.

We still need to seek whether the critical decisions made during the COP 26 held in Glasgow, United Kingdom, will be under implemented or not as committed.

The crucial aspect that we visualize is that developed countries should assist the developing, poorer, and middle-income countries, thereby investing mainly in climate finance.

It can undoubtedly implement the poorer countries’ dream to mitigate and adapt to the climatic effects induced by the climate crisis.

It’s imperative to create a safer, cleaner, and greener community in all the countries. Therefore, every government must adopt strategies that cover climate-friendly activities.

Conclusion

As aforementioned, during COP 26, 2021, there was massive discussion regarding the halt of the climate crisis, including climate mitigation, adaptation, and finance.

Several countries have committed their agreement that they will phase out the coal production, shift towards greener technology and contribute the developing countries by the developing nations in mitigating the climate change-induced effects through climate funding.

The responsibility of saving their mother planet is divisible to all the nations who contribute highly to rising greenhouse gas emissions.

The COP 26, in a nutshell, remained very fruitful since it committed to addressing several severe issues entailing deforestation, methane gas production, the unraised voice of the children, young adults, and the disadvantaged privileged communities, and many more.

We hope that COP 26 is one among many COPs that have made decisions covering the vast array of opportunities besides the challenges.

Once the very nations unite across the globe to curb the carbon emissions and halve the climate crisis, the countries inevitably shift towards sustainability, and we can address the dire issues being emerged in the present context.

Thus, it seems urgent to move to the proper plan-oriented actions and make the nations free of climate crisis in the coming days initiating from the local level.