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.

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.

Multiple decisions have been made so far aimed at halving the climate crisis issues and tackling 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, in 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 failed, according to the report published in 2019.

Numerous research depicts that deforestation in tropical forests contributes to 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 of 28 countries committed to curbing the deforestation rate carried by 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, whether of environmental, social, or economic factors.

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

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 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 conserving our natural resources and nature.

It is believed that once the methane emissions are curbed out, using several sophisticated types of equipment could save 0.5 degrees Celsius of the temperatures across the world by 2100. India announced to the globe that the country would achieve net-zero emission by 2070. 

Since carbon dioxide, methane gas, and coal account for a considerable percentage of greenhouse emissions to curb these, decisions on a 50 % reduction in methane emissions 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.

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 the temperature will rise roughly 2.7 Degree Celsius by the century’s end. UNICEF, during COP 26, has urged the countries to keep the temperature within 1.5 Degree Celsius, no more than that.

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

If the decisions made in the COP 26 are not implemented as per the commitment, the children may be at ‘extremely high risk’ of the climate change-induced severe effects. Therefore, addressing the children’s rights and raising their voices seems crucial.

6. National Adaptation Plans

Considering paragraph 13 of article 7 of the Paris agreement, the preliminary decision made during COP 26 was to provide the developed countries with international support to the developing 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 are high greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, promoting global warming in the coming days.

The countries such as China and the US, which use coal in larger quantities, did not sign up to 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 a renewable energy source 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 in the UK agreed to fulfil 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 emissions should be reduced by 45 % by this decade if we keep the temperature limit to 1.5 Degrees Celsius.

But it has been visualized that some developed countries are not severe 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 we visualize is that developed countries should assist the developing, poorer, and middle-income countries, thereby investing mainly in climate finance. It can implement the poorer countries’ dream to mitigate and adapt to the climatic effects induced by the climate crisis.

Conclusion

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

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

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, the disadvantaged privileged communities, and many more.

(Last Updated on June 27, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

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.