The 12th of November marked the end of the UN Conference on Climate Change, where large announcements were made by world leaders, brand leaders, NGOs and activists. With deadly weather conditions and countless major warnings from environmentalists, we have more than enough evidence we need for everyone to see that the climate crisis is going to unravel civilisation as we know it, and destroy our beautiful planet.
At COP26 a few notable announcements were made. Here is a summary of a few of the ones we’re looking forward to seeing – sooner rather than later.
India’s New Net Zero Target
Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, announced his country’s pledge of reaching net zero emissions by 2070. In his national statement, he went on to say, “Today to save the world, we will just have to take big steps.”
There is little in the way of how this is going to be done at this stage. India contributes a whopping 17% of the planet’s population, and is coming in third, globally, as the producer of global warming gases.
Pledge to End Deforestation
Major countries have signed a pledge to end deforestation by 2030. The pledge details actions that include reversing forest loss, assisting rural communities with sustainable agriculture, and making commitments to local communities and Indigenous peoples (whose knowledge and way of life can assist climate solution efforts.)
Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, whose leadership saw deforestation rise to 34% since being instated, has been making bold climate statements and commitments. Being home to the Amazon Rainforest, Brazil’s participation to end the climate crises is imperative.
The Global Methane Pledge
This pledge, signed by over 100 countries that contribute to global methane emissions, is said to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030. Methane is a more powerful warming agent than carbon-dioxide, although CO2 is more present in the atmosphere. The largest source of methane production is livestock and commercial farming.
Cutting back on methane emissions will buy climate crisis efforts more time to further reduce climate change – however, as these efforts materialise, further implementation should be done to reduce carbon emissions, which make up a massive two-thirds of global warming.
Renewable Energy in Emerging Economies
The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) was launched, and pledged $10.5 billion to financially support emerging economies to make the switch from harmful fossil fuels to renewable energy solutions.
The Global Energy Alliance already has plans to oversee developments in the DRC, to close at least ten coal plants in Indonesia, and to shift Ethiopia’s agricultural infrastructure to a more sustainable one.
Phasing Out Coal Power
Speaking of renewable energy, this would mean a complete shift away from coal power. Since inception, the climate conference has been setting their sights (or at least their speeches) on phasing out coal power. This year, over 40 countries have signed a pledge to make the move away from coal-powered electricity. Unfortunately, however, some of the coal-dependant heavyweights haven’t signed the pledge – these include Australia, China, India, and the US. While the signatures of the countries that signed will hopefully count for even the smallest steps, this effort may not be enough without cooperation from those who rely heaviest on coal.
What We Need from COP26
To ensure that all the announcements and efforts from those who actually did attend COP26 is viable in the fight against climate change, there is a broad and immediate change that needs to occur from every country. There were many leaders of pollution-heavy countries that simply decided not to pitch, showing a major lack of care and commitment, and raising even more concern.
COP, in many ways, has become this circus of commitments from brands – it’s typically the same saga; promises made to save the world by (insert number of decades here). These grand plans are all fine and well, except that we have learned from Cop25 that those attending are more focused on politely pointing fingers at the next country or industry, than finding effective solutions and taking action that count NOW.
For our sake, and the sake of our collective home, we certainly hope to see some actions coming out of COP26. Keep an eye out for more updates and share your opinion on our social media channels!