Analysis: What to expect from COP26?


From October 31st to November 12th, the 26th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26) will be held under the strong expectation that the 2015 Paris Agreement signatory countries will review their greenhouse gas emission reduction targets stove.

The objective is to maintain the average increase in global temperature around 1.5 ºC in relation to pre-industrial levels, which would avoid the realization of the worst scenario foreseen in the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

One of the conclusions of the document is that climate change is happening faster and more intensely. Maintaining the current pace of emissions, the increase of 1.5°C will be achieved in an even shorter timeframe than foreseen in the previous version of the IPCC report.

With this, the result could be an increase of about 2.7 °C in the global average temperature at the end of the century, with serious social and environmental impacts caused by extreme phenomena such as food shortages, rise in ocean levels and changes in rain regimes. Intensifying emission reductions in the short term, therefore, would at least mean postponing this scenario.

The negotiations at COP26 seek consensus on crucial issues in overcoming this challenge.

Search for more ambitious goals – The Nationally Determined Contributions, the so-called NDCs, are instruments in which the signatory countries of the Paris Agreement presented their goals for reducing greenhouse gases. At COP21, it was agreed that they should be reviewed every 5 years, and several sectors, especially the business sector, have issued statements about the urgent adoption of stricter targets in the short term in order to contain the rise in temperature.

Keeping 1.5 °C alive – The phrase has appeared with some frequency in the statements of Alok Sharma, president of the COP. The idea is that the goal should not be forgotten, as the excessive increase in the global average temperature can result in several impacts, such as the compromise of economic activities caused by extreme weather events, mass migration, loss of biodiversity and increased expenses and the like.

Regulate Article 6 – The Paris Agreement excerpt deals with the regulated global carbon market, a mechanism with the potential to change the way companies produce. Through cross-country transactions, the system can scale initiatives that result in a transition to a low-carbon economy.

Financing for developing countries – At COP15 in 2009, developed countries pledged to allocate a total of $100 billion a year to finance climate adaptation projects in poor countries. However, the value has stagnated at US$ 70 billion and, so far, there is no definition on how these funds will be realized in the long term.

Source: UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021

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