The 26th United Nations climate conference came to a close on Saturday 13 November after Parties agreed the Glasgow Climate Pact following two weeks of intensive negotiations.
While the agreement represents some much-needed progress, UNA-UK believes that COP26 missed an opportunity to trigger action that matches the scale of the crisis we face. Pledges agreed at Glasgow managed to lower projected global temperature rise from an alarming 2.7 to 2.4 degrees Celsius, but this is predicated on full implementation and still a long way off reaching the 1.5-degree goal adopted in Paris six years ago. Even this scenario would cause significant disruption and suffering, including in some of the most vulnerable regions that would experience temperature rise higher than global average.
As negotiators worked frantically in the closing days to produce a text that would garner the consensus required by COP procedures, UNA-UK joined over 800 organisations in signing an open letter in support of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF). Addressed to heads of delegations, the letter urged parties to forge a Glasgow Emergency Pact that sets out steps to secure the climate finance needed, after years of unfulfilled promises, and to raise the ambition of climate pledges annually:
- Developed countries to come forward with a Delivery Plan for the 500 billion USD promised for the 2020-2024 period
- Ensure financing is equally distributed between adaptation and mitigation
- Establish independent annual monitoring supported by the UNFCCC secretariat involving key multilateral financing institutions
- Establish a Climate Emergency Ambition Platform for 2030 to foster continuous ambition raising and progressively build towards much stronger NDC submissions at the end of the next 5-year cycle
- Encourage all countries, particularly major emitters, to come forward at annually at COP with new ambition announcements that exceed current NDC targets
- Establish a new simple template to record additional political commitments covering both mitigation and adaptation
UNA-UK urges the UK and other developed nations to promote the actions set out in the Emergency Pact ahead of COP27 in order to support vulnerable communities most affected by the climate crisis and ensure parties continue to set targets that can bring about the rapid transformations required to not only keep 1.5 degrees in sight, but to ensure it is delivered.
- Read the open letter here
Photo: The COP26 Globe at the Hydro. Credit: Karwai Tang/ UK Government