What Is COP26 And Why Is It So Important?

What Is Cop26?

In November, the UK will host an event that many believe to be the world’s last chance to get climate change under control.

Every year for the past 3 decades, the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate discussions. In that time climate change has gone from being a fringe issue to a global priority.

Greta Cop25

In the run up to COP26 the UK is working with every nation to reach agreement on how to tackle climate change. World leaders will arrive in Scotland, alongside tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens for twelve days of talks.

COP26 is unlike any other climate summit before it. This year has a unique urgency.

To understand why, it’s necessary to look back to another COP. 

The Importance Of The Paris Agreement

COP21 took place in Paris in 2015.

For the first time ever, every country in the world agreed to work together to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees and aim for 1.5 degrees to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate and to make money available to deliver on these aims.

Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement was born. The commitment to aim for 1.5 degrees is important because every fraction of a degree of warming will result in the loss of many more lives lost and livelihoods damaged.

Under the Paris Agreement, countries committed to bring forward national plans setting out how much they would reduce their emissions.

They agreed that every five years they would come back with an updated plan that would reflect their highest possible ambition at that time. 

COP26 is The World’s Progress Report On The Paris Agreement

The run up to this year’s summit in the UK is the moment (delayed by a year due to the pandemic) when countries update their plans for reducing emissions.


Why Is COP26 So Important?

The commitments laid out in Paris did not even come close to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees – and the window for achieving this is closing fast. 

The decade leading up to 2030 will be crucial.

Thailand Flooding BBC

Catastrophic flooding in Thailand 2021. Image Source: BBC

So as momentous as Paris was, countries must go much further than they did in Paris in order to keep the hope of holding temperature rises to 1.5 alive. COP26 needs to be decisive.

Without decisive action from world leaders our children and grandchildren may be forced to live through the effects of extreme weather, food and water shortages, increased health risks, rising sea levels, ocean dead zones, mass pollution, ocean acidification, deforestation, environmental migrants, … there has never been a more crucial time to fix…….

The future of humanity and our planet could literally be riding on COP26. 


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Written content source https://ukcop26.org/

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