COP26 – First week pledges coming from the climate conference

As the highly anticipated COP26 climate conference enters its second week, we look back at the key pledges and commitments that have been published so far. We saw several landmark deals announced in the first week, but the coming days will be critical as negotiations intensify to bring remaining issues from COP25 to a conclusion.

COP26 opening ceremony

Monday (1st November) saw 120 world leaders come together to mark the beginning of COP26, launching two weeks of global debating and negotiations. Over 200 countries in total have come together in Glasgow, in the biggest international summit the UK has ever hosted. World leaders, climate activists and the COP president, Alok Sharma, took centre stage to deliver speeches at the world leaders’ summit opening ceremony.

Sharma addressed the summit, proclaiming “The science is clear that the window of time we have to keep the goal of 1.5℃ alive, and to avoid the worst effects of climate change, is closing fast. But with political will and commitment, we can, and must, deliver an outcome in Glasgow the world can be proud of.”

Watch the full COP26: Opening Ceremony – World Leaders Summit here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oofxDQQKE7M

Summary of pledges, commitments, and statements so far

Mitigation

  • The close of day one saw India pledge to target Net Zero emissions by 2070, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi also outlining India’s commitment to obtaining half of its energy from renewable resources by 2030.
  • Over 100 leaders representing 85% of the world’s forests have pledged to end deforestation by 2030. The agreement includes almost £14bn of public and private funds.
  • A pledge, led by the US and EU, to cut methane emissions by 30% of 2020 levels by 2030 was signed by around 100 nations and parties.
  • A coalition between 190 combined countries and companies to phase out coal power as well as a commitment to stop the support of new coal power plants, was secured.
  • A Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement was released, supported by a number of organisations and countries.

Adaptation

Finance

  • Jeff Bezos made a $2 billion commitment to “restore natural habitats and transforming food systems”.
  • 25 countries including the US, UK, Denmark, Canada, Italy, and the European Investment Bank all signed to end public financing of overseas oil, gas, and coal projects before 2023.
  • The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) secured a commitment from hundreds of the world’s biggest banks and pension funds.

Climate protests

The weekend saw thousands of protesters take to the streets of Glasgow, demanding bolder action to tackle the climate crisis.

The protest was the biggest so far during COP26, with organisers estimating that more than 100,000 people were in attendance. There were also demonstrations in London, Cardiff, Belfast and a number of other UK cities, as well as around the world.

The opening speeches at the protest rally came from representatives of indigenous people around the globe. Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate later told protesters: “The climate and ecological crises are already here. But so are citizens from around the globe.

“Leaders rarely have the courage to lead. It takes citizens, people like you and me, to rise up and demand action. And when we do that in great enough numbers, our leaders will move.”

Trident @ COP26

The second week of COP26 is well underway, but there is still a lot to be determined and discussed. We will continue to post updates here and on our LinkedIn page as the week progresses.

If you have been following the pledges and commitments being made throughout the first week of COP26 and feel it’s time for your business to start reducing your carbon emissions and establish your net zero goals, visit our net zero page or book an appointment with one of our experts using the form below to see how we can assist you on your journey.


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