An Update from the UN: 26th COP: True or False – Part 1
The title may seem like a bit of a strange way of reporting on what happened at COP 26 in Glasgow last month. However, it is a good way to point out certain outcomes. The question: did COP 26 achieve its goal, true or false? Did we reach an agreement on fossil fuels, true or false? Was Loss and Damage approached in this COP, true or false? Did the COP countries meet their financial goal in 2020 true or false?
Cop 26 began with the greatest planetary crisis our world has ever seen. The IPCC, which is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, reported that Climate Change published in August confirmed sweeping scientific facts and the unequivocal human-made nature of the climate change crisis: our world is burning, melting, flooding, suffering extreme droughts and impacts multiple domains of society.
We, you and I, are responsible for climate change and the fact that we are making our planet ill. If we do not radically change the policies and practices responsible for our climate change crisis.
There is no planet B.
The summit resulted in the Glasgow Climate Pact (GCP). The meeting took place from November 13-26th. There were nearly 200 countries that participated. The aggressive commitments are needed to prevent temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius. But this is worrisome.
However, the outcome document mentions fossil fuels for the first time. It calls for a “phase down” vs. “phase out” policy when it comes to coal. India and China were great influencers at the end of the summit on fossil fuel.
This was the first time that Loss and Damage was addressed in the COP. So may Indigenous peoples and others have suffered great loss and damage as a result of climate change.
Though no direct subsidy was agreed upon at least loss and damage were stated in the document. Some of the damage is permanent e.g. communities that are wiped out, to islands’ disappearing beneath the waves , to water resources that are drying up. This is. A beginning to reparation and change needed in certain parts of the world. It’s possible that loss and damage may be one of the bigger issues leading up to the COP27 in Egypt next year.
Unfortunately, the $100 billion a year that rich nations committed to in 2009 have still not been reached. Though the countries are still on the hook to fulfill this goal as soon as possible as well as report on their progress. The post climate finance goal is expected to be set by 2024.
One of the most valuable Engagements to COP 26 was the Faith Based Organizations. They brought an incredible light and strength and faith perspective to climate change.
Their faiths organized what they called the Talanoa Interfaith Dialogue on Sunday, November 14th. This gathering was filled with various images of people from the global community. There were pilgrims who walked 500 miles called the “Walk the Talk to Talk the Walk”. It took them 60 days to walk. The faith community called for the delegates to take a stand. Remarkably committed people committed to Mother Earth and her well-being.
The largest delegation in Glasgow was the corporate sector; over 500 credentialed delegates arrived. Youth and Civil Society were often excluded and had a difficult time getting into both the green and blue zone areas.
Can we keep the Temperature Goal of 1.5, True or False? If all COP26 measures are implemented it might be possible to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. The tightening of methane emission rules will help as will the brake on deforestation agreed to by banks to end financing linked to deforestation.
A significant outcome of COP26 is that climate change is a public health issue.
To be continued.