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The environment and COP26

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What is a COP?
The word ‘COP’ stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’. In the climate change sphere, ‘the Parties’ are the governments which have signed the UN Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC). The COP brings these signatory governments together once a year to discuss how to jointly address climate change.

The conferences are attended by world leaders, ministers, and negotiators but also by representatives from civil society, business, international organizations, and the media.

What is COP26?
COP26 is the 26th climate change COP and is hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy.

What is the Paris Agreement?
The Paris Agreement is an international treaty signed by almost all countries in the world at COP21 in Paris in 2015.

Its aims are to keep the rise in the global average temperature to ‘well below’ 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, ideally 1.5 degrees; strengthen the ability to adapt to climate change and build resilience; and align all finance flows with ‘a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development’.

adapt to climate change and build resilience; and align all finance flows with ‘a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development’.

What does COP26 aim to achieve and why is it important?
COP26 is a critical summit for global climate action. To have a chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, global emissions must halve by 2030 and reach ‘net-zero’ by 2050.

COP26 is the first test of this ambition-raising function. One of the main ‘benchmarks for success’ in Glasgow is that as many governments as possible submit new NDCs and, when put together, these are ambitious enough to put the world on track for ‘well below’ 2 degrees, preferably 1.5.

The UK’s overarching aim for the Glasgow summit is to ‘keep 1.5 degrees alive’.

A successful outcome in Glasgow also requires developed countries to honour a promise they made back in 2009 of mobilizing $100 billion per year by 2020 to support climate action in developing countries. The official figures for 2020 will not be available until 2022, but it is clear the goal was not met last year.

Recent announcements, including President Joe Biden’s pledge to double US climate finance, have brought developed countries closer to honouring the pledge, but more will need to be done to restore credibility and strengthen trust between developing and developed nations.

Strengthening the ability to adapt to climate change impacts is another important element of COP26, as is the question of how to deal with economic and non-economic harms caused by climate change impacts which cannot be avoided through adaptation or mitigation, known as ‘loss and damage’.

Discussions on these issues often focus on mobilizing finance but it is also important that parties make progress on other issues such as further operationalizing the Paris Agreement’s ‘global goal on adaptation’ which, at present, is vaguely formulated.

At COP26, parties also need to try and finalize the Paris Agreement’s ‘implementation guide’ – the Paris Rulebook. Agreeing on what rules should govern international carbon markets – the ‘Article 6 negotiations’ – is expected to be particularly difficult.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson keeps talking about ‘coal, cash, cars, and trees’. What does he mean?
• Coal: developed countries should have ‘kick[ed] the habit of coal’ completely by the end of this decade, and developing countries need to have done so by 2040.
• Cars: governments should abandon the use of internal combustion engines and transition to electric vehicles.
• Cash: developed countries need to honour the $100 billion climate finance pledge.
• Trees: governments need to protect nature and, to use the UK prime minister’s words, ‘end the massacre of the forests’.

Extracted from a Chatham House Briefing paper by Anya Aberg

What have we been doing?
We have been trying to be more aware of places, especially place that are important or mean something to us. We have been considering how changes due to global warming may affect them. We have been seeing if there are things we can do to show that these places are cared for. Then finally, how we can push governments to do there part, as we approach COP26.
Have a look at "Journey COP26 item below, and also look at some of the pictures from this project at the bottom.

We have looked at some of the issues connected to global warming and how we treat the environment, have look at the items below on Deforestation, Marine pollution and power generation.

What can I do?
Learn about climate change and how it interacts with other issues, such as militarism. - See the item "Climate Emergency and Military Spending" for example.

Take “lifestyle” action
Join with others
Campaign for change
People we have shared and worked with.
Lobby local politicians and find out what our local council’s plans are.
Lobby your MP here - - >


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