Cop 26 Glasgow: goals achieved and missed
From October 31 to November 12, 2021 the 26th UN Climate Conference (COP26) was held in Glasgow in which 197 countries took part to define a road map aimed at achieving the goal of containing global warming by 1.5 degrees and reaching climate neutrality (zero emissions).
The negotiations highlighted a disagreement on the timing for achieving these goals: 2050 for the United States and the European Union, 2060 for China and Russia and 2070 for India.
During the summit, over 100 states signed an agreement to reduce methane emissions by 30% compared to 2020 levels by 2030. However, China, Russia, India, Iran, Australia and 8 member states of the EU (Austria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania) did not sign the agreement.
At Glasgow summit it was also asked for the first time to all countries to gradually reduce coal and fossil fuel subsidies. However, the Agreement reached does not specify an expiration date and an amendment to the text of the agreement was introduced at the last moment at the request of India which replaced the term "phase out" (progressive elimination) with "phase down" (progressive reduction).
At the end of the summit, China and the US announced a bilateral agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The agreement includes the commitment of the two countries to cooperate for the protection of forests, the reduction of methane emissions, the improvement of technology and the use of renewable energy.
On the financial side, Mark Carney, former Governor of the Bank of England and chairman of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (Gfanz), made up of 450 financial groups in 45 countries with total assets of $ 130 trillion, has announced an availability of $ 100 trillion to invest to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Carney also announced that he will be joined by Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York, in the presidency of Gfanz.
This extraordinary financial commitment comes in addition to that of the G20 countries to allocate 100 billion a year for the energy transition of developing countries. However, the achievement of this target has been postponed to 2023 with the promise of doubling funding to the countries most exposed to the effects of climate change by 2025.
Finally, at cop 26, an agreement was reached on the regulation of the credit market for the creation of a global carbon market, thus making Article 6 of the 2015 Paris Agreements operational.This new regulation replaces the Kyoto system of 2013.
On the other hand, no concrete agreement was reached on the issue of “loss and damage” for the compensation of the countries most affected by climate change and the establishment of compensation mechanisms.