The recently concluded COP26 (Conference of the Parties with 26 as the 26th annual summit) has a silver lining despite disappointments for many. According to The Emissions Gap Report 2021, new national climate pledges will lead to a global temperature rise of 2.7C by the end of the century, missing the target of either limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C or keeping global warming between 1.5C to 2C by end of this century. The report was published before the summit. Yet Glasgow summit had many positive takeaways.
At this year’s summit, leaders from more than 120 countries representing about 90 percent of the world’s forest pledged to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030. The $100 billion climate finance contribution pledged every year at COP9 held at Copenhagen summit, Denmark is puny when compared to the $5.2 trillion post-tax energy subsidies roughly (0.37 percent of Global GDP in 2017) based on IMF estimates. The coming together of more than 500 global financial services firms to commit $130 trillion roughly 40 percent of the world’s financial assets for climate change aligned with the Paris agreement and limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius helps to override the financial gap discussed earlier in implementing sustainable development goals per year.
Further, the support of developed countries in promoting the adoption of climate finance to developing countries will be a major significant step in enhancing capacity-building provisions for bettering climate change along with the encouragement of technology transfer by advanced countries. The US-China agreement to work closely on the climate change issue is going to be a decisive factor if the world is even remotely going to achieve its set agenda of climate action. Cutting methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030, the US and EU-led commitment agreed by more than 100 countries is a positive low-cost effective manner of lowering greenhouse emissions. Many countries have come out with net-zero emissions achievement targets. Canada pledges net zero emissions by 2050, EU 27 by 2050, China by 2060, Japan by 2050, US by 2050, the United Kingdom by 2050, South Korea by 2050, Brazil will be net-zero by 2050, Saudi Arabia by 2060, and India by 2070. It is a rough road ahead. The way ahead remains muddy with the adoption of emerging cleantech technologies, a critical enabler for furthering global climate action. Look out for features on COP26 on The middle Road.