UNFCCC

COP26

A MOMENT FOR THE WORLD TO UNITE

WHAT?

The UN Climate Change Conference – COP26 – is scheduled to take place in Glasgow, the UK in 2021. 196 Countries will negotiate the acceleration of climate action to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

WHY?

All countries must ramp up their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid an ecological and humanitarian crisis. COP26 is the pivotal moment for countries to align their domestic climate plans with the 2015 Paris Agreement. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the urgency and necessity of strong international collaboration to solve global issues: viruses do not respect borders and nor do climate impacts. Ambitious climate plans and a global agreement on collaboration will ensure that the world will be more resilient and increase its capacity to deal with future crises.

  WHAT IS COMING UP THIS MONTH?

Countries have started preparing their economic stimulus packages and their responses to the current crisis. In this regard, Green Stimulus Index has been published. It ranks some of the biggest economies by assessing orientation of their COVID-19 recovery response in relation to climate change, biodiversity and the other environmental impacts.

Developments to follow:

  • The National People’s Congress will kick off in Beijing on May 22nd. The government will focus on COVID19 recovery and redefining its economic targets.
  • The EU is deciding on its budget for the next 7 years- 19 EU member states are backing the 2030 higher targets – 50-55%.
  • May 20th might be the second time when US oil prices go negative. Shell CEO van Beurden says they don’t know if oil demands will ever go above 2019 level.
  • A recent study has demonstrated that one in three people will live in as hot places as the Sahara by 2070. That’s if emissions keep rising.
  • So far, South Korea’s New Deal is less green than what the President has promised pre-election.
  • May is AGM month. The Barclays board has just voted to commit to a net-zero target. Watch out for JP Morgan’s upcoming AGM.

Upcoming Events:

  • May 22nd – National People’s Congress, China
  • May 29th [TBC] – EU to release green stimulus plan
  • 29 May [TBC] – UN releases review into SDG7 [sustainable energy access]
  • June 5th – UN Environment Day [topic is biodiversity]
  • 10-12 June – G7 Summit
  • June 15th – UN Global Compact- the annual business event of the UN. Speakers include UN Chief- Antonio Guterres, UN Special Envoy- Mark Carney, CEO OF CP Group- Suphachai Chearavanont along with many others. More info here.
  • June 18th – IEA World Energy Outlook Special Report, which will focus on resilient recovery and emission reductions.

CORONAVIRUS

The priority for all governments must be the health and welfare of their citizens in this deeply troubling time. This has to be the absolute focus of all world leaders and the UN, which can play a vital role in ensuring a global crisis is tackled at a global level. But as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has argued, governments must ensure that any recovery strategy out of this crisis keeps us on track towards these longer-term objectives, building a sustainable and inclusive economy.

Emissions are now at a record high, impacts are multiplying – climate change is not something we can postpone. The COVID-19 crisis is an example of how vulnerable countries, societies and economies are to such existential threats.

MISSION 2020 - CLIMATE ACTION TRACKER

2020 is the year when we will see if countries can deliver the climate deal they have pledged to 5 years ago. In the middle of the pandemic, this year is a tough test of the 2015 deal – a moment when it will become clear whether the 196 signatories can meet their promise to scale up ambition in line with what scientists say is needed. While Paris was based on national climate plans (Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs), they are not the whole story.

This open-access tracker tool, updated by researchers in the UK, Australia and the US, pulls together the many different climate pledges that have been made by nations, cities, businesses and others. Also included in the tracker tool are examples of progress across key sectors, current information on climate impacts, climate-related initiatives and key dates in the climate calendar.

Climate change is biting globally; Europe is already facing extreme weather events, Australia is already burning, Indonesia struggling with the record floods, Antarctica melts under its hottest days on record. In the meantime, we are also facing a deadly pandemic. The cost of inaction is rising every day.

Read: What The Scientists Say?

Governments have failed to respond to the emergency of the climate crisis as the talks fell victim to major differences between countries that are proving hard to resolve during the last UN Climate Conference – COP25.

Read: What Happened at COP25?

LATEST PUBLICATIONS ON CLIMATE ACTION

The newly published IRENA report – the first Global Renewables Outlook- shows how boosting renewable energy investments can support resilient and equitable recovery.

According to the report; advancing the renewable energy transition is not only an opportunity to meet the Paris Agreement goals but also a pathway for economic stability and prosperity.

Cutting carbon emissions more deeply through renewables, will have massive socio-economic benefits. It can boost GDP an additional US$98 trillion by 2050 – 2.4 % more growth by mid-century – and create tens of millions of additional jobs in renewable energy, energy efficiency and related fields. Renewables could create 42 million jobs globally by 2050. Economies would be more resilient and less prone to external shocks.

The report presents the latest data on the expected gap in 2030 between the amount of global emissions that would allow the world to meet Paris-agreed temperature targets and countries’ actual and estimated future emissions under different scenarios. For the first time, it looks at how large annual cuts would need to be from 2020 to 2030 to stay on track to meeting the Paris goals.

The world needs to cut global emissions by 7.6% every year for next decade to meet the 1.5°C Paris target, the Emission Gap Report concludes.

The report also finds that global emissions continued to increase by 1.5% per year during the last decade. Countries must act immediately and increase their climate commitments (NDCs) more than fivefold to achieve the 1.5°C goal.

WMO issued its Provisional Statement on the State of the Climate in 2019, an annual update on global climate indicators. The report details how the past decade was a period of “exceptional global heat, retreating ice and record sea levels driven by greenhouse gases from human activities”. According to a WMO statement: “Average temperatures for the five-year (2015-2019) and ten-year (2010-2019) periods are almost certain to be the highest on record.”

Global Carbon Project’s annual report tracking carbon emissions is out today. Despite a decline in coal use, emissions are rising thanks to big growth in natural gas and oil. The report projects that Global CO2 emissions are projected to rise by 0.6% in 2019.

Current government emissions policies are too weak to achieve the “well below 2°C” global warming limit set out in Paris.

The Climate Risk Index 2020, an annual report by Germanwatch, is out now. It ranks countries according to their vulnerability to extreme weather events. Not only poorer countries are affected. Japan was the worst hit in 2018. Germany and Canada also suffered high losses. The results reflect the increasing damage caused by heatwaves, which scientists have found are being worsened by climate change.

This new report finds that the oil and gas industry are planning to invest more than US$1.4 trillion in new extraction. Projects are being planned for the US, Canada, Norway, Argentina and several other countries that will make it impossible to stay under 1.5°C of warming. The authors have called for Paris alignment through bans on fossil fuel licenses, removal of finances and subsidies and the creation of just transition plans for communities and workers.

The Production Gap Report – produced by leading research organizations and the UN – is the first assessment of the gap between the Paris Agreement targets and countries’ planned coal, oil and gas production. It provides a new metric for assessing the world’s current pace of fossil fuel extraction and details the steps countries can take to align fossil fuel supply with Paris goals.

This new report finds that the countries are planning to produce far more coal, oil and gas than is possible if they want to limit warming to 1.5°C or 2°C. These fossil fuel plans create a “production gap” that makes climate goals much harder to reach. The report calls for a sharpened and long overdue focus on fossil fuels.

The Brown to Green Report 2019, the world’s most comprehensive review of G20 climate action, shows none of the G20 countries is on track to meet Paris goals. Covering 80 indicators, the report reveals that many of the G20 countries’ current 2030 climate targets under the Paris Agreement are too weak.

However, the report also finds that those countries can quickly raise their ambition if they leverage the existing potentials and opportunities.

The G20 countries are technically and economically capable of ramping up ambition and reducing their emissions. They can take effective measures to adapt to climate impacts and to green their financial systems for the benefit of all.

IPCC HIGHLIGHTS THE URGENCY OF CLIMATE ACTION

The scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessed existing science and presented evidence of accelerating climate breakdown. The IPCC published three special reports on climate change with a mandate from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

These reports show:

  • Climate science is clear; carbon pollution is leading to a massive ecological and humanitarian crisis.
  • Devastating climate catastrophe can be prevented by limiting global warming to 1.5°C.
  • This would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.

Global Warming of  1.5 °C

Read Report
Summary for Policy Makers

The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

Read Report
Factsheet

Climate Change and Land

Read Report
Factsheet

CONTACT US & SUBSCRIBE

The unclimatesummit.org  is an unofficial website that has been designed to inform the public about the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). Please let us know if you want to get regular updates about this crucial event.

You can contact us through e-mail: info(at)unclimatesummit.org

DEVELOPED BY Periodistas por el Planeta, ClimaInfo, CarbonCopy, and İklim Haber 

The Periodistas por el Planeta (The Journalists for the Planet, in English) is an Argentine organisation born in 2018 with the aim of promoting a new narrative on the socio-environmental crisis with a vision from Latin America, and political and transformative impact. Its work focuses on the climate crisis narrative and that of the alarming loss of biodiversity the planet is facing. Periodistas por el Planeta seeks to build and strengthen a regional network of journalists, scientists and environmental organisations from all over Latin America, privileging the use of Spanish in communications.