The UN Climate Change Conference – COP26 – is scheduled take place in Glasgow, the UK from 9 to 19 November 2019. 196 Countries will negotiate the acceleration of climate action to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
2020 is a defining year of climate action, and 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.
Climate Diplomacy in March 2020
COVID-19 left a massive impact on climate politics last month. UK diplomats are meeting fellow country officials online.
A decision on whether COP26 is postponed will be taken later this year – that’s a decision for the UN and UK to work out.
Even if the meeting is delayed, countries are expected to deliver new, enhanced climate plans, countries must update their climate pledges, as UN Secretary-General Guterres underlined. The EU – China can still play a vital role on that front. While the formal gathering of EU institutional leaders is postponed, cooperation and support continue between the two superpowers. The European Green Deal, as well as EIB lending and taxonomy guidelines, offer a framework for the EU to deliver. The world is eagerly awaiting the Leipzig Summit, where the results of this collaboration will be revealed.
The Coronavirus has already adverse impacts on the global economy. It also revealed how fragile and unsustainable it is. Climate action and green economy are the answers the nations looking to restore their post-pandemic economies.
The leading Korean party has just announced its climate manifesto.
Japan has also announced 26% emission reduction on 2013 levels by 2030. The nation hasn’t changed their “highly insufficient” plan.
Students continue to protest for increased climate ambition. Many strikers are posting photos to social media under the hashtags #ClimateStrikeOnline and #DigitalStrike.
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.
Top COP26 Stories in Media
EU Commission says EU leadership in 2020 is needed more than ever
EU cost-benefit study seen backing 55% emissions cut by 2030
Ed Miliband wrote for Guardian:
The COP26 climate conference can still be a success. Here’s how
Boris Johnson launches UN Climate Summit
2020 would be the “defining year of climate action”
UK Government appoints the COP26 president
Alok Sharma will lead UN climate talks in November
Investors urge Japan to strengten climate targets
Tokyo could help galvanize international climate action ahead of a U.N. Climate Summit
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.
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.
Studies – The latest publications on global climate action
- The Emissions Gap
- The State of the Climate
- Global Carbon Budget
- Global Climate Risk Index
- Oil, Gas & Climate
- The Production Gap
- Brown to Green Report
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.
The unclimatesummit.org website 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.