Here is the summary of the second day of the World Leaders Summit in Glasgow on November 2, 2021:
Numerous deals between nations are expected to be announced today. The two that stand out are forests and methane, both boasting support from about 100 countries. This is important given the IPCC’s recent report that set out both the threat and opportunity of reigning in this potent greenhouse gas.
Overnight a global deal to stem deforestation was published – backed by major forest countries including Brazil, Indonesia and DRC. The scale of the deal is significant. 100 countries representing 85 percent of global forests. $12 billion in public funds for forests and over $7 billion in public private investments. 30 financial institutions with over $8.7 trillion global assets committing to eliminate investment in activities linked to deforestation.
The importance of forests:
Keeping below 1. 5°C is not possible without radical action on forests, while according to the IPCC, all scenarios for limiting warming to 2°C this century rely on reductions in deforestation and forest degradation. The IPCC also found that protecting existing forests is a faster, better and cheaper way to stabilise the global climate than planting new trees. Forests act as a buffer against climate change by regulating local and regional weather patterns.
Reaction to the announced forest deal so far has been positive. Justin Adams, executive director at the Tropical Forest Alliance said, “What we’re seeing at COP26 could finally be the start of something transformational.” Joseph Itongwa Mukumo an indigenous Walikale from the Democratic Republic of the Congo said, “We are delighted to see indigenous peoples mentioned in the forest deal announced today.” Roberto Waack, a Brazilian business leader said, “Today we celebrate – tomorrow we will start pressing for the deal to be delivered.”
Finding experts globally:
Access to COP for activists, advocates and analysts from many countries, particularly those from emerging economies, has been hard as the pandemic persist. To elevate their voices as they track the talks from home, a new site has been set up where journalists can get quotes or connect with experts from a range of countries – check the roster here and ask for an interview here.
Reaction to India’s net-zero pledge:
Modi announced a 2070 net-zero target that would be 2°C-aligned if it covers CO2 and 1.5°C-aligned if it covers all GHG. It’s a positive development – the IPCC says for 1.5°C you need net zero CO2 by 2050 and net zero GHG by 2070. Half of all power would come from renewables by 2030, while further policies would cut one billion tonnes of CO2 by 2030. However, details on new pre-2030 plans were thin, and the pledge came with a demand for $1 trillion.
The future of coal:
With India’s pledge, the world’s top 10 coal power nations have now committed to net zero, which either shows immense progress or that long-term targets are not causing short-term shifts. “Coal will need to end one, two or even three decades before the net-zero dates that have been laid out,” said Dave Jones from coal analysts Ember. But former Indian climate diplomat RR Rashmi was positive: “One billion tonnes of reduction in absolute terms is massive.” A scheme to retire coal plants with development bank backing – to be launched later this week – might offer more insight.
Barbados highlights inequity:
Barbados PM Mia Mottley’s speech at the opening ceremony of the World Leader’s Summits garnered accolades, as she forcefully criticized fellow leaders and called for action: “Are we so blinded we can no longer appreciate the cries of humanity?” Her intervention underlines that for many poorer nations, the issue of finance is very much alive and about to kick off. Gabon, Kenya, Egypt, Maldives, Panama, Jamaica, Bangladesh, Fiji, Mauritius and Belize all raised the delayed delivery of the $100 billion promise and the systemic approach needed on future finance commitments.
Today’s speaking schedule:
Expect more calls for the promised $100 billion and financing from developing countries today. Ghana, Nigeria, St Lucia, Dominica, Bahamas and Rwanda are all set to speak, as are Japan, Norway & Argentina.
Special drawing rights:
Mottley called for $500 billion of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to be issued each year for 20 years to finance the climate transition. SDRs are essentially a form of reserve currency held and guaranteed by the IMF. Typically, new SDRs are issued during crises – the most recent were in 2009 for the financial crisis, and earlier this year in response to COVID.
Media briefings today:
*High Ambition Coalition ministers: Meeting Room 3 (84/42), in Area F, Blue Zone – 1230-1245. Ping [email protected]om for details. *Climate Vulnerable Forum leaders + biz leaders: We Mean Business Pavilion Hall 5, Blue Zone, 18:15-18:45. Contact [email protected], +44 7747745675 *Country pressers – Bolivia: 11 to 11:30, Brazil: 11:45 to 12:15, Canada: 17:30 to 18:00, United States: 19:30 to 20:30
US President Biden said little beyond a pledge to boost adaptation finance. The major US fight will take place in DC this week if and when Congress starts voting on his infrastructure bill. Xi sent a statement, which was little more than China’s already-filed plan. Brazil filed another weak climate plan it claimed was ambitious. Palestine blamed Israel for pollution, Canada capped fossil fuel sector emissions, Greece said it will be coal-free in 2028, Libya claimed natural gas is clean, Vietnam landed a 2050 net-zero goal.
Standards for net-zero:
Guterres announced on Monday a proposal to establish a Group of Experts to develop clear standards to measure and analyse net-zero commitments from non-state actors. As Oxford University revealed yesterday, while 80 percent of global GDP is covered by net-zero targets, only 10 percent of that is meaningful. More detail is expected next week.
- Morning queue chaos & Biden goes to Greggs
- Attenborough smashing it on TV: Who knew?
- Earth to Cop: Watch the opening film again
- Wolf Blitzer mistakes Edinburgh for Glasgow
- Fiji’s PM Frank schooling Scott Morrison
- Avaaz climate emergency petition hits 1.2m
- UK, UN win ‘joint’ Fossil of the Day for organisation
Saudi Arabia pushes back:
Saudi envoys yesterday claimed negotiators could not decide to definitely include issues outside of the formal negotiation agenda in the COP decision. That would potentially exclude decisions covering faster action to be in line with 1.5C, and loss and damage, both major items at Glasgow. This amounts to clear pushback from Riyadh.
Carbon markets inch forward:
Rumour has it that in an unusual turn of events, the Article 6 negotiators may have come to an agreement on the basis of the text they are working from. This is significant as it’s been understood that they had more than six texts on the table coming into Glasgow. It seems like the glacial process forged over the past few years is now the common foundation for negotiations, with a new text issued overnight.