News: What we can expect from the COP26 climate conference

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This year's UN climate conference COP26 is considered as most crucial for the fight against climate change

Cop26
Source & Copyright by UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021

Author: House of Eden

  • COP26 in Glasgow from October 31st to November 12th
  • Climate protection actions are to be updated
  • Drastic and urgent solutions need to be found

This year, again, the UN climate summit unites (COP26), the world to come to an agreement on how to deal with climate change . Due to the indisputable urgency of proactive and timely measures, there is particular hope at this year's conference. Between October 31 and November 12, plans for emission reduction are planned to be modified, updated and expanded in order to find solutions to protect the planet and to implement actions as quickly as possible.

What is the COP?

For 26 years now, the United Nations have been gathering 197 nations, thus almost every country in the world, for global climate summits, the COPs - Conferences of the Parties. In 2021, the United Kingdom will chair and host the global event in Glasgow. However, the COP26 does not begin with the kick-off of the actual summit - the countries have been cooperating in advance in order to start the 12-day negotiations with constructive plans. This preparation is particularly relevant, as over ten thousand negotiators, government representatives, politicians, companies and also citizens with differently prioritized agendas seek the discourse.

cop26

Source & Copyright by UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021

The Importance of the Paris Agreement

While the Paris Agreement is a concise term and enjoys social awareness and media attention, it is less known that it is was actually a result of COP21. The result of the conference, which took place in Paris in 2015 and marks a historic moment: All countries agreed to strive for the 1,5 degree target, to adapt to the effects of climate change and to provide financial support for it. This moved climate change from a marginal issue to a global priority.

COP26: Crucial moment in the fight against climate change

Part of the agreement is the obligation to submit national plans for emissions reduction, known as Nationally Determined Contributions. These goals are regularly updated and adapted to the challenges of time. The developments of the last few months - floods and wildfires - make clear that the commitment of the Paris Agreement is not enough. Global warming cannot be stopped without drastic and urgent measures.

This will make Glasgow the crucial turning point to limit temperature rise within the next decade. An opportunity to mitigate the climate crisis. Cooperation is therefore particularly important: COP26 must produce coordinated actions and measures. Although multilateral climate processes often pose challenges for countries, progress must be made in a transparent and integrative manner and in solidarity with all nations.

Objectives of the COP26 negotiations

According to COP President Alok Sharma, COP26 will accelerate climate protection measures in oder to achieve net zero emissions until mid of the century and to secure the 1,5 degree target. The result is intended to advance ambitious emission reduction targets by 2030, strengthen adaptation and resilience to protect natural habitats and affected communities, and mobilize required fundings.

cop26

Source & Copyright by UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021

The aim of these projects is to protect and regenerate nature, to recognize and respond to scientific findings and to promote fair, integrative climate measures. More precisely it is about:

  • accelerating the exit from coal-based energy
  • stopping deforestation
  • accelerate the switch to electric vehicles to accelerate
  • promoting and investing in renewable energies to promote
  • protecting and restoring ecosystems
  • building protective measures, warning systems and a resilient infrastructure and agriculture to build up
  • commiting to transparency
  • achieving something together

What does this mean for the industry?

In addition to the social, ecological and political relevance of COP26, the economic dimension is also of great importance. Industries like fashion are on the summit's agenda because they are responsible for a significant proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions and must therefore show genuine interest and willingness to act.

cop26

While many fashion brands announced new initiatives to limit their impact in advance, events to update the existing goals will also be held in the coming days of the conference. In addition to the voluntary commitment of numerous companies to reduce emissions in their supply chain by 2030 percent by 30 in order to achieve the 1,5 degree target. So far, this commitment is just a good start and needs to be tightened today.

In the interplay of politics and business

The growing commitment of strong industrial sectors shows that the COP26 has become a guide for political decisions beyond its function as a discussion platform for sustainability. It can determine the discourse of various industries and thus influence their developments. Determine how production and work processes will change.

The point is to derive practices from the defined goals. Circular economy, regenerative agriculture or biodynamics to protect the species, ecosystems and resources. Investments in innovative energy sources or more funding to move away from government-subsidized fossil fuels instead of profit-oriented pricing.

In order to prevent this pursuit of profit, however, it needs political involvement. Brands lack the incentive to benefit from sustainable production . Political decision-makers must therefore set emission targets, tax carbon and subsidize renewable energy. Sustainability can no longer be a compromise, it must be the only choice.

What does the COP26 promise?

As a mediator between industry and politics, the COP26 shows that companies climate policy measures and politicians, on the other hand, need to be confident that ambitious goals should be accepted. This can create a dynamic in which both sides motivate each other to be more committed.

This is particularly essential for the success of the conference as well as the collaboration between governments, businesses and society. While it is probably too optimistic to believe that a summit alone can solve all climate problems, it symbolizes a phase of upheaval. A phase of productivity in which short-term commitments have to take actions as quickly as possible in order to achieve the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. There is an opportunity to change the course of climate change.

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