The Most Significant Steps Taken at COP26 Indicate that Progress on Climate Change is Being Made

The UN Climate Communications Lead at the Department of Global Communications narrowed down the three most influential agreements and activities unveiled at the 26th UN Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. 

The text that serves as the conference’s resolution is “a compromise that is not enough,” especially for small island states and other vulnerable countries, after two weeks of tense talks. It does, however, represent some encouraging progress. 

We will see more electric automobiles and they will become more affordable, powered more by wind and solar energy, thanks to the negotiator’s agreement at COP26 to begin transitioning away from fossil fuels. 

At the conference’s conclusion, governments pledged to step up action during this critical decade to cut global emissions in half and achieve the 1.5°C warming goal set out in the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement. 

The COP26 conclusion document, known as the Glasgow Climate Pact, also calls on 197 countries to produce stronger national action plans for more ambitious climate action next year at COP27, which will be held in Egypt, bringing up the original deadline of 2025. 

Furthermore, despite coal, oil, and gas being the primary causes of global warming, the pact asks for a phase-out of coal and a phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies, two significant problems that had never been clearly acknowledged in a resolution at a climate conference before. 

A rapid move away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy was signaled in Glasgow. 

The Glasgow pact’s second most significant conclusion is its proposal for tripling funding to assist developing countries in adapting to climate change’s effects. 

Although this will not cover all of the budgetary needs of developing nations, the fact that affluent countries have pledged to double their collective adaptation money is a significant step forward. 

Increased funding for the protection of lives and livelihoods has been advocated by the UN Secretary-General, which would aid least developed countries and small island states in particular. 

There were a slew of other agreements and declarations, including ones on methane, coal, forests, and sustainable transportation, all of which might have significant positive consequences if implemented. However, because the majority of these promises are voluntary, there are no guarantees that governments, investors, or corporations will follow through. 

While the decisions made at COP26 are unlikely to have an immediate impact on our daily lives, they will influence government actions on a variety of issues and eventually result in significant differences in people’s lives. 

The COP26 also delivered a message to markets that investing in polluting industries is no longer acceptable. As a result, these changes will have an impact on our lives, and they will most likely happen sooner than we anticipate. 

People in extremely polluted cities will breathe cleaner air and experience fewer respiratory problems as coal is phased out. 

Furthermore, increased funding for protecting lives and livelihoods would enable small islands to install flood and storm early warning systems. 

Small farmers would also benefit from more robust crops and seeds, which would help to ensure food security. Decisions made at the global level eventually affect everyone’s lives.