Final takeaways from COP26: The pact to combat climate change

Weather Blog

At the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, November 12, 2021 (Nexstar)

(KXAN) — The 26th annual Conference of Parties officially came to an end Saturday in Glasgow with an all-new agreement, titled “The Glasgow Climate Pact”.

While the new pact from the two-week summit includes some new measures, many critics warn that many of the world’s superpowers (including the U.S.) are still not doing enough to combat climate change.

For the first time ever, the word “coal” was used in a COP climate agreement. In particular with Glasgow, the pact acknowledges the burning of coal as a leading cause of climate change, and vows to “phase down” coal rather than “phase out”.

The term “phase down” rather than “phase out” was largely due to a last minute intervention from India. The Indian Environment and Climate Minister, Bhupender Yadav, claims that phasing out coal does more harm than good for developing countries who rely heavily on the cheaper energy alternative. Yadav also alludes to the fact that rich, developed nations have historically been the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gasses.

Another key takeaway from Glasgow is that the pact will be revisited next year during COP27 in Egypt. Per the latest Glasgow Climate Pact, countries will meet again next year to further negotiate carbon cuts in efforts to limit global warming.

According to BBC News, if global temperatures rise by more than 1.5 Celsius, scientists say the Earth is likely to experience severe effects such as heat waves, flooding, sea level rise, and more severe weather extremes.

The final main takeaway from the summit would be financing the pledges that were signed during it. In 2009, an effort was established by the world’s superpowers to help developing countries mitigate the effects from climate change. However, as of the end of COP26, it was acknowledge that this pledge had not been met.

It’s been argued by many poorer countries that the developed world has contributed far more to climate change with emitting greenhouse gasses than they have. And as a way to mitigate the issue through loss and damages principle, these countries pressed the developed world to come through on their promise to help with financial aid.

In an effort to make up for lost time, the Glasgow Climate Pact hopes to rectify this pledge from 2009, and actually deliver the $100 billion in aid for developing countries by the developed nations.

These are just a glimpse at the main takeaways that came at the end of the summit on Saturday. More information on other pledges made at COP26 can be found here.

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