Climate change has been a significant issue in post-Cold War politics. About a week ago, world leaders met at Glasgow to discuss the progress of climate change in their respective countries and negotiated the necessary steps to move further in making the world environmentally safer. The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) was seen by many as a follow up conference to the Paris agreement signed back in 2015 to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
Historically, the first international panel on climate change was set up in 1988 as an organization to provide countries with scientific information to develop climate policies. Later the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was established to protect against unsafe human interference with the climate, where the conference of Parties (COP) serves as the key decision-making body. Each year, the COP is held to discuss the progress made by members, negotiate the deliberate strategies needed to improve climate change.
After two weeks of delegation among nations at the COP26. Here are the most significant outlooks of the conference. Firstly, over 100 countries now joined the European Union and the United States on methane gas emission reduction by 30% against 2030 (Newburger, 2021). These include countries with the biggest methane production namely United States, Nigeria, Pakistan, Mexico and Brazil. Secondly both The United States and China, the two largest carbon gas emitters agreed to prevent global warming by enhancing clean energy and mitigating deforestation. All these efforts are to ensure that earth temperature does not suppress 1.5 Celsius which is 0.5 less than the 2015 Paris agreement (Lu, 2021).
Thirdly another major issue deliberated during the conference was finance and funding. The issue here is the disparities between developed rich nations and the developing world. Countries like India heavily depend on coal from production. Promises were made during the Copenhagen summit a decade back to fund poorer developing countries 100 billion per year by 2020 (Lu, 2021). This is to encourage them to engage in climate adaption efforts. In response, donors promised to meet their 100 billion promise by 2023.
In line with the above, scholars have indicated that there is a need to do better despite this major adjustment, they fear in the coming years, the world will experience more flooding and heatwaves. According to climate scientists Daniel Swain. “If we don’t have large success this decade in bending the carbon curve … we will be producing an earth that looks very different in a few decades from now.” While others argued that setting this target is progressive, implementing them is a harder task to do. In a nutshell, the summit ended with the objective that nations should go back and return next year with tougher regulations strategies to combat climate change.
COP26: What was agreed at the Glasgow climate conference?. BBC News. (2021). Retrieved 22 November 2021, from https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-56901261.
Lu, C. (2021). 4 Key Takeaways From COP26. Foreign Policy. Retrieved 22 November 2021, from https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/11/15/cop26-climate-change-un-conference-takeaways/.
Newburger, E. (2021). CNBB.com. Retrieved 22 November 2021, from https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/16/un-cop26-climate-summit-what-was-accomplished.html.
What is COP26?. Young Scot. (2021). Retrieved 22 November 2021, from https://young.scot/get-informed/national/whatiscop26?utm_source=Google+Ads&utm_medium=Paid&utm_campaign=COP26&gclid=Cj0KCQiAeeMBhCpARIsAAZfxZBlZP_YtvFV2FqR8f6TiOGhMEuINk1KkF9IeGnrxRZtpFI8a91eLEQaAvlZEALw_wcB.
Mr. Farid Illo is a Lecturer II in the Department of International Relations, Skyline University Nigeria. He holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from University Utara Malaysia (UUM)