The COP26 started on October 31st, 2021 and will be concluded on 12th November 2021. For this year Alok Sharma, UK politician took the role of COP26 president officially from presiding president Carolina Schmidt Zaldivar of Chile.
As the conference commenced, a warning from World Meteorological Organization was issued stating that the past seven years have been the hottest on record with sea level rising to new highs. The word still averages 1.09 C above pre-industrial levels.
The COP26 is also known as United Nations Climate Change Conference held by United Nations.
As far as India is concerned, A climate Equity Monitor was launched for assessing equity in climate change mitigation. This was launched by the Climate Change Group at MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF).
WHAT IS COP and COP26?
The word ‘COP’ stands foe ‘Conference of the Parties” where the parties stand for the government that has signed the UN Framework Convention of Climate Change i.e. UNFCCC. These signatory governments come together every year to discuss how to address climate change under the roof of COP.
Different countries host COP each year and the first meeting i.e. “COP1” was held in 1995 in Berlin, Germany.
As far as COP26 is concerned it is the 26th conference which is being hosted jointly by UK and Italy. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been rescheduled to 31 October-12 November 2021 from November 2020.
The conference is not only attended by world leaders, ministers and negotiators but also by civil society, international organizations and the media.
IMPORTANCE of COP26
2021 summit is important as:
Due to COVID-19, the priorities have refocused on the environment and rebuilding the country’s economy there has been a major emphasis on ‘building back better’ through a green recovery.
COP26 is seen as COP21’s successor where the Paris Accord (Paris Agreement) was signed and set concrete plans to reach the targets set in the Paris Agreement. It’s also the first COP to be held since the US left and rejoined the Paris Agreement, so it’s likely that there will be extra eyes on US contributions to the summit.
WHAT IS THE PARIS AGREEMENT?
The Paris Agreement is an international treaty signed by almost all countries of the world at COP21 in Paris in 2015. Paris Agreements aims to keep the rise in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. Also, it aims to adapt to align all financial flows with a pathway to low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.
It is a starter blueprint and nonbinding because of which former President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement with no penalties and current president Joe Biden can rejoin it and submit their pledge.
The Paris Agreement has countries allowed to decide themselves how much they will cut down the carbon emission per year in a given timeframe. These targets are communicated to UNFCCC in the form of ‘nationally determined contributions, or ‘NDCs’.
WHICH COUNTRIES HAVE SUBMITTED NEW NDCs?
86 countries and EU27 have submitted new or updated NDCs to UNFCCC as of September 2021. To name a few like China and Japan are yet to submit their pledge officially for the 2030 target.
Around 70 countries are yet to communicate new or updated targets. And several – Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland and Vietnam – have submitted without raising ambition.