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COP26 – What was reached?
The following is a short overview of the negotiation outcome of COP26.
- On Saturday evening, nearly 200 countries agreed on the Glasgow Climate Pact – opinions on whether it’s a success or not naturally differ
- First ever explicit mentioning of the “phasedown of unabated coal power and phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” – especially the wording on coal was watered down in the end by India
- On financing:
- Developed countries have failed delivering on the pledge to transfer USD 100 billion a year to developing countries, starting in 2020 – according to reports it will only be met by 2023
- More money for adaptation (so far, far more money has flowed to mitigation measures): The Deal includes a doubling of money for adaptation by 2025, from 2019 levels (at least USD 40 billion; additionally to the USD 100 billion pledge)
- The EU announced a new pledge of EUR 100 million for the Climate Adaptation Fund
- Greater transparency on the progress towards the USD 100 billion goal
- Agreement on the Paris rulebook reached
- Article 6: agreement on how global carbon trading will work (apart from some operational elements), some loopholes – especially about double counting – were closed
- Agreed rules allowing for the trade of carbon credits should help drive new investments towards climate action
- Parties agreed on presenting updated NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) plans next year in Egypt (happens normally every 5 years, which would have meant in 2025)
- First COP acknowledging the importance of the principle of loss & damage – the idea that richer countries compensate poorer countries for climate change effects they cannot afford to adapt to – but no dedicated fund
- Global Methane Pledge, a joint EU-US initiative which has mobilised over 100 countries to cut their collective methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030, compared to 2020 levels
- US-China declaration: the world’s two biggest CO2 emitters (>40%) pledge to closely cooperate to achieve the 1.5C goal, largely lacking details, but still being seen as a positive step
- Glasgow leaders’ declaration on forests and land use: pledged to “halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030”, with some important signatories incl. Brazil and China
- Global coal to clean power transition statement: clause 2 commits signatories to “transition away from unabated coal generation” in either the 2030s for major economies or 2040s for others; Clause 3 promises “to stop new construction for any planned coal plants which have not already achieved financial closure”
- Declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans: 100% share of sales of new cars and vans being zero emission by 2035 for leading markets / 2040 for other regions
- The COP26 brought some progress and momentum, further real impact could and needs to be seen as a result of next year’s negotiations, especially with updated NDCs
- Some countries made further commitments (eg important announcement of India or US-China commitment) – yet we need to see more ambition on global scale and especially tranlation into real action
- Agreement on coal phase-down is a positive sign
- Positive, that rules on carbon trading were agreed