Top 10 Takeaways from the Blue Zone at COP26

We’re nearing the end of COP26 with negotiations set to finish today (Friday 12th), although there are some discussions of negotiations continuing until this Sunday. Here’s what we’ve heard from the Blue Zone now that Day 12 is coming to end:

1. Two highest global emitters, US and China, sign joint declaration on climate change “through respective accelerated actions”.

Xie Zhenhua, Chinese climate envoy said that “We both see that the challenge of climate change is an existential and severe one… In the area of climate change, there is more agreement between China and the US than there is disagreement.” With the two biggest emitters joining together, it highlights the need for strong commitments at this year’s COP, hopefully encouraging other nations to do their bit.

2. Over 40 countries pledge to phase out coal, but big emitters are missing from the major pledge.

With coal being the single biggest contributor to climate change, Poland, Vietnam and Chile have committed to move away from coal, but many major economies have no set date to ending its use, including China and the US.

In a separate commitment, 20 countries (including the US) have pledged to end the public financing of fossil fuel projects by the end of 2022.

3. Indonesia steps out of formal commitments to end deforestation and land degradation by 2030.

The deal has been agreed by more than 100 world leaders but Environment Minister Ms Nurbaya, argued that there is a need to cut down forests in order to make way for new roads undergoing a “massive development of President Jokowi’s era”.

4. 2.4c of global heating set to happen by 2030 based on the short-term goals countries have set out at COP26.

Climate Action Tracker outlined the assessment of the rise in its most respected climate analysis coalition. This rise in global heating far exceeds the 2c upper limit set in Paris. The impact of the global heating will see sea-levels rise, more extreme drougts, floods and heatwaves in all areas of the world.

5. UK unveiled a £3bn climate aid package – the Clean Green Initiative (CGI).

The initiative launched at COP26 will help developing countries take advantage of green technology and grow their economies sustainably. The initiative sets to double the UK’s aid-funded green investments to more than £3 billion over five years and “guarantees to support clean infrastructure projects”.

6. India sets targets for net zero by 2070.

In a surprising development, the pledge came after India had rejected global pressure to make a commitment on net-zero goals. Their commitment to achieve the target of net-zero emissions by 2070 means they are committing to a 2 degrees compliant pledge!

7. Over 100 world leaders have agreed to end and reverse deforestation by 2030.

The countries included in the agreement make up 85% of the worlds forests with the pledge including almost £14bn of public and private funds. Although the commitments sound promising, some have warned that the previous deal in 2015 had “failed to slow deforestation at all”.

8. Nigeria, whose oil and gas represent 86% of the export revenue, pledge net zero by 2060.

Nigeria is already experiencing the adverse effects of climate change through increases in temperature, variable rainfall, rise in sea level and flooding, drought and land degradation. Although, due to energy poverty issues, Nigeria will always need to rely on gas for a ‘stable’ energy transition.

9. Some countries beginning to back out of pledges made, such as the Global Methane Pledge, claiming to not having agreed to all the commitments outlined.

The UK government failed to secure backing from large car-producing countries for a declaration at the COP26 climate summit. Commitments to ban the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2040 have not been accepted by many countries, including US, China, Germany and France.

10. Days before the expected deadline for the near-final texts, Alok Sharma says Article 6 needs “greater impetus” and that he is “concerned at the number of items outstanding” on finance.

“We still see that in the finance rooms we are struggling to make progress even with some routine technical issues”, Alok Sharma says in during COP26.

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