In the wake of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), the climate emergency is at the forefront of many issues we’re facing – not only on a national scale, but a global one.
The conference, which was held in Glasgow from 31st October to 12th November, addressed a wide range of problems contributing to the climate crisis. The main topics discussed included CO2 and methane emissions, coal usage, fossil fuel subsidiaries, deforestation, and the industrialisation efforts of third-world countries, as part of a plan to bring our collective sustainability practices to the forefront of our global focus.
What was the outcome of the COP26 conference?
There was a host of takeaways from the conference, with leading countries agreeing to address issues within their own borders and collectively reduce the damage we’re causing as a group.
According to the BBC, the main agreements were:
- The US-China Agreement: As the countries who emit the most CO2, both pledged their cooperation over the next 10 years to reduce methane emissions and focus on the switch to clean energy.
- Planting trees: More than 100 countries promised to stop deforestation by 2030, which could help 85% of the world’s forests.
- Emissions: More than 100 countries also agreed to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030, as well as further cuts to CO2 emissions.
- Coal: The initial proposal was to ‘phase out’ coal usage, although India and China both fought to change the wording to ‘phase down’ due to concerns as to how the removal of coal as a resource would affect their respective countries.
There are differing opinions on the outcomes of the conference. The Prince of Wales seemed happy with the result, stating the conference was ‘amazing’ and had ‘quite a lot of success,’ while Mary Robinson, chair of The Elders, an independent group of world leaders, stated that ‘COP26 has made some progress, but nowhere near enough to avoid climate disaster.’
Mohamed Adow, director of Power Shift Africa, was bitterly disappointed with the outcome, saying there was a lack of consideration made by richer countries to compensate for the loss and damage that developing countries are suffering due to the crisis. Adow stated that, ‘the needs of the world’s vulnerable people have been sacrificed on the altar of the rich world’s selfishness.’
The issues brought up in the COP26 conference will likely be addressed again in the next conference, which will take place between 7th-18th November 2022 in Egypt, giving developing countries another chance to express their concerns and hopefully see better results.
Sustainability trends at home
While world leaders have discussed the impact of countries as a whole, sustainability practices within our own households have long been in discussion. A report published by Attest explores the sustainability trends we’re currently experiencing and will be in the years to come.