COP26 roundup: Key commitments and goals on climate change with highlights from Glasgow

·3-min read
 (ES Compiste)
(ES Compiste)

Cop26 has come to the end of its first week which saw major pledges from world leaders at the UN climate change summit in Glasgow.

This includes cutting methane emissions, tackling deforestation, phasing out coal and driving clean technology.

Sir David Attenborough told delegates that bold action is needed to save the planet and “we need to act quickly” during a powerful opening ceremony on Monday.

Brazil, the European Union, India, Russia and the United States were among key players to announce fresh targets in a journey towards net zero emissions.

Here we summarise the major events of the week including what was achieved and what is yet to be done.

COP26: The latest on Glasgow Climate Talks

Familiar faces

Cop26 was opened by the Prime Minister with key speeches from Prince Charles, Sir David Attenborough and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres who spoke of governments’ lack of progress in cutting planet-heating emissions.

Boris Johnson issued an urgent rallying call, ahead of welcoming more than 120 political leaders to Glasgow following a G20 meeting in Rome.

The Prince of Wales met with Commonwealth leaders and urged them to tie up deals with private financiers to green their economies.

Sir David Attenborough addressed delegates in a rousing speech at the opening ceremony and warned that humanity is “already in trouble”.

Deforestation

Cop26 got off to a strong start with more than 100 nations agreeing to end deforestation by 2030.

Brazil, where vast areas of the Amazon rainforest have been chopped down, was among those to commit on Tuesday. The agreement includes almost £14bn of public and private funds.

Mr Johnson told delegates the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C cannot be achieved without protecting the natural environment and ending the “devastating” loss of forests which are the “lungs of our planet”.

Methane emissions

More than 80 countries, led by the US and EU, pledged to cut methane emissions by at least 30 percent by 2030.

Half of the world’s top 30 methane emitters, including the US, EU, Indonesia Pakistan, Argentina, Mexico, Nigeria, Iraq, Vietnam and Canada, have joined the pledge.

President Joe Biden said: “One of the most important things we can do between now and 2030, to keep 1.5C in reach, is reduce our methane emissions as soon as possible.”

Coal

Dozens of countries signed up curb the use of from fossil fuel energy to limit dangerous global warming at key Cop26 climate talks.

At least 23 nations made new commitments to phase out coal power, including five of the top 20 users: Indonesia South Korea, Poland Vietnam, Chile and Ukraine.

But the world’s biggest polluter China along with other major users and producers – the US, India and Australia – are not part of the efforts, prompting warnings the end will not come soon enough.

Watch: What will the world look like in 2030, 2040, 2050?

Protests

Ocean Rebellion protesters dressed up as Boris Johnson and set fire to a fake ship in Glasgow to highlight the destruction of the world’s oceans ahead of the Cop26 conference.

Hundreds of climate activists demonstrated on Wednesday around the summit in Glasgow as part of an Extinction Rebellion protest.

Activists dressed as the Pokémon character Pikachu protested against Japan’s support of the coal industry on Thursday when Extinction Rebellion activists marched for peace through the city.

On Friday, Greta Thunberg was among young activists to march through Glasgow demanding action on climate change from politicians.

India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised that India will get to net zero by 2070.

The 2070 deadline is ten years later than China’s 2060 goal, and 20 years behind the 2050 date the IPCC has said the world must hit to keep global average temperatures from soaring 1.5C above what they were in the pre-industrial era.

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