It’s finally happening: this week, world leaders are convening in Glasgow for the COP26 climate summit. But this time, will they follow it up with real action?
From climate strikes to the latest country pledges, here’s all you need to know in this special pre-COP bi-weekly news roundup.
On the sidelines of COP26, join us at the GLF Climate hybrid conference (5–7 November), where we’ll explore how forests, food and finance can step in and help catch us up on meeting the Paris Agreement targets.
All eyes are on world leaders to raise their game, because their current plans will probably still lead to 2.7 degrees Celsius of global warming by 2100.
Young people, too, want to see real action – and they’ve gathered at a pre-COP youth event in Milan, Italy to present a lengthy list of recommendations, from capacity building to climate education.
If you want to be briefed on expectations for the negotiations, listen back to this GLF Live with COP expert and international lawyer Stephen Leonard.
What progress are you hoping to see at COP26? Let us know by taking this short poll and earn a free digital ticket to GLF Climate.
CLIMATE: Where we stand now
What will the world look like at 1.5 degrees of warming – or more? These infographics show how we can expect heatwaves, floods and wildfires to multiply in the decades ahead.
As greenhouse gas levels reach their highest in 3 million years, people are demanding tough climate action like never before.
Not a single sector is acting quickly enough to prevent us from reaching 1.5 degrees by 2030. Even some of the world’s most protected forests have turned into carbon emitters over the last 20 years.
And not everyone is equally responsible for the climate crisis: rich countries making up 10 percent of the world population have contributed 40 percent of carbon emissions since 1850.
POLICY: Will world leaders step up?
So, what exactly is COP26 – and could it really be our last chance to prevent climate catastrophe? Here’s you all you need to know, plus a brief history of previous UN climate summits.
As heads of state arrive in Glasgow, here’s where some of the main players stand:
- The U.S. rejoined the Paris Agreement in January, but President Joe Biden’s climate plan, which includes USD 555 billion for clean energy, has yet to pass through a deadlocked Congress.
- China has unveiled a new climate plan, but with only minor improvements on its previous targets. President Xi Jinping is also unlikely to attend COP26.
- India has rejected calls to set a target for net zero emissions. It’s also yet to submit its latest climate plan to the U.N.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend COP26. The country also wants its forests, nuclear plants and hydroelectric power to be recognized as green projects.
- The E.U. is urging other rich countries to provide USD 100 billion in annual climate finance to developing nations – a target that was missed in 2020.
- The U.K. is almost on track to achieve its climate goals, but it has also faced criticism for a new budget that will freeze fuel taxes and allow cheaper domestic air travel.
PEOPLE: Activists, scientists and locals weigh in
Glasgow is gearing up to welcome some 30,000 people for COP26 – but with just 15,000 hotel rooms, striking refuse workers and a long history of flash floods, is the city ready?
Civil society groups will host their own counter-events, including a Fridays for Future strike on 5 November, a Global Day of Action on 6 November and a People’s Summit on 7 November.
But when all is said and done, scientists are doubtful that any meaningful agreement will be struck to keep warming below 1.5 degrees.
Where does this leave young people who will inherit an increasingly unlivable planet? Here, 20 youth activists share their stories and speak out on the changes they want to see.