COP 26 Update and Action on 4th November

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Update from COP 26 on 4th November

Historic Pledges: According to analysis from Climate Resource, new COP26 pledges bring projected warming to below 2°C for the first time in history.

Reverse Deforestation: More than 100 world leaders have agreed to a commitment to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030. The commitment, called the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use encompasses 85% of the world’s forests and offers $19.2 billion in public and private funding to end both the legal and illegal destruction of forestland.

Carbon Markets: Article 6 texts covering carbon markets have been published. This has spurred fresh criticism of carbon offsetting. There are a range of different views on offsetting – many moving against it entirely, while others still see high-standard carbon offsets having a role. We all agree that offsets cannot be a substitute for genuine emissions reductions and the drive to get to zero emissions as fast as possible. Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network said: “Article 6 of the Paris Agreement is based on carbon pricing schemes that commodify nature. Carbon offsetting violates Mother Earth and Father Sky and perpetuates the theft of Indigenous Peoples’ land and territories. Indigenous Peoples in the global South are targeted for their forests by carbon brokers and live with constant violence from the extractive industries. This allows fossil fuel corporations to pollute our peoples to death in the global North. Indigenous Peoples have been protecting lands and forests for thousands of years, but carbon offsets are tearing us apart.”

Coal announcement: We know that ending the burning of coal is key to limiting global warming to 1.5C. Overnight, the UK Government said 190 countries and organisations agreed to ditch coal use, not build new stations and close existing ones. Significantly, Poland, Vietnam and Indonesia – all countries that rely heavily on coal – all signed up and Indonesia’s Finance Minister suggested they could phase out the use of coal by 2040. But USA, Australia and India have not signed up to this pledge.

Good news on international fossil fuel subsidies: a significant political commitment from multiple countries to end overseas oil and gas finance. At least 20 countries and institutions will commit to end international public finance for fossil fuel by 2022. Depending on the final list of signatories, this initiative could directly shift at least $8B per year out of fossil fuels and into clean energy. It means pressure rising on the laggards who haven’t yet signed. All signatories now need to ensure that the limited and clearly defined circumstances they reference are not just loopholes to continue supporting the fossil fuel sector.

Methane deal: a total of 89 governments covering 46% of methane emissions and at least 60% of global GDP signed up to a popular pledge to reduce methane. This effort was given a leg up by the IPCC’s recent report which set out both the threat and opportunity of reigning in this potent greenhouse gas.

More calls for 1.5C: Yesterday the 27-country strong High Ambition Coalition urged countries without a 1.5C target to land one “well ahead of COP27” in 2022 as well as a doubling of adaptation finance. A sign of hope is that the US has rejoined this coalition, which was central to the 1.5C target at Paris.

Climate-vulnerable countries: The 55-strong Climate Vulnerable Forum called for a “raising of ambition at every single COP, especially from the major pollution emitting nations,” and urging this be part of a Glasgow Emergency Pact that commits new levels of climate finance, addresses loss & damage and delivers “robust” carbon markets.

Finance: Today’s new requirements for businesses to have a net zero plan are a step forward. But they need to be strong enough to pull every single business into line. And they don’t replace the need for vital public investment in our transition away from fossil fuels – to ensure warmer homes, sustainable travel, renewable energy, and to create green jobs. The world’s powerful financial systems need to shift money away from supporting dangerous fossil fuels, and towards the renewable energy that’ll save us. International spending priorities must not add to the debt burden of financially poorer countries.

Actions

  • Tweet Rishi Sunak to say we need more public spending on climate and stronger requirements for businesses to transition, based on messaging linked above or use draft tweets below.
    • A thriving economy requires a healthy planet. @RishiSunak your new #netzero plan for businesses is a step forward. But we need you to make sure these plans have no loopholes. And no excuses. Our children are counting on you.  #cop26
    • Hey @RishiSunak. Your #netzero plan for businesses is a step forward. But the requirements must be strong enough to pull every single business into line. With no loopholes. And no excuses. #cop26
    • .@rishisunak – net zero plans for businesses are a good start. But they don’t replace proper public spending at home and abroad to fund our transition away from fossil fuels #cop26
  • Welcome good news about ending finance for overseas fossil fuels.
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