Eleanor Ames takes Impact through the event’s of Day 2 of COP26, the second day of the World Leader’s Summit. This is the last day for world leader’s to personally make pledges and commitments to climate change before each countries respective negotiator’s take over. What promises were made and what hope is there for the future?
Pledge to end deforestation within decade
On Tuesday 2nd, 110 world leaders agreed on a significant deal that aims to end and reverse global deforestation by 2030. Around 85% of the world’s forests are contained within the countries that joined the pledge.
Among those who agreed the deal were the leaders of Brazil, Russia, and China, who did not attend the summit in person.
The Global Methane Pledge
US President Joe Biden announced a pledge to cut global methane emissions by 30%, from 2020 levels, by the end of the decade.
90 countries, including half of the top 30 methane-emitting countries worldwide, agreed the deal. However, China, India, and Russia, some of the biggest global emitters of methane, were not part of the pledge.
Green technology: the Glasgow breakthroughs
Leaders have agreed to globally coordinate the introduction of green technologies, in an initiative known as the Glasgow Breakthroughs.
Over 40 countries said that they will align standards and coordinate investments in order to speed up production of green technologies, and bring forward the stage at which they will become cheaper than fossil-fuelled alternatives. The UK, US, China, India, the EU and Australia are among the countries to have signed up.
The focus will be on clean electricity, electric vehicles, green steel, hydrogen and sustainable farming, with the aim that they will become affordable and available to all nations by 2030. This will also create 20 million new jobs.
There is no dignity to a slow and painful death: you might as well bomb our islands
The Just Energy Transition Partnership
The UK, EU and US signed an $8.5 billion Just Energy Transition Partnership with South Africa in order to help the country reduce its reliance on coal, which currently produces 80% of its power.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said the deal was a “watershed moment”.
Palau President: “a slow and painful death”
The President of Palau, a pacific island state, told the COP26 summit that island nations were already suffering the effects of the climate emergency.
He told delegates: “there is no dignity to a slow and painful death: you might as well bomb our islands”.
Apologies to Israeli minister for wheelchair accessibility problems
Boris Johnson and organisers of COP26 have apologised to Israeli minister Karine Elharrar after she was unable to attend the summit on Monday due to wheelchair accessibility problems.
Elharrar described how she waited outside for two hours because organisers would not let her vehicle enter the compound. She was then offered shuttle transport to the summit, but the shuttle was also not wheelchair accessible, so she returned to her hotel in Edinburgh.
COP26 organisers said in a tweet: “Regarding minister Elharrar’s experience at the entry point yesterday, this was a genuine mistake and we have apologised for that. We are pleased to see her in attendance at COP26 today. COP26 must be inclusive and accessible to all and the venue is designed to facilitate that.”
Biden criticised leaders of China and Russia
Johnson leaves with cautious optimism
Boris Johnson said he was “cautiously optimistic” about progress at COP26. World leaders left the summit on Tuesday, leaving countries’ negotiators to agree on climate pledges.
Johnson told negotiators: “The eyes of the world are on you – the eyes of the British government and all the other governments that care about this – and we have got your numbers.”
Biden criticises China and Russia leaders’ absences
Before leaving the summit, Biden criticised leaders of China and Russia for not attending. He said that China has “walked away” from the climate emergency, which was a “big mistake”. He added that it was “the same thing with Russia and Putin”.
Featured image courtesy of Callum Shaw via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.
This article is part of Impact Nottingham’s COP26 series. For more articles on the conference check out the link here.
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