Wed. Dec 1st, 2021


A mural on a wall in Glasgow, Scotland.  The city hosted the COP26 United Nations Climate Conference later this month.

A mural on a wall in Glasgow, Scotland. The city hosted the COP26 United Nations Climate Conference later this month.
Pictures: Jeff J. Mitchell / Getty Images (Getty Images)

In an instant:

  • COP26 is the 26th Annual Conference on Climate Change of the United Nations
  • The conference will be held from 31 October to 12 November in Glasgow, Scotland.
  • The incident could happen The best shot in the world Eventually starting to stop greenhouse gas emissions associated with burning fossil fuels.

Perhaps you have heard of Treaty of Paris Or countries are coming together to talk about climate change under the banner of the United Nations, but you are confused about what is actually happening. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Even people who have spent a lot of time thinking about climate change often have poor ideas about climate change. UN Climate Process—Which, unfortunately, is one of the most important and most confusing things to happen on the planet. Here is your primer to understand what COP26 is, what UNFCCC is on earth and why you should take care of it. Welcome to COP101!

What is COP26?

COP is a Abbreviation “For a conference of parties.” In UN-SPEC, similar to a COP meeting in Congress or other legislative body, they only talk about climate change all the time. (Imagine if Congress were like that!) On climate land, COPs United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Or the UNFCCC, which is a major UN treaty that outlines how countries can come together to stop global warming.

Once a year, representatives of all treaty countries meet in the same physical venue to hammer out international climate change actions and policies related to the UNFCCC. COP26 is the specific name of this year’s big climate change meeting.

So, does “26” mean there were 25 more COPs?

Yes. UNFCCC was Made in 1992, When 154 countries signed a new treaty on climate change. This agreement came into force in 1994. The first COP took place in Berlin in 1995 and the COPs have been meeting almost every year since then. (Last year’s COP Postponed due to epidemic.)

It’s a lot of meetings. Why haven’t we fixed climate change yet?

Not only is the scale of the problem quite large, the UN process is quite complex. Most COPs are full of lengthy discussions about minute technical details related to various UN rules and parameters. Some COPs are primarily dedicated to finding out the technical details of special contracts.

In all of these approaches, you’ve got something Beautiful Large Questions to answer, such as how (and if) large countries can be held accountable for them Fair share of global carbon emissions; How much financial aid small countries should receive; And what the world can do realistically is contrary to what science says we have to do. When you have about 200 countries, all in their own interest, demanding to input on big and small issues, you have a recipe for consensus and many meetings are difficult. Civil society And Even fossil fuel companies Also show to try and influence the discussion, add one more layer. (Unfortunately, leaders seem to Listen to the next one So far more than ever.)

If it is called COP26, what is the Glasgow Conference?

Where Glasgow This year’s COP is being held, Since UK is hosting COP. Every year, the “presidency” of a COP – the country that runs the show and basically ensures that everyone is getting along and things are done – changes, and the meeting is usually held in a city in that country. That said, recent COPs have been held in countries other than Host. Chile presided over the COP25, but due to this the conference moved to Spain Protest against growing inequality. (Because Chile was the only host Brazil fell behind After Jair Bolsonaro won the presidency.)

But usually, the name of the city where the discussion takes place is synonymous with the specific COP. In 2015, France was the host of COP15, the way we got the name of the Paris Agreement.

What is the Paris Agreement?

192 countries in the Paris COP Came to an agreement Try to keep the world away from fossil fuels and avoid excessive warming to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of this century. The agreement sets an ambitious goal of avoiding warming by 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) and thanks for its support. Small island countries. As part of the Paris Agreement, countries have agreed to submit their own plans detailing how much they plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Such an agreement may sound very basic, but it was a huge deal for the UN process. In 2009, the countries hoped to reach a similar agreement, but the talks, instead, ended dramatically on the last day of the conference to the extent that Diplomatic disaster. This is agreed upon on the staff Tough!

If the world signed the Paris Agreement in 2015, shouldn’t we have completed these meetings by now?

Paris has never been the final word on how the world will deal with climate change. Consider this as another starter blueprint. The agreement is based on countries that have submitted increasingly aggressive plans to reduce emissions every two years. We also saw in the intervening years how fragile the deal was. The Paris Agreement is a relatively bare-bones treaty Something About increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

But it is also disobedient, which is why former President Donald Trump was able to Pull the United States Without any restrictions or fines. This is why President Joe Biden can Just rejoin it And Submit a new commitment As if nothing happened.

What will happen to COP26?

The negotiators will work in a number of different ways to help countries communicate with each other, including reporting and setting climate targets. Normal deadline NDC and a General transparency structure Which helps countries see each other’s progress and build trust that everyone is doing their climate homework. They will also discuss how to meet climate finance commitments, especially how rich countries take responsibility for changing their economies and helping them adapt to climate change.

The actual discussion is closed to the public, but there are many Activity Which also goes beyond meetings. Known as the “Observatory Agency” – thousands of visitors from NGOs, Youth organizations, Business, policy groups আসেন come to the COP to encourage delegates and continue the process, try and guide them one way or another, and usually engage themselves in discussions as much as possible from the sidelines.

Many of these parties have demonstrations, discussions, and Other eventsঅনেকেইMany people including celebrities and world leaders who draw a lot of attention to the news and to some extent, can tell what is happening in the discussion. Countries can also hold their own events, some of which can nicely talk about the priorities of those countries in the discussion. (At COP24, the Trump administration a The desperate panel is entirely dedicated to protecting coal.)

Who is participating in COP26?

Each of the 192 countries that have signed the Paris Agreement will send a team of delegates to represent them at the talks. It’s one Lots Number of people: about 20,000 delegates Registered to participate And 120 heads of state are expected to attend. These people will spend most of the two weeks in meetings.

Prominent attendees include President Joe Biden, 13 cabinet members And senior administration officials, including his top climate adviser, Gina McCarthy, and John Kerry. Opponents of Biden, including fossil fuel-financing Republicans Fame. Dan Cranshaw There will also be an attendance.

Celebrities in attendance will include broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough, named “People’s Advocate” At the summit

Why is COP26 important?

The Paris Agreement has a number of key criteria that will be discussed at this year, so this COP will not be about technical details — we are sure to see some throwdowns and fights on the big issue.

Perhaps equally important, there is a lot of science and research here since we last held a COP that illustrates the need to work on climate change as soon as possible. International Energy Agency Said earlier this year The search for new fossil fuels will have to be completed by 2022 to keep us below 1.5 degrees Celsius (F). And in August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, another UN agency, Has published a report An outline of how much the planet has changed – and how serious things are going to get if we don’t work now. Suffice it to say that the global atmosphere in the vicinity of climate change is probably not as intense as in any other COP.

COP26 President-elect Alok Sharma delivered the following speech in Paris on 12 October, outlining what is at risk and warning leaders that they must pay in Glasgow.

What will change after COP26? Are we going to fix climate change?

Not exaggerated, but there is a lot of riding on this particular comp. If the UN can stop the tendency to end with every meeting Controversial Non-contract And coming together in a rare moment of unity, we will have a strong framework to work with as we determine how emissions can be reduced over the next few years. If business goes on as usual, well … get your fingers crossed.

Is there any information you think we should know about COP26? Send us an email at tips@earther.com.

Updated 10/26/21 2:45 pm ET: New details about the attendance and video of President-elect Alok Sharma’s Paris speech have been added.



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