Towards a Greener planet – COP 26

(image: pixabay.com)

10 June 2021

From 11 - 13 June British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers leaders of G7 nations, the EU and guest countries to unite, leading democracies to help the world fight and then build back better from COVID-19, and create a greener, more prosperous future.

At the end of October Johnson will host leaders again at the COP 26 summit taking place in Glasgow, Scotland together with their Italian partners. COP stands for Conference of the Parties that are the signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - a treaty agreed on in 1994 which has 197 Parties (196 countries and the EU).

The United Nations climate change conferences are among the largest international meetings in the world. The negotiations between governments are complex and involve officials from every country in the world as well as representatives from civil society and the global news media.

The British High Commission in Tshwane, South Africa held a press briefing to share information on the upcoming COP26 summit. UK PACT has partnered with South Africa to support action on just transition pathways and a low-carbon economic recovery. South Africa’s long-standing participation in the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) processes creates a solid platform for an impactful and transformational UK PACT partnership. Moreover, UK PACT seeks to support climate action on the priority areas in the just energy transition, renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport, and sustainable finance. UK PACT projects can contribute to addressing industry-wide constraints, common metropolitan challenges, and bringing city, provincial and national level public and private partners together to address climate priorities.

The Paris Agreement was agreed at COP21 in 2015. For the first time ever it saw almost every country around the world enter into a legally binding commitment to reduce emissions.

It was ‘top down’ in that every country, no matter how big or small, signed up to cutting carbon emissions to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees and ideally to 1.5 degrees above preindustrial levels; and it was ‘bottom up’ in that it left room for each individual country to decide how they would get there. These were called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

The Paris Agreement also set out ambitious goals on adaptation and on finance, recognising that many people around the world are already experiencing the impacts of a changing climate, and that support - financial, technical and capacity building – would be needed.