The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November – the first COP to be held since the Paris Agreement’s measures took effect – offers a monumental opportunity to address climate change, strengthen ambition and embark on the pathway to limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
2020 was one of the three hottest years ever recorded, with an average temperature 1.2°C above pre-industrial levels. Momentum is building that could result in COP26, which will be held in Glasgow, UK, from 1 to 12 November 2021, being a turning point in the climate crisis.
In the past year, major steps forward have been taken, with the world’s two biggest economies — China and the US — announcing net-zero carbon emission commitments. The European Green Deal, aiming to make Europe climate neutral by 2050, is now being deployed, with a 55% CO2 reduction target by 2030 embedded in the European Climate Law.
Significant commitments must still be made, however, in the run up to COP26, during the conference, and through progressive coalitions and alliances once the conference comes to a close.