COP26 to date

COP26 has been a huge success of massive failure depending on your starting point. The major policies announced that are clearly positive, so far, have been:

Finance – Asset managers and banks worth $130tr pledged to meet net-zero under the initiative launched by Mark Carney.

Funding – The target of $100bn a year until 2050 to help poorer nations cope with climate change was strengthened by Japan’s commitment of $2bn. This is a welcome boost as COVID has set the initial date of 2020 to start the initiative back, and the $100bn target will now not be reached until 2023.

New Pledges – India has pledged to produce half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. However, without China or Russia at the summit it may be difficult to assess the real impact of pledge.

Deforestation – Over 100 world leaders have now promised to end, and reverse, the cutting down of trees from 2030. The inclusion of Brazil in this is seen as a major coup, and nearly £14bn of finance, both public and private, will back the pledges.

Methane reduction – Over 90 nations pledged to cut methane emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.
Coal – 190 countries, organisations and finance companies are now pledged to phase out the use of coal or the finance for any new plants. Again, here the issue may be those that are not on the list, including Australia, China, India and the US.

In all, the pledges so far made at COP26 or before are estimated by the IEA to help limit global warming to 1.8 C on pre-industrial levels by 2100. This is a good start, but still short of the 1.5 C that would be needed to stop irreversible damage. The IEA notes: “This is a landmark moment: it is the first time that governments have come forward with targets of sufficient ambition to hold global warming to below

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