Four goals to be achieved at COP26 climate conference

The Presidency of the United Kingdom has outlined four goals that it hopes will be achieved at COP26.

COP26 stands for the 26th Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

This conference is the first time that Parties are expected to commit to an enhanced climate ambition since COP21 held in Paris, France. Parties are required to do this enhancement of their climate ambitions every five years, as outlined in the Paris Agreement, in a process called the ‘ratchet mechanism’.

Recall that the Paris Agreement came to be at COP21 held in France.

COP26 will hold in Glasgow, Scotland from November 1 to 12, 2021, after being postponed last year when it could not hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Kingdom (UK) holds the presidency of COP26.

The UK COP26 presidency, led by Alok Sharma, has outlined four goals to be achieved at Glasgow:

  1. Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach. Countries are being asked to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century.

To deliver on these stretching targets, countries will need to: accelerate the phase-out of coal; curtail deforestation speed up the switch to electric vehicles; encourage investment in renewables.

  1. Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats. The climate is already changing and it will continue to change even as we reduce emissions, with devastating effects.

At COP26, countries will be tasked on the “need to work together to enable and encourage countries affected by climate change to: protect and restore ecosystems; build defences, warning systems and resilient infrastructure and agriculture to avoid loss of homes, livelihoods and even lives.

  1. Mobilise finance. To deliver on our first two goals, developed countries must make good on their promise to mobilise at least $100 billion in climate finance per year by 2020.
  2. Work together to deliver. Nations can only rise to the challenges of the climate crisis by working together.

At COP26 countries must: finalise the Paris Rulebook (the detailed rules that make the Paris Agreement operational) accelerate action to tackle the climate crisis through collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society.

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