COP26 is one of the most important meetings on climate change that has ever taken place. The conference was hosted in the UK – in the city of Glasgow. Now the first question which comes to your mind is, what is COP26 & how is it connected to the climate change problem.

In this blog, we will know about the written below points:

  • What is the UNFCCC?
  • What is the Paris Climate Agreement?
  • Why does COP26 matter?

What is the UNFCCC?

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is the sister convention of the Convention on Biodiversity, was adopted during the first Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Since then, the parties have been meeting annually. The last gathering was COP25 in December 2019. It is the first meeting in Glasglow since the Covid-19 (UK). China and the United States, the world’s two largest CO2 emitters, agreed to act in a joint declaration at the COP26 climate meeting in Glasgow.

Also Read: COP26: The United States Joins an International Solar Alliance Led by India

Here’s a quick rundown of the UNFCCC’s history and timeline, from the Rio Summit to the Kyoto Protocol to the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Over 200 countries have signed on as ‘parties to the UNFCCC. The Parties to the Convention gather every year at the Conference of the Parties (with the exception of 2020 due to Covid-19) (COP). COP26, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, was held in Glasgow in November 2021.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) created agreements among the parties to address climate change. The Kyoto Protocol, which establishes enforceable carbon reduction objectives for 36 industrialized countries and the European Union, was the first accord. Over the five years 2008–2012, these targets sum up to an average 5% reduction in emissions relative to 1990 levels. Parties committed to cut GHG emissions by at least 18% below 1990 levels in the second phase, which stretched from 2013 to 2020; however, fewer nations made commitments in this phase. The United States was conspicuously absent from both phases of the Kyoto Protocol negotiations.

What is the Paris Climate Agreement?

The 2015 United Nations Climate Conference (COP21) in Paris began with the greatest gathering of world leaders in history and ended with the approval of the Paris Agreement, a new global agreement on climate change. The Paris Agreement, whose provisions take effect in 2020, differs from the Kyoto Protocols in that it requires action from all 195 signed countries, not just the developed ones. It also agrees on action on adaptation (responding to the impacts of climate change) and loss and damage (response to climate catastrophe) in addition to mitigation (cutting greenhouse gas emissions). It also agrees that wealthier countries should provide finance and technology to help poor and vulnerable countries take action.

Countries pledged to implement the Paris Agreement through ‘Nationally Determined Contributions,’ which set national targets for lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 or 2030, respectively. A stocktake approach will be used to examine these every five years.

The Paris Agreement is particularly unique in that it includes the United States as a signatory; however, President Trump has withdrawn his support, and the United States will leave the agreement on November 4, 2020. If Joe Biden wins the election, the United States will rejoin the Accord.

What is COP26?

Conference of the Parties (COP) is an acronym for Conference of the Parties, and the 2021 session was the 26th time the parties have convened. The “parties” are the roughly 200 countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was signed in 1994.

COP26 Timelines:

The figure below summarizes the main events and activities for the CoR towards UNFCCC COP26:

Month (2021) Activities
February Definition of the COP Roadmap
Bureau decision on the GD WG
Debriefing on COP 25 at ENVE commission meeting
Meeting with LGMA
March Meeting with UNFCCC
Meeting with LGMA
April Approval of Action Plans with strategic networks
Discussion with DG CLIMA on cooperation for COP 26
Discussion with German Presidency on cooperation for COP 26
st meeting of the GD WG (tbc)
May First mapping of CoR members ambition
Definition of the CoR delegation members
June Participation to Pre-COP and Bonn Talks (tbc)
Prep meeting for COP delegation
Side events pre-planning
First draft of political messages (GD contact group)
July CoR Resolution on COP
August Proposals for side events
Updated mapping of CoR members ambition
September COP 26 preparation
October Discussion on COP political messages
COP 26 preparation
November COP 26
December  Debriefing COP26 and stocktaking on the roadmap

Why does COP26 Matter?

To begin with, COVID-19 has refocused priorities and prompted individuals and governments to pay more attention to environmental issues. Many countries are focusing on ‘building back better’ through a green recovery as they try to restore their economies in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Second, COP26 is seen as a follow-up to COP21, where the Paris Accord was signed, probably the UNFCCC’s most significant achievement in recent years. COP26 is expected to address what has and hasn’t been accomplished since 2015, as well as layout real measures to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals.

The UN Environment Programme has warned that current climate commitments are well short of what is required to fulfill these targets, but net-zero promises provide optimism. Before the summit, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said this should be a “thundering wakeup call” for leaders.

Climatic change continues to influence in the context of the Coronavirus and the recovery from the global recession, and climate threats are increasing around the world.

A successful COP26 will rely on three factors:

  • What happens in the year leading up to COP26 to advance climate ambition.
  • How successful the official negotiations at COP26 are, including the high-level segment with Heads of State and Ministers from around the world.
  • And what progressive coalitions and alliances emerge for climate change action to successfully implement the Paris Agreement.

How Can We Help?

Hope this information about “COP26: 26th Summit of Climate Change Conference” helps you.

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About The Author

Kamini Gupta is the Content Developer at Ornate Solar. She is a solar enthusiast and has worked with several well-known solar brands and experts in India. She is also a poet and a storyteller and has performed in many open mics events.

kamini ornate

About The Author

Kamini Gupta is the Content Developer at Ornate Solar. She is a solar enthusiast and has worked with several well-known solar brands and experts in India. She is also a poet and a storyteller and has performed in many open mics events.