The COP26 climate summit is currently going on in Glasgow and there is too much that depends on the decisions that might come out of the negotiations and discussions going on during the event. The U.S. has had its first official representation and participation in climate action discussions since former President Trump completely sidelined all action on the matter during his presidency. Here are the latest developments from the summit that you should know about.
AOC has reached Glasgow for COP26 a couple of days ago as part of the CODEL(Congressional Delegation) sent on behalf of the U.S. She talked about how America was back, not only at the climate summit but also, “on the international stage as a leader on climate action.” Upon being asked about America’s authority in the matter after the negligence of the former presidency she said, “No, we have not recovered our moral authority,” and that the U.S. needs to take action to get that international credit back.
Former President Barack Obama addressed young people at the COP26 on Nov. 8, saying he understood that “…collectively and individually we are still falling short. We have not done nearly enough to address this crisis,” referring to the 2015 Paris Agreement of the Paris Climate Accords that he was a part of during his term.
He also urged youngsters to stay angry and call out the failures of world leaders where they are needed, “I want you to stay angry. I want you to stay frustrated. Keep pushing for more and more. Because that’s required to meet this challenge. Gird yourself for a marathon, not a sprint,” likely referring to the mass protest organized by Fridays for Future Scotland, where Greta Thunberg addressed the protesters calling COP26 a “failure”.
In another unprecedented announcement on Wednesday, U.S. and China are cooperating to commit to climate action in the upcoming decade, as the two biggest CO2 emitters of the world. The representatives for both countries agreed that they, “have no shortage of differences, but on climate, cooperation is the only way to get this job done.” Jennifer Morgan, the executive director of Greenpeace International said that both the countries need to show “greater commitment” to the cause as the joint agreement still falls short to address the concerns of climate-vulnerable countries.
Lastly, it was reported until Wednesday that nations participating at the COP26 still have large differences in the timeframe to revisit the carbon emission-reducing commitments. The draft released by Wednesday morning concerns itself to keeping global heating under 1.5C, which is already at 1.1C due to the rapid ignorance of the carbon budget agreed by nations during the Paris Agreement.
There has been a lot of criticism regarding the ambiguous and “not very ambitious” agreements involved in the draft. As Bob Ward said, “We need countries to agree to return every one or two years with more ambitious pledges. We also need stronger evidence of action to deliver the pledges.”