By Cat Kemp
Due to the increasing issue of pollution from fossil fuels, the United Nations decided to host the 26th Climate Change Conference known as COP26. The goal of this conference was for the world leaders to agree on changes and steps they can take to decrease global emissions and to limit global warming to the ideal temperature of 1.5 celsius by 2030.
After the two long emotional weeks of the conference, the world leaders—despite last minute objections from India and China—came to a decision. They agreed to the Glasgow Climate Pact, which some experts still say is not enough. Some of the pledges and agreements made during the conference include:
- Global Methane Pledge: Announced in September and officially launched at COP26, the Global Methane Pledge is a collaboration between the U.S. and the EU to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030. Some large polluters including China, India and Russia have still not joined.
- Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use: 105 countries pledged to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030.
- Glasgow Breakthroughs: More than 40 countries committed to achieve near-zero emission steel production by 2030, affordable low carbon hydrogen by 2030, zero emission vehicles by 2030, and clean energy as main power generation by 2030. China has only signed up to the hydrogen pledge.
- Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement: over 40 countries agreed to transition away from unabated coal power generation in 2030. China, India and Australia, the biggest coal producers, and consumers, have not agreed to the Statement. The U.S. also did not sign up, but is ending coal financing abroad by 2022.
Although all of these agreements are a big step toward limiting climate change , there are still many skeptics saying that this is not enough. It has also been pointed out that there has been little shared about how the governments actually plan on achieving these goals. Greta Thunberg goes so far as to say this conference was nothing more than a “festival of greenwashing.” However, even if these new reforms do not prove helpful, they are still inspiring other companies and individuals to look toward helping the environment.