The United Nations climate change conference concluded on Saturday after a one-day extension, with negotiators agreeing on a new global pact to tackle climate change.
Nearly 200 participating countries adopted the Glasgow Climate Pact at the end of 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Some encouraging progress was made. Agreement was finally reached on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which relates to carbon market mechanisms, paving the way for effective implementation of the Paris deal to cut emissions through market-based approaches. Negotiators also agreed to phase down coal, the dominant source of carbon dioxide emissions in the process of electricity generation. It is the first explicit mention of fossil fuels in a COP agreement. During COP26, more than 100 countries have promised to end deforestation by 2030.
In the final days of the conference, China and the United States issued a joint declaration on enhancing actions on climate change in the 2020s, which are widely welcomed and believed to galvanize global collective actions. The two countries agreed to establish a working group on enhancing climate action this decade to promote cooperation on climate change between the two countries as well as multilateral processes. As COP26 wrapped up, however, some stubborn issues, notably climate funding, remain uncertain.
There were commitments to significantly increase financial support through the Adaptation Fund as developed countries were urged to double their support to developing countries by 2025.
However, it remains to be seen whether developed countries, whose development is responsible for most of today’s climate change impacts, will heed the set timeframe. In 2009, wealthy countries pledged 100 billion U.S. dollars a year to help lower-income nations by 2020. However, they still have not made good on the pledge and recent reports indicate that this goal could slip to 2023.COP26, which kicked off on Oct. 31, is the first climate change conference after the five-year review cycle under the Paris Agreement inked in 2015. The Egyptian city of Sharm El Sheikh will host COP27 in 2022.