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COP26- What did we achieve? What next?

Photo Credits: Kuki Rokhum

COP26- What did we achieve? What next?

By Salathiel Nalli

 

With around 40,000 delegates and many more civil society participants, COP26 became the biggest climate conference ever. The conference which is aimed at reducing emissions has emitted an estimated 100,000 tonnes of Carbon dioxide into the atmosphere during the conference!

COP26 is the short form of ‘United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties’, 26th meeting which officially held between 1-12 November 2021 at Glasgow, United Kingdom. This annual conference provides a platform for all countries to assess global progress towards tackling climate change and make some path breaking decisions to protect the environment.

As countries discussed on how to halve ‘global emissions’ by 2030 and reach ‘net zero’ by 2050, Let’s look at some of the major achievements of this conference:

Coal: Around 190 countries and other agencies agreed to phase out coal power and end support for new coal power plants. But major coal users and miners Australia, India, the US and China are absent from this agreement.

Deforestation: More than 100 world leaders have promised to end and reverse deforestation by 2030. This latest pledge is being backed with almost $19bn of public and private funds, which should make a big difference.

Methane: An alliance of more than 90 nations, pledged to reduce methane emissions by at least 30 per cent from current levels by 2030. However, China, India and Russia did not join this pledge as they are huge producers of them.

Emission Cuts: Based on the current planned emissions cuts by various countries, the world is still on for 2.7°C of warming, far from the target of 1.5°C

Climate finance: Rich countries pledged to give poor countries who are the most affected by climate change an amount of $100bn a year between 2020 and 2050. However, the efforts to realize this investment is still in progress.

Cars: The target to ensure all new car and van sales are zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2035 in advanced markets or 2040 in all other markets is not yet agreed.

Farming: Some 45 governments have pledged to protect nature and overhaul farming. The pledge included billions of investment to help develop crops resilient to extreme weather such as droughts, floods and heatwaves.

As stewards of God’s creation, several church leaders from all branches of christianity rallied to make the voices of the most vulnerable be heard by the negotiators. They prayed for the conference, advocated with delegates of their respective countries, contributed to negotiations, conducted side meetings and much more. As God’s children, we care about climate change because of our deep devotion to God, who created it and saw it Good (Gen 1:31); and also because of the responsibility God has entrusted to us (Gen 2:15).

As the agreements are made, it is now time for action. The church needs to continue to Pray for God’s wisdom and support our respective governments in implementing the agreements made at COP26. As individuals, we need to demonstrate God’s Love for Creation through our lifestyle and choices we make. Through our Individual and collective actions, God’s name should be glorified!

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