Under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), COP26 is an international meeting on climate change.


Under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), COP26 is an international meeting on climate change. 

It stands for "conference of the parties" and refers to the 26th gathering of UNFCCC parties. 

What were the goals of COP26?

The annual Conference of the Parties (COP), according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has two main goals:

  • To evaluate how the Convention, Kyoto Protocol, and Paris Agreement have each been put into practice.
  • To decide whether to develop and use these three instruments further.

For every COP, specific goals are also established. Four objectives that had to be accomplished before COP26 were outlined. 

These included:

  1. Achieve worldwide net zero by the middle of the century and keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by accelerating the coal phase-out, reducing deforestation, hastening the changeover to electric cars, and boosting investment in renewable energy.
  2. Adapt to save local populations and ecological systems.
  3. Raise an annual minimum of $100 billion in climate finance.
  4. Work together to complete the Paris Rulebook and quicken the pace of the fight against the climate crisis.

What was agreed upon at the conference?

The signing of the Glasgow Climate Pact and the adoption of the Paris Rulebook were the two main outcomes of COP26. During the conference, other noteworthy agreements and announcements that were not directly related to COP26 were made.

What is the Glasgow Climate Pact?

On the final day of COP26, deliberations resulted in the Glasgow Climate Pact. It outlines what has to be done to combat climate change in a "series of decisions and resolutions that build on the Paris deal." However, it is not legally binding and needs to specify what each nation must do.

What is the Paris Rulebook?

The rules for implementing the Paris Agreement are provided in the Paris Rulebook. Getting agreement from all the Paris signatories on how they would outline their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to cut emissions was one of the main goals of COP26. The final rule book comprises agreements on the following: 

  • A transparent framework for reporting emissions 
  • Time frames for achieving emission reduction goals
  • criteria and mechanisms for global carbon markets.

Additional agreements: There were also commitments made in a number of other sectors, including forests, methane, automobile emissions, and private financing. A commitment to "stop and reverse forest loss and land degradation" by 2030 was made by 137 nations as part of this.

A major goal of the agreement between 190 nations to phase out coal power production resulted in a 76% reduction in the number of planned coal power plants. The worldwide coal-to-clean power transition statement has received the backing of more than 40 countries, numerous states, and organizations.

Twenty-two nations have signed the Clydebank Declaration, which aims to decarbonize shared shipping routes. A declaration on expediting the transition to 100% zero emission automobiles and vans by "2040, and by no later than 2035 in leading markets" was one of the agreements that private businesses, communities, and nations signed.

Infrastructure for Resilient Island States: The Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS) initiative has been launched by India to improve the infrastructure of small island countries, which continue to be the most fragile and are most at risk from climate change. 

The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) initiative includes the IRIS. Leaders of small island nations, including Fiji, Jamaica, and Mauritius, participated in the new project, which was the outcome of collaboration between India, the U.K., and Australia. 

One Sun, One World, One Grid: Inaugurated at COP26 is the new Global Green Grids Initiative One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG). The International Solar Alliance's OSOWOG multilateral initiative to promote an integrated solar energy infrastructure on a global scale has evolved into the new GGI-OSOWOG.

India's New Climate Action Goals or Panchamrit:

  • By 2070 at the earliest, India will attain net-zero emissions.
  • In India, renewable energy sources would be heavily utilized. India will guarantee that 50% of its energy will come from renewable sources by 2030. By 2030, India wants to produce 500 GW of renewable energy. This represents a 50 GW increase over the 450 GW aim it currently has.
  • Additionally, India pledged to cut its carbon emissions by one billion tonnes by 2030. India will lower the economy's carbon intensity to less than 45% by 2030. India is substantially on course to reach and surpass its goals outlined in the Paris Agreement, which calls for a reduction in emissions as a percentage of GDP of 33 to 35 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.

Lacunae of the Meeting:

  • Voluntary Targets: The goals established during the summit need to have enforcement mechanisms or sanctions for failure to accomplish them. Many goals depend on having enough funding to support them.
  • Lack of Detailed Information and Activities: Many nations still need to give specific information on the actions that will be done in order to identify the real trajectory to net zero, which raises questions about what will be accomplished.
  • Inability to Secure Climate finance: The summit's meek reprimand implores the developed country parties to increase their provision of climate finance. It was unable to enlist developed countries' monetary pledges fully.
  • Uneven Distribution of Carbon Budget: The top three emitters in the world—China, the United States, and Europe—which together make up approximately 30% of the global population, would consume 78% of the carbon budget. This issue highlights that if the initial position regarding emissions varies so widely, focusing on net-zero dates does not assure a just distribution of the available carbon space. 

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