What is COP26 and Why is it So Important

What is COP26 and Why is it So Important

The UN Climate Change Summit was officially opened last night (local time) by COP26 President Alok Sharma. Themed Leading Action Togethet Climate, the Conference of the Parties or COP26 was held in Glasgow, Scotland from 31 October to 12 November.

Then what is COP26 and how important is it for countries in the world. Quoted from a number of sources with the following explanation.

What is COP26 meeting

The COP is an annual high-level forum for 197 countries to discuss climate change and how countries around the world plan to tackle it. The COP gathers to address matters related to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC, which is a major UN agreement that states that countries need to come together to find ways to stop global warming.

Once a year, representatives from all countries in the agreement gather to finalize international climate change actions and policies related to the UNFCCC. COP26 is the specific name of this year's major climate change summit.

So, does “26” mean there are another 25 COPs?

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) was formed in 1992, when 154 countries signed a new treaty on climate change. The agreement entered into force in 1994. The first COP took place in 1995 in Berlin, and the COP has met almost every year since then. (Last year's COP was postponed due to the pandemic.)

There are many meetings. Why not fix climate change now?

The scale of the problem is not only quite large, but the process is quite convoluted. Most of the COPs are filled with lengthy discussions of minute technical details relating to the different UN rules and parameters. Some COPs are basically devoted to finding out the technical details of a particular agreement.

Of course, there will be some questions about the accountability of the big countries that contribute to global carbon emissions, how much financial aid small countries should receive, and what the world should realistically or scientifically achieve.

This COP was attended by nearly 200 countries, and all had their own interests. Civil society and even companies engaged in fossil energy are competing to influence the conversation.

Why COP26 in Glasgow

Glasgow is where this year's COP26 is being held, as England is hosting the COP. Chile holds the COP25 presidency, but moved the conference to Spain because of protests about rising inequality. (Chile only hosted because Brazil withdrew after Jair Bolsonaro won the presidency.)

But usually, the name of the city where the talks are held is identical to the COP. In 2015, France hosted COP15, that's how we got the name Paris Agreement.

What is the Paris Agreement/Paris Agreement?

At COP Paris, 192 countries reached an agreement to free the world from fossil fuels and try and avoid a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius of additional warming by the end of the century. The agreement sets an aspirational target of avoiding 1.5 degrees Celsius warming, thanks to advocacy by small island states.

As part of the Paris Agreement, countries agreed to submit their own plans that would detail how much they plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This kind of agreement may sound very basic, but it is a big deal for the UN process. In 2009, the countries hoped to reach a similar agreement, but negotiations, instead, ended dramatically on the final day of the conference in what was a diplomatic meltdown.

If the world signed the Paris Agreement in 2015, should we be done with this meeting by now?

Paris was never meant to be the last word on how the world will tackle climate change. Think of it more as a beginner's blueprint. The treaty is modeled after countries are increasingly applying

What will happen at COP26?

Negotiators will work on many different mechanisms intended to help countries report climate targets and communicate with each other, including setting a common time frame for Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and a common transparency framework that helps countries see each other's progress and build trust that everyone is doing their climate homework.

They will also discuss how to deliver on promises made about climate finance, in particular how rich countries take on the responsibility to help poor countries transition their economies and adapt to climate change.

Negotiations are actually closed to the public, but there is a lot of activity going on outside of the meeting as well. Thousands of spectators from what are known as “observer organizations”—NGOs, youth organizations, businesses, policy groups—came to the COP to cheer on delegates and the process, try and encourage them one way or another, and generally involve themselves in negotiations as much as possible. maybe from the sidelines.

Many of these groups conduct demonstrations, discussions, and other events—many including celebrities and world leaders who get a lot of news attention and can, to some extent, inform what is going on in the discussion.

Countries can also hold their own events, some of which can tell about their priorities in negotiations.

Who attended COP26?

Each of the 192 countries that have signed the Paris Agreement will send a group of delegates to represent them in the negotiations. Around 20,000 delegates registered to attend and 120 heads of state are expected to attend as well.

They will spend most of the two weeks in meetings. A number of world leaders will attend, including President Joe Biden, President Joko Widodo.

Why is COP26 important?

There are several key benchmarks in the Paris Agreement that will be featured in this year's negotiations, so this COP26 will not go into technical details.

Perhaps equally important, there has also been a wealth of science and research since we last held the COP that illustrates the urgency to act as quickly as possible on climate.

The International Energy Agency said earlier this year that all new fossil fuel exploration must end entirely by 2022 to keep us below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

And in August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), another UN agency, released a report outlining how much the planet has changed—and how serious things will become if we don't act now. Suffice it to say that the global atmosphere around climate change may not be this strong at other COPs.

What to expect from COP26?

Many unresolved issues from previous high-level meetings and at COP26 must be resolved. Not only at the negotiating table, but in real action on how all countries tackle climate change. The hope is that the COP26 meeting will not only be a negotiation between the elites, but also a real result in determining the fate of the Earth.