COP-26: A Success?
Every year, Conference of the Parties (COP), the UN climate change summit, takes place in a different host city, during which various countries from around the world discuss issues concerning climate change and the best ways to address them. This year, from October 31 to November 12, nearly 200 countries, including the U.S., China, and the U.K., met in Glasgow, Scotland for COP 26, deliberating about current climate change issues.
The main goal of the COP 26 conference was to create measures to ensure that the global temperature does not rise above 1.5 degrees Celsius and to secure global net-zero emissions by 2050. The 1.5 degree threshold has been decided through a scientific consensus, and if the global temperature rises above this number, it will increase the likelihood of extreme heat waves and oceans rising, putting millions of lives in danger. Representatives from the various countries attending have been making strides to collaborate, including China and the U.S., who have historically been in many conflicts regarding country policy. Furthermore, the conference developed a final agreement, called the Glasgow Climate Pact, which outlines the different principles and goals that negotiators created to address climate change, including cutting emissions, reducing coal usage, and funding developing countries.
However, the countries at the conference have faced various problems concerning how to address the climate issue, as all countries have different interests, reliances, and policies. One major obstacle is whether or not all of the 197 countries in the conference must consent to the agreement formed in the conference. Some countries, for example, rely on fossil fuels and do not have the financial ability to reduce emissions or use sustainable resources. Although wealthy nations pledged in the COP 15 conference in 2009 to fund 100 billion dollars to less wealthy nations to address this problem, the funding was not provided and fell short of what was promised. Additionally, the final agreement of the COP 26 conference did not describe decisive measures and ways to ensure that countries follow through with their promises, and it is controversial whether the agreement will be effective or not.
COP 26 created a platform through which countries around the world could discuss possible solutions to the urgent climate change problem that we face. Although the summit had its limitations, it was able to foster communication between countries and help start up initiatives to combat climate change.
Edited by The Spokesman editorial staff