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When glaciers melt, biodiversity declines, carbon emissions and fossil fuels are mentioned, dangerous futures await the blue globe we live in. What is COP26, which is organized to fend off these dangerous tomorrows, what is it actually and what is it aiming for? Let’s analyze COP26 together.
Let’s start with the name of the conference first. The Conference of the Parties, shortly known as COP, is called COP26 as it was held for the 26th time as you can imagine. It is also worth noting that the conference is sometimes called CMA3 or the “United Nations Climate Change Conference”, although it is not a commonly used term.
COP26 is expected to be a cooperation and communication conference on climate action between rich and poor countries. In addition, the conference is shown as the most serious step taken for global climate solidarity since the Paris Convention.
The first COP conference, COP1, was held in Berlin in 1995. The conference, which was held for the 26th time this year, is an event that should have been held in 2020, but was postponed to 2021 due to Covid19. The conference, which started on October 31, is expected to end on November 12.
COP26 is jointly organized by the UK and Italy this year. The United Kingdom appointed Alok Sharma, who was the Minister of Business and Energy, as the head of COP26, for this great organization in February 2020. As you can see, the United Kingdom made a lot of preparations for this conference.
The 197 members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are attending the conference. A total of 30,000 people from 197 countries are expected to attend. As a total of 120 heads of state will participate in this year’s program, special security and social distance measures were also taken in Glasgow.
One of the most striking developments was the fact that the Presidents of China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and India, which are the states that share the summit in climate problem and carbon emissions, did not attend the conference, which started with the motto “Our last chance for the world”, without giving any reason.
Member states are asked to set a target for emissions by 2025 or 2030. These targets were called the National Declaration of Contribution (NDC). While member countries are expected to share NDC information at this conference; China, Saudi Arabia and India are not expected to share information on this issue.
Plans are expected to be prepared to meet the financial needs of developing countries so that they can build stronger economies with low carbon emissions.
With the measures to be taken, it is aimed to stabilize the global temperature increase at 1.5 degrees and to complete the Paris Rules Book, which was written to make the Paris Climate Agreement operational.
The fact that the majority of 120 heads of state came to the conference held in Glasgow by private jet caused criticism. As a matter of fact, an average private jet has released 13.5 tons of carbon to participate in this conference. The fact that the conference, which was held for the purpose of protecting the climate and the environment, made a mistake at such a sensitive point before it even started, received great criticism. It is stated that if the leaders come with scheduled planes, they will not receive such heavy criticism.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sums up his expectations from COP26 in four words: “coal, cash, cars and trees”.
While England thinks that the use of coal should be abandoned as soon as possible; It wants it to be used in a way that can cause the least damage to nature during the abandonment process. A group led by Italy, China, India and Russia forms the opposition in this regard. The UK also aims to completely abolish the sale of gasoline vehicles, at least for its own sake, by 2040, while other member states have not yet taken a step in this regard.
As we will remember, the USA withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement during the Donald Trump Era. During the Joe Biden Era, the United States returned to the treaty. Biden apologized for this situation at COP26.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for the Paris Climate Agreement to be implemented by the middle of the 21st century, not the 20th century.
President of France, Emmanuel Macron, called on the countries with the largest greenhouse gas emissions in the world to make recommendations within 15 days to reach the set targets. He also reiterated the importance of financial support to underdeveloped countries.
Greek Prime Minister Kiryakos Mitsotakis drew attention to the forest fires in Greece and Turkey and brought up measures to be taken regarding forest fires.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy made a statement about the Donbas and Crimea and targeting Russia.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that they aim to achieve the “net zero” carbon emissions target by 2070.
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili reminded that the Caucasus region, which has rich nature, lost 40 percent of its glaciers due to climate change.
November 2, 2021: A group led by Canada has committed to reduce its methane emissions by 75%. Previously, 80 countries committed to reducing it by 30% by 2030. It is not yet known how Canada will react to this offer. Also speaking at the conference, Prof. Dr. Jos Lelieveld explained that it will not be possible to live without air conditioning in some countries due to the air temperature in the coming years.
November 3, 2021: The non-participation of some heads of state, especially the presidents of China and Russia, was condemned and criticized. In addition, the world’s leading financial companies have made a commitment under the name of “Glasgow Net Zero Financial Alliance” to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
November 4, 2021: 40 countries, especially the UK, Poland, Vietnam and Chile, have committed to stop using coal. The world’s most coal-dependent countries, including China, the USA, Australia and India, have not made any statements so far.
November 5, 2021: A climate march was held, led by climate activists Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate. Mostly young people participated in this march. This event, called “Friday for the Future”, consists of young people who do not go to school on Fridays and do climate walks. The event ended after the press release.
November 5, 2021: US Special Representative on Climate Change, John Kerry, pledged that $100 billion in funding should be provided to developing countries for 2022 and that the United States will do its part in this regard. Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera, after this statement; He said, “This is not a charity work, if you do not provide us with funds, you will die with us,” and gave a rest to developed countries about climate.
November 5, 2021: More than 40 states and more than 150 giant companies responded positively to the UK’s call to abandon coal use. China, the USA, India, Russia and Germany, the 5 countries that use coal the most, have not yet responded positively or negatively to this call of the UK.
6 November 2021: 46 countries signed the Coal-to-Clean Energy Transition Declaration, formalizing their commitment not to use coal. In addition, 15 international organizations invited Turkey, which did not sign this declaration or make a verbal commitment, to the declaration. China, Japan and South Korea were the first countries to formally not accept this declaration.
November 6, 2021: A march was held in Glasgow, where the conference continued, with the participation of more than 100 thousand people. In general, COP26 is not global in the march; Messages were given that it was a political and distraction movement. According to activists, COP26 has nothing to do with the climate movement. Similar messages were given at the demonstration march that took place on 5 November and attended by Greta Thunberg.
November 6, 2021: A group of 40,000 people in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, held an environment and climate walk for more effective decisions at COP26. In general, it was announced that the global temperature increase should be stabilized to a better degree and that other states should respond to the decisions taken.
November 8, 2021: “The effects of global warming on poor countries” were discussed in the second week and first day of the conference. England taking the floor in this title; committed £290m ($393.2m) of financial support to poor countries. The UK also stated that it has created this fund only for Asian and Pacific countries.
November 8, 2021: Zero emissions recommendations and expectations of the fashion/apparel industry were announced today at COP26. In the announced statement; It is stated that 50% reduction by 2030 and zero emissions by 2050 are targeted. World-renowned brands such as Burberry, H&M Group, VF Corporation, Adidas, Kering, Chanel, Nike and Puma also signed the declaration.
November 8, 2021: Today, the Cohesion Fund, with which developed countries have previously agreed verbally, was officially created. A target of $232 million has been set for this fund. The first financial support to the fund was given by the United Kingdom with $ 20 million. With the support of other developed countries, the fund is expected to be completed tomorrow. This fund is expected to be allocated to 38 countries that are expected to face difficulties in aligning with the COP26 targets.