‘We have no choice but to make COP26 a success’: UN official
There is ‘climate emergency’ which should be addressed, says executive secretary of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
The world needs ambitious solutions that will keep the 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) goal within reach and to leave no voice behind to reach this important goal, a high-level UN official said Sunday.
The UN Climate Change Conference, also knowns as COP26, began in Glasgow, Scotland, on Sunday with new pledges expected to be announced in the fight against climate change.
“We have no choice but to make COP26 a success. For that, we need unity of purpose,” said Patricia Espinosa, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
She said the world needs to leave Glasgow with a balanced package of decisions that reflects the positions of all countries.
The devastating loss of lives this year due to extreme weather events clarifies how important it is to convene COP26 despite the impacts of the pandemic still being felt, she also underlined.
“We are on track for a global temperature rise of 2.7C, while we should be heading for the 1.5C goal,” she highlighted as one of the goals of the Glasgow conference.
“Clearly, we are in a climate emergency. Clearly, we need to address it. Clearly, we need to support the most vulnerable to cope,” she added.
The cost of adapting to climate change in developing nations could reach $300 billion in 2030, according to the latest report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development.
That figure could get up to $500 billion in 2050 if mitigation targets are not met.
What is COP?
COP, an abbreviation for the Conference of the Parties, is being attended by countries that have signed onto the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The numbered COP gatherings are hosted by a different country each year, with the very first, COP1, in Berlin in 1995.
COP26 was originally scheduled to take place last November in Glasgow, but was postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic and is now being hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy.
The last conference was in Madrid, Spain in November 2019, and ended with issues unresolved, but an agreement was reached on cutting carbon dioxide emissions.
Which world leaders will attend?
Over 100 world leaders are expected to attend the conference, but the number of actually confirmed attendees is so far smaller.
Along with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leaders who have confirmed their attendance includes US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
The presidents of Russia and China – two countries that are among the world’s top five main sources of greenhouse gases – have reportedly confirmed that they would not attend the event.