UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow

Updated: November 12, 2021 / Previous updates / Link & Resources

COP26 in Glasgow comes to an official close today. A first draft of the COP26 agreement text was released on Wednesday, and was criticized for its lack of ambition and urgency.

The draft text explicitly refers to "fossil fuels" — which has never appeared in the final text of a COP decision document — calling on countries "to accelerate the phasing-out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels." This language was watered down in the second draft published today.

While COP26 officially ends today, negotiations on the final text of the agreement are ongoing. Negotiations at previous COPs have often extended until Saturday or Sunday. Remaining stumbling blocks include increased commitments to international climate financing including support for "loss and damage" financing; calls for revising the NDCs and returning to the negotiating table next year; and the contentious Article 6, the final unresolved item from the Paris Agreement Rulebook that deals with carbon markets and credits.

Other COP26 Highlights

    In addition to the main COP26 agreement, there were many other joint commitments and agreements made by countries at the conference. Some key commitments from Canada included pledges on ending the public financing of fossil fuels projects, phasing out coal-fired electricty and thermal coal exports, and ending deforestation.

    Canada pledged to end the public financing of international fossil fuel projects by the end of next year.

    While Canada re-iterated its committment to phase out coal-fired electricity and end thermal coal exports by 2030. Many were hoping for an acceleration of the deadline for ending thermal coal exposts.

    Canada joined more that 100 countries in pledging to end deforestation by 2030, although some have noted that this commitment is actually less ambitious than previous deforestation targets.

    One commitment Canada didn't make, was joining the newly formed Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA). The Alliance's core members — 7 countries and the province of Quebec — have committed to end new oil and gas exploration and production.

    Previous Updates

    October 31, 2021

    From October 31 to November 12, 2021 world leaders and national negotiators are meeting in Glasgow, Scotland for COP26 —the 26th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Over the course of the two-week summit, delegations from countries around the world will engage in negotiations to establish new global climate targets, and make new national climate change commitments

    This is the 26th annual summit to be held since the UNFCCC treaty came into force in 1994. Negotiations at previous summits resulted in important agreements under the treaty such as the Kyoto Protocol (COP3), which defined emissions limits for industrialized nations, and the Paris Agreement (COP21), which set a target to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C, and required countries to review their emission reduction commitments every five years.

    One of the primary objectives of COP26 is to finalize the Paris Rulebook—the rules needed to implement the Paris Agreement. Countries were also urged to submit updated targets, known as Nationally-Determined Contributions or NDCs as part of the Paris Agreement's five-year review cycle. Prior to COP26, these updated NDCs were compiled into an NDC Synthesis Report whose findings that there is an "urgent need for either a significant increase in the level of ambition of NDCs between now and 2030 or a significant overachievement of the latest NDCs, or a combination of both," serve to highlight the importance of the COP26 negotiations

    In addition to the official negotiating sessions and formal events in the "Blue Zone", there are also thousands of side events happening, divided over thematic days, on topics like finance, energy, youth and public empowerment, nature, adaptation, gender, science and innovation, transport, and cities. There is also a public "Green Zone" where NGOs and other civil society groups, academia, artists, businesses from around the world will gather to host events, exhibitions, workshops and lectures.

    We've compiled some links and resources for you to learn more about, and follow the events of COP26. Back to top

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