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Published on Monday, November 15, 2021

Global | A cold shower in Glasgow

COP26 has now ended and the assessment about what it has achieved is mixed — positive for the commitments obtained, but negative because they are still not enough. The Paris Agreement's goal of limiting the rise in global temperature to 1.5ºC has not been met and it is far from certain that it will be achieved.

Key points

  • Key points:
  • Agreements were reached in the first week of the summit, with the potential to have a relatively rapid impact on climate change. One being a commitment led by the US and the EU to make a 30% cut in emissions of methane —a gas which contributes 80 times more than CO2 to global warming—by 2030.
  • The pledge to end and reverse deforestation by 2030 was another highlight; something which will help to absorb emissions in natural carbon sinks, such as forests.
  • However, a lack of climate ambition is not something that the financial system can be accused of — something that is reflected by the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero's call to action to the G20 governments.
  • The development of the rules of the emissions trading markets between countries and between private agents, to strengthen price-based instruments—the most efficient way to reduce emissions—continues to be key to driving climate transition.
  • The temporary fall in emissions that resulted from COVID-19 did not stop the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and it rose again with some force in 2021. This is yet another spur to take quick and decisive action.

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