What happens now that COP26 is over in terms of climate change?
The Glasgow Summit has come to an end, but it has forever altered the way UN climate conferences are run.
From the start, Glasgow was set to be a major COP26.
Nations set out formal plans to cut emissions at a similar UN summit in Paris in 2015, but the total commitments were nowhere near enough to keep warming to a safe level.
By requiring countries to submit new plans every five years, the Paris Agreement aimed to close the “emissions gap.”
Glasgow was to be a major test of whether that system could deliver results as the first deadline in that cycle.
The world is on track to warm by 3.2°C by the end of the century, according to pledges made in Paris.
More ambitious pledges made in Glasgow reduced the warming to 2.4°C.
Scientists warn, however, that if warming is to be kept below 1.5 degrees Celsius, as set out in the Paris Agreement, emissions reductions must pick up speed this decade.
It was clear going into Glasgow that the world couldn’t afford to wait another five years for a new set of commitments.
As a result, at COP26, it was agreed that countries would return the following year with new pledges to reduce emissions more quickly before 2030.
It establishes next year’s UN summit, which will be held in Egypt, as a watershed moment for the 1.5°C target.
It was also agreed that the UN would issue an annual report summarizing the impact of all national pledges in order to assess how far the world is from the 1.5°C target.
In effect, this disrupts the Paris-based five-year cycle, replacing it with an annual stocktake that will put countries under near-constant pressure to reduce carbon emissions faster.
That may be Glasgow’s most lasting legacy.
The 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) was the first major COP since Paris.
However, every year from now on, the world will host a major climate summit.
Now that COP26 is over, what happens with climate change?
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What happens with climate change now COP26 is over