From the 1st to 13th of November, European Green leaders will be attending the 26th UN Climate Summit, also known as the Conference of the Parties (COP). Over the years, the UNFCCC COP meetings have held global negotiations on reducing emissions, climate finance, and working towards a pathway to limit global heating to 1.5°C. This COP26 is the first meeting since before the COVID-19 pandemic that the world will be addressing the issue of climate breakdown at the global scale.

Serious concerns for the summit

  • Raising Climate Ambition

There is still a long way that needs to done to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement and avoid global warming beyond 1.5°C, said European Greens. It states that the current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are far too low in relation to the Paris Agreement and IPCC report findings. Greens are keeping their eyes on the polluting industries which are trying to use offsetting as an excuse to keep using fossil fuels.

  • Phasing out Fossil Fuels

The production of fossil fuels is still expanding instead of declining. For example, when Glasgow was preparing the COP26 for greater climate ambition, the UK has decide to open a new oil field in North Sea and a new coal mine in Cumbria. Fuel companies and private investors claim that the project will create more than 1,000 jobs and even more in the supply chain, according to BBC News.

“We have proactively taken significant steps to minimize the emissions footprint through its design and Cambo will be built ‘electrification-ready’, with the potential to use onshore renewable power when it becomes available in the future, in line with decarbonisation targets.” says Jonathan Roger, the Siccar Point Energy’s CEO.

What is the Cambo oil field from BBC News
  • Climate justice and Social Justice

As revealed by the climate finance delivery plan, wealthy nations have fallen short every year on delivering $100 billion per year by 2020 to vulnerably nations to help them cope with climate change. However, many South American and African climate activists who eagerly want to share their stories are unable to attend due to the shortage of vaccines. European Greens claim that climate justice is important to creating more resilient societies and sustainable future for everyone.

Weaknesses and Criticisms

Although the attendees are busy talking climate issues, there are some realistic problems and problems carried over from the past. For example, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg accuses China for not taking responsibilities on carbon emissions. However, when talking about climate change, both current greenhouse gas emissions and historical accumulated ones should be taken into account. Ding Zhongli, Academician of ‘Chinese Academy of Sciences’, points out that the current temperatures on earth look normal if global climate changes over the past 10,000 years are considered, according to one of his publications in the journal of Earth Science. He believes that a per capita count of emissions would be more equitable and treat people the same.

In addition, it is questioned how much carbon footprints the attendees distribute during the conference since most of them travel by air? It is believed developed countries should take more responsibilities to help developing countries and lead towards a just and sustainable transition all around the world.

Yawei Zhang

Yawei comes from China. He received a Master's degree at Lakehead University majoring in History. Passionate in journalism, he is interested in environmental and political issues. In his free time, he enjoys travelling and coin collection.

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