We are not working fast enough. COP (Conference of the Parties) summits have taken place since 1995 and the biggest success story came in 2015 at COP 21 when 195 nations signed the non-binding Paris Climate Accord which aims to limit global warming to well below 2°C (35.6°F) above pre-industrial level at 1.5°C (34.7°F).
Five years later, 197 countries are gearing up to attend COP26 to be held in Glasgow on November 1-12, 2021. Countries have to present their National Determined Contribution (NDC), to detail exactly what they will do to meet their commitments in line with the 1.5°C (34.7°F) target. The success of the conference will be determined by how ambitious and binding these plans are.
Climate finance to decarbonise is a huge issue. Rich countries are the major carbon emitters and poorer countries are suffering the most. It was agreed that rich countries will take the biggest responsibility for past and future carbon emissions and they promised to contribute 100$billion each year by 2020, but they only provided less than 80$billion of climate finance in 2019 according to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Setting a global carbon pricing mechanism will be vital. Many COP member countries committed to Net Zero before 2050, but without putting a price on CO2, it is hard for governments to force polluters to cut emissions fairly and for investors to assess their risks and what cost lies ahead.
Climate discussions and pledges are now mainstream in boardrooms, companies and classrooms, but accountable and transparent commitments from many sectors, including tourism, to be Carbon Zero or better before 2030 is limited, and inaction with creative PR is still everywhere.
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