- November 10, 2021
- Posted by: lutherpendragon
- Category: insight
Held in Glasgow between 31 October – 12 November, the UN Climate Change Conference is setting the political, media and business agenda. Follow proceedings with our bi-weekly round-up.
The main event
First draft of COP26 ‘cover decision’ announced
The first draft of an agreement setting out how countries will cut emissions to avoid temperature rises of above 1.5C was published by the UK COP26 presidency.
- The 7-page document sets out what negotiators hope will be the outcome of the summit, but is still to be negotiated. . [UN]
- The agreement focuses on adaptation to climate change, and finance – in particular encouraging richer nations to support poorer ones in their transition.
- It requests that countries put new plans for cutting emissions on the table by the end of next year. . [BBC News]
Declaration on accelerating the transition to EVs
On Transport Day, the UK has led a pledge from a range of public and private sector bodies to accelerate the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans.
- Signatories from governments and stakeholders across the automotive industry have committed to work towards all sales of new cars and vans being zero emission by 2040, and no later than 2035 in leading markets
- The list includes key manufactures such as Mercedes-Benz and Ford, but others such as Toyota and Volvo have not signed up. And whilst many US state and regional governments have joined the pledge, the federal government has not.
- This declaration is in addition to the UK government’s own ban on the sale of new internal combustion engine cars by 2030. . [UK Govt]
UK leads 45 governments in new pledges to protect nature
On Land Use Day at the weekend, the UK led a pledge on urgent action and investment to protect nature and shift to more sustainable ways of farming.
- Approximately one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, forestry and other land-use
- The deal involves leveraging over US$4 billion of new public sector investment into agricultural innovation, including the development of climate resilient crops making sustainable resources and techniques affordable and accessible to farmers. . [UK Govt]
In the news
Slow progress feeds pessimism
Going into the second week of COP26, many papers expressed concern at the lack of progress being made, in particular regarding the lack of agreement on limiting global warming to 1.5C.
- Many editorials played down any achievements from negotiations, arguing there was little of substance and nothing legally binding. . [Financial Times] . [The Independent] . [The Guardian] . [The Economist]
- The Times reported that Boris Johnson, worried about this, was planning an early return to add some impetus and focus minds. . [The Times]
Anger at fossil fuel lobbyists
There was annoyance at the fact that those representing the fossil fuel were higher in number than any single country’s delegation at COP26.
- Reports of fossil fuel lobbyists at COP26, of whom there were more than 500. . [Daily Mail] . [Evening Standard] . [The Independent]
Obama addresses the Summit
There was plenty of focus on President Barack Obama’s visit to Glasgow, as he addressed the summit on Monday.
- Obama used his speech to call on world leaders to ‘step up’, but criticised Donald Trump, Russia and China for halting progress. . [The Guardian] . [The Independent] . [Daily Mail] . [Daily Mail] . [Evening Standard] . [The Telegraph]
- However, his apparent confusion at where he was did not go unmissed. . [The Scotsman] . [Daily Express] . [The Sun]
Deal for developing countries
Developing nations have expressed anger at richer nations’ failure to fulfil a promise made at COP15 in Copenhagen, to provide $100 billion to help mitigate that impacts of climate change.
- Leaders are negotiating how to reach the figure, which should have been achieved in 2020 but may now not be until 2022. . [Financial Times] . [Evening Standard] . [The Guardian]
- However, the UK did pledge £290 million in a bid to help countries become more resilient to climate change. . [The Independent]
Tough week for Scott Morrison
There was some critical coverage of Australia, seen to be lagging behind others on climate change.
- In particular, papers were critical of a lack of ambition in Australia’s climate targets, and failure to pledge to ditch coal. . [Daily Mail] . [The Guardian]
- While Prime Minister announced his new policy to boost the sales of electric cars, this was criticised for not including a phase-out for petrol cars. . [The Guardian] . [The Independent]
Reports suggest financial regulators are increasing scrutiny of potential “greenwashing” in the investments industry.
- UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has announced the creation of a new panel to assess net zero commitments. . [The Times]
- The Securities and Exchange Commission objected to US brand Allbirds’ claim to be the first ‘sustainable’ IPO. . [Financial Times]
Google bans climate misinformation
Google has announced that it is banning ads that misinform the public about climate change.
- The announcement applies to ads on both Google and YouTube . [BBC News]
Water crisis being overlooked at COP
WaterAid has accused leaders at the summit of ignoring the ‘calamitous’ effects the climate crisis is having on global water supplies.
- WaterAid says COP conference has not paid enough attention to the planet’s water crisis . [Water Aid]
Advertising Standards Authority to crack down on Greenwashing ads
The advertising regulator will release new guidance to prevent adverts which feature climate misinformation.
- ASA in greenwashing clampdown . [BBC News]
Activists urge UN to declare ‘systemwide climate emergency’
Environmental campaigners led by Greta Thunberg have filed a petition calling on the UN to declare climate change a global level 3 emergency.
- Youth activists implore United Nations to announce ‘systemwide climate emergency’ . [The Guardian]
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