Lights and Shadows of COP26 - Report by Latindadd

Our sister secretariat Latindadd has produced a report reflecting on COP26. It contains the main positive and negative aspects that can be rescued from a balance of what happened at COP26 from Latindadd's perspective.

By Carola Mejía – Climate Finance Analyst, Latindadd

Between October 31 and November 12, 2021, the 26th Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP26) was held in the city of Glasgow, Scotland, chaired by the government of the United Kingdom in collaboration with Italy. The event was attended by heads of state, ministers, environmental experts and representatives of non-governmental organisations from the 197 countries that are currently part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

In 2020, COP26 was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic, generating much expectation about the results of the negotiations on climate change this year. These would be essential to conclude the Paris Agreement (PA) Rulebook that would allow global agreements to be translated into concrete actions to stop global warming in a timely manner. It must be considered that science has established a threshold of less than 10 years to carry out unprecedented transformations in current production models, which will drastically reduce the burning of fossil fuels. Likewise, adaptation measures to climate change must be adopted, mainly in the most vulnerable countries that are also the least responsible for this global problem.

During the first week of the summit, several presidents of the world participated. The clamour from island states like Barbados was also heard, as these are highly vulnerable to climate change. Justice and financing were demanded to face adaptation, as well as to cover damages and losses. It was suggested that USD 500 billion equivalent in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) could be issued annually for 20 years, for a fund that can combat climate change and finance transition, not just adaptation.

Another shocking message was sent by the Minister of Tuvalu, who gave his speech virtually with sea water up to his knees, to draw attention to the rise in sea levels, as an irreversible consequence of climate change, which puts people from islands and coastal countries at high risk of disappearance.

Although there was some progress in the negotiations, the results of COP26 were highly insufficient considering the short time humanity has to deal with the current climate crisis in a timely manner. The main positive and negative aspects that can be rescued from a balance of what happened at COP26 are described in the report.