November 10: the first draft of the final declaration at Cop26 was published.
For the first time, a reference appears to the need to abandon coal and stop fossil fuel subsidies.
The decision to adopt a work plan to revise the short-term commitments and not to lose the possibility of meeting the 1.5 degree target has been included. The Parties state that they "welcome" the first part of the new report of the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, according to which many effects of global warming caused by human activities are now irreversible. And expressly ask the heads of state and government to work to increase action in key areas for combating climate change, including by establishing concrete short-term commitments. But even taking into account additional announcements made by governments in recent days, the Climate action tracker indicates that we would not fall below 2.4 degrees: infinitely more than the Paris Agreement's more ambitious goal of staying as close to 1.5 degrees as possible.
A specific date for carbon neutrality is missing. The proposal to accelerate the exit from coal and, above all, the end of subsidies granted to fossil fuels does not specify concretely either when or how this is to be done. The G20 nations alone, since the year of approval of the Paris Agreement, 2015, have granted to coal, oil and gas 3,300 billion dollars. A value defined as "reckless" by the authors of the study. Instead of indicating the need to achieve carbon neutrality at a certain date, 2050, it was preferred to indicate the formula, much more vague, "around the middle of the century". This risks giving a wide margin to nations that do not believe they want to commit themselves in a stringent manner.
Current allocations are insufficient to respond to the worsening impacts of climate change in the poorest nations on Earth. The $100 billion per year that was first pledged at Cop15 in Copenhagen in 2009 has never been allocated in full since.
On transparency in reporting progress in terms of emission reduction, the gap seems almost unbridgeable. The goal is to agree on a common grid that can allow for effective and not questionable monitoring of each nation's progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A number of nations requested the possibility of being able to omit certain data in common reporting. According to sources, it is not excluded that the point will be completely set aside, due to the impossibility of reaching an agreement.
While governments and institutions seem distant from taking concrete actions for the benefit of the Planet and of us all, we all can do our part: adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle, use renewables, public transport, walk more, eat local organic vegan food, reduce, reuse, recycle, remove plastic from your life. Our daily choices change the world!
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