Summary of Outcomes for COP26: Was it a Success or Failure?

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By Kim Johnson | 1Q 2022 | IN-6401

 

Conference of the Parties Gathers in Glasgow to Address Climate Change

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“Cash, coal, cars, and trees” to keep the world at 1.5⁰C. This catchy phrase was delivered by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to serve as a concise and memorable summary of the goals of COP26. Since 1995, the countries unified by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) have met as a “Conference of the Parties” (COP), and the 2021 meeting in Glasgow was the 26th annual summit. Ahead of the event, 200 countries were asked for their plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, revisiting climate pledges made under the 2015 Paris Agreement. Six years ago, in Paris, countries were asked to make impactful changes that would keep global warming “well below” 2⁰C above pre-industrial levels, while aiming for 1.5⁰C. Today, the goal of these ongoing meetings is to keep cutting emissions until they reach net zero by 2050. So, was COP26 a failure or success? What was in the COP26 agreement? Were meaningful goals set for cash, coal, cars, trees, and more?

The Outcomes of COP26

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