Posted on 18 November 2021
We came to Glasgow expecting leaders to agree to a step change in the pace and scale of climate action. While we didn’t get the step-change, and the text agreed is far from perfect, we are moving in the right direction, says global environmental group WWF.
GLASGOW, Scotland (13 November 2021)
- Governments had to make progress in resolving three major gaps: a gap in targets to reduce emissions, a gap in rules to deliver and monitor progress, and a gap in financing the climate action needed to put the world on a pathway to a safer future.
Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Lead on Climate and Energy, said
: “We must acknowledge that progress was made. There are now new opportunities for countries to deliver on what they know must be done to avoid a climate catastrophe. But unless they sharply pivot to implementation and show substantial results, they will continue to have their credibility challenged.”
COP26 wrapped up today with weak decisions in a number of important areas, including adaptation, loss and damage and climate finance. But, there are significant hooks in the text for countries to increase short-term climate ambition and to implement binding climate policies.
This COP marks the first time that fossil fuels subsidies are mentioned in an approved decision text as well as the recognition of the need to ramp up investments in clean energy while ensuring a just transition. The first text was well received. Yet, we were deeply disappointed by the watering-down of the language on coal from phase-out to phase-down by a single country, India. WWF emphasises that strong language, deadlines and ways to operationalise are needed if we are to achieve the needed transition away from all fossil fuels. Countries know there will be no resolution of the climate crisis unless we see deep decarbonisation in every sector, concrete actions to stop nature loss, and scaled up restoration.
Pulgar Vidal said
: “The call for a short-term ratcheting-up of climate pledges by 2022 is welcomed by WWF. We are in the middle of a climate emergency, but we are still on track for warming well above 2°C according to recent analyses, a future that will be catastrophic for millions of people and for nature. Countries must collectively fulfil 50% CO2 reductions by 2030 and deliver on this ratcheting-up mechanism in 2022 with a 1.5°C goal in mind.”
Importantly, the final text recognises the critical role of nature in achieving the 1.5°C goal, encourages governments to incorporate nature into their national climate plans, and establishes an annual ocean dialogue for ocean-based mitigation and adaptation action.
: “Keeping global warming below 1.5°C is still possible, as long as we build on this momentum and scale up the global response to the climate crisis. But the window is closing fast, so it’s time for world leaders to fulfil all of their promises to guarantee the future we all want and deserve”.
Viet Nam makes breakthrough commitments at COP26
At the COP26 conference, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh made strong commitments to respond to climate change, with particular attention to the transformation of a low-carbon economy with a roadmap to drastically reduce dependence on coal energy and rapidly increase the proportion of renewable energy.
The Prime Minister's commitment to Net Zero by 2050 has received great support and attention from the international community. This ambitious but necessary goal is in the context of the current climate crisis and Viet Nam being one of the most climate affected countries.
The Prime Minister also recommended that adapting to climate change and natural restoration must become the highest priority in all development strategies, and is a moral imperative for all levels, industries, businesses, and citizens.
Ms. Pham Cam Nhung, Lead of the Energy and Climate Program of WWF-Viet Nam, said
: “We welcome the Government's commitments at COP26. All of these statements represent the government's strategic, humane and equitable vision as well as the highest political determination we've ever had. As a nature-and people-centered conservation organisation, WWF-Viet Nam is committed to working with partners to support the government at the highest level in fulfilling its commitments that are vital to the planet, which has entered a state of global ecosystem collapse due to the effects of climate change