What to expect from next week’s United Nations Climate Change Conference

The 26th-annual meeting convenes Sunday in Glasgow, and a primary goal is to get all countries to agree to “net zero” emissions by 2050.

By Alexandra HartOctober 25, 2021 6:49 am,

Next Sunday is the start of the 2021 United Nation Climate Change Conference – known as COP26, or the 26th meeting of the Conference of the Parties. The two-week summit brings together leaders from around the world to discuss climate goals.

According to organizers and participants, the stakes have never been higher. As the threat of climate change looms greater than ever, the meeting is seen as one of the world’s last opportunities to reach goals laid out in the 2015 Paris agreement, which seeks to keep world temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees celsius over pre-industrial levels.

“There are some main goals, really some key elements here,” said Matt Smith, lead oil analyst for the Americas at Kpler, about what COP26 plans to achieve. “The accelerated phase out of coal, the curtailing of deforestation, the speed up to the switch to electric vehicles and then finally, an emphasis on increasing investment in renewables.”

Highlights from this interview:

– One of the goals of COP 26 is to get all of the countries involved to commit to “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050. Energy companies will still continue to produce fossil fuels, but things like the use of renewable energy as well as environmental initiatives will offset the use of those fuels.

– The four ways COP 26 aims to achieve net zero emissions is through the phasing out of coal, curtailing deforestation, ramping up the use of electric vehicles and investing more in renewable energy sources.

– President Biden has committed to reducing the United States’ carbon emissions by 50% (compared to 2005 levels) by the end of this decade. Smith says it’s a “hugely ambitious” goal, and hinges on the passing of Biden’s Build Back Better plan.

– One of the goals of COP 26 will be to create access to money so developing countries with limited financial resources can reach the 2050 net zero goal.

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