World leaders convene to tackle requirements of Paris Agreement

Claire Roach, Website/Asst. Opinion Editor

To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, a group of world leaders will meet for the 26th session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). This year, the summit is being hosted in Glasgow, Scotland, and will last from Oct. 31 through Nov. 12. 

Smaller summits set the stage for the main event. On Sept. 28, a pre-COP26 Youth4Climate summit was held in Milan, Italy. 

Youth activist Greta Thunberg gave a speech criticizing world leaders saying, “This is not some expensive politically correct green bunny hugging or blah blah blah. Build back better blah blah blah green economy blah blah blah.”

The four goals of the summit are:

  1. As the world is not currently on track to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C, a stronger approach will be needed to reduce carbon emissions until net zero is reached. In order to reach this goal, production of coal-fired power plants must be halted and phased out more quickly than originally planned.

“COP26 presents an opportunity for the world to take immediate action to end the fossil fuel era and start regenerating nature while ensuring that all our remaining natural ecosystems stay intact,” stated Elizabeth Wathuti, founder of the Green Generational Initiative, in an interview with COP26.

  1. Countries must make an ‘Adaptation Communication,’ which is a summary of their plans and needs for adapting to climate impacts. Experts suggest the effort to adapt and protect communities and habitats from climate change will be most effective in supporting those most vulnerable. 
  2. Public and private financial concerns will also be addressed. To determine financial responsibility, developed countries must raise $100 billion in climate finance per year to support developing countries.
  3. Lastly, the summit will focus on finalization of the Paris Rulebook, which is a set of rules that is necessary to implement the Paris Agreement. This will cover everything from transparent reporting to carbon markets.

The productivity of this convention will shape much of the way that the world views climate issues over the next 30 years. The effectiveness of this agreement can only be determined by a decline in global carbon emissions.