COP 26 - What is It? What to Expect?
For the next couple of weeks many of us will hear about COP 26, the global summit hosted by the United Nations. I thought this recent article from the New York Times, excerpts below and a link to the full article, was a great resource.
Bottom line is - we hope there's more action than talk as in past years on tangible, real impact on reducing CO2 emissions that are impacting most of our lives through changes in weather, natural catastrophes like fires, hurricanes, drought, storms, and other events that are now common occurrences. It's optimistic to see the talk of reductions and initiatives around climate change, it's real when the actual numbers start to change.
Every country, every individual, every corporation can do something to help reduce our impact on CO2 emissions and it's impact on our climate. We need everyone to take action. Looking for ways to get involved? Check out some references below.
What is COP26?
COP stands for “Conference of the Parties.” In diplomatic parlance, the parties refer to 197 nations that agreed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at a meeting in 1992. That year the United States and some other countries ratified the treaty to combat “dangerous human interference with the climate system” and stabilize levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.
This is the 26th time countries have gathered under the convention — hence, COP26.
What happened the previous 25 years? - Spoiler Alert - Diddly has been done
The first COP was held in Berlin in 1995, after a critical mass of nations ratified the climate convention. It was a milestone and set the stage for the Kyoto Protocol two years later, which required wealthy, industrialized nations to curb emissions.
That accord had its problems. Among them, the United States under former President George W. Bush rejected it, citing the fact that it did not require China, India and other major emerging economies to reduce their greenhouse gases.
While leaders made big promises in Paris, countries have not done enough to stave off the worst impacts of climate change, which brings us to COP26 in Glasgow, where the pressure is on for leaders be more ambitious.
What is at stake at COP26? A lot
For every fraction of a degree of warming, scientists say, the world will see more intense heat waves and drought, and more deadly floods and wildfires. Humans have already heated the planet by roughly 1.1 degrees Celsius, or 2 degrees Fahrenheit, since the 19th century.
Countries have less than 10 years to reduce emissions enough to keep the planet below 1.5 degrees of warming. So if leaders don’t commit to bold steps now, when so much global attention is focused on Glasgow, many fear the world will barrel toward dangerous levels of warming.
Image by Nadia Hafid
1. Full NYT article link here
4. Climate Neutral - for brands like JOOB wanting to make an impact on climate change, join Climate Neutral to measure, reduce, and offset your CO2 emissions to be climate neutral.
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