COP26: UNITING THE WORLD TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE

Impacts of climate change continue to be felt by communities in almost every corner of the globe.  Record high temperature is being recorded in every continent. During the last days of June 2021, Pacific northwest areas of the US and Canada experienced temperatures never previously observed, with records broken by several degrees Celsius in many places. (World Weather Attribution). Hundreds of lives and property worth billions of dollars are being lost due to unprecedented extreme weather events such as flooding in some parts of Europe, China, India, Bangladesh, to name a few. Extreme high temperature has also sparked wildfires in Australia, Greece, the United States, Turkey, Siberia, etc.  Time is of the essence in tackling climate change. It is now time for governments to act decisively to limit the rate of global warming to save humanity and our beautiful Earth Planet.

For over two and half decades, the UN has brought countries together for the global climate summits – COPs (Conference of the Parties). On 12 December 2015, for the first time, every government agreed to work together to limit global warming well below 2 degrees, preferably to 1.5 degrees, to adapt to the impacts of climate change. In the legally binding international treaty (the Paris Agreement) adopted by 196 Parties, countries committed to producing national plans setting out how much they would reduce their emissions – known as Nationally Determined Contributions or ‘NDCs.’ They also agreed that every five years, they would come back with an updated plan that would reflect their highest possible ambition at the time. This will be the crux of the upcoming COP26 which will take place from 31 October to 12 November 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland (delayed for a year due to the pandemic).

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released an alarming report on 9 August, warning that human activity is unequivocally and indisputably warming the planet. The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, describes the report as ‘nothing less than a red code for humanity.’ A former Secretary-General of the UN, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, in his remarks at the adoption of the 2030 Global Agenda, cautioned that “we are the first generation to be able to end poverty and the last generation that can take steps to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.” He then noted that ‘future generations would judge us harshly if we fail to uphold our moral and historical responsibilities.’ Climate change is increasingly becoming an existential threat to the human race and the planet.  COP26 has a particular urgency, and we hope that world leaders will arrive in Glasgow prepared to make some tough decisions to save our beautiful planet – our Common Home.

Read more:

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment report: https://bit.ly/3lNJjJQ

World Weather Attribution: https://bit.ly/2VAcDYY

UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 (COP26): https://bit.ly/3CpOqFJ

Paris Agreement: https://bit.ly/2U2mnuS

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