COP26 ended on 13 November 2021 after negotiations overran into the weekend. But what results were achieved from it? Though it fell short of delivering actions and commitments, here’s a summary on the main outcomes and key announcements from COP26.

What was the outcome of COP26?

Disappointments and shortcomings at COP26

  • Failure to meet 1.5C
  • COP27 is taking place this November 2022, governments are in preparation and businesses are gearing up for the event. Here’s the quick snapshot of COP27 to get you up to speed.
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  • What is COP27?
  • COP27 is the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
  • What does COP27 mean?
  • COP: Conference of Parties and this will be the 27th conference in 2022.
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  • Who is COP27?
  • The COP is the decision-making forum of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), bringing governments together annually to discuss and agree on how to jointly tackle climate change and its impacts.
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  • Where is COP27?
  • COP27 will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
  • Blue Zone: For Civil society organisations. This will be at the Sharm El-Sheikh International Convention Center (SHICC).
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  • Green Zone: For the private sector and civil society, where business community, youth, civil and indigenous societies, academia, artists and fashion communities can come to express themselves and have their voices heard. This will be in the Peace Park in Sharm El-Sheikh.
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  • When is COP27 happening?
  • COP27 will take place from 7 – 18 November 2022. Initially supposed to take place from 8 – 20 November 2021, it was pushed back as COP26 was rescheduled from November 2020 to November 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Why is COP27 important?
  • COP27 will bring governments together to help hasten global efforts to tackle the climate crisis. The latest science shows that climate change is moving much faster than forecasted and is pushing ecosystems and communities to their limits. To have a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5C, global emissions will need to be halved by 2030 and reach ‘net-zero’ by 2050.
  • What are the key focuses of COP27 this year?
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  • What will be discussed at COP27?
  • Climate impacts and adaptation in Africa. COP27 is nicknamed as the African COP.
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  • Climate Finance Funding
  • Agreed at COP15 Copenhagen in 2009, $100bn a year in climate finance funding is needed from developed countries by 2020.
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  • Source: AFP
  • Just like how Amber Heard pledged her divorce settlement from Johnny Depp to charity but did not deliver, developed countries have failed to meet the goal of $100bn annually so far.
  • Source: Nature.com
  • What is the Paris Agreement?
  • The Paris Agreement is the first legal-binding treaty on climate change signed at COP21 by 195 countries in December 2015, to keep global temperature increase below 1.5C ideally, or well below 2C.
  • Key points of the Paris Agreement
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  • Source: AFP
  • Collapse of G20 talks threaten climate pledges
  • Talks on joint texts at G20 meetings (August 2022) broke down as G20 ministers clashed over language over Russia’s war on Ukraine, climate finance and if the world’s climate target should be 1.5C or 2C.
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  • The difference between G20, G8 and G7
  • G20 is all about money and is a group of 20 of the world’s richest countries that represent an estimate of 80% of global economic output and 60% of the world’s population. G7 world leaders meet annually mainly to discuss global issues and politics. In 1998, Russia joined the group making it G8 but it was kicked out in 2014 for its annexation of Crimea.
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What is the Glasgow Climate Pact?

Agreed on 13 Nov 2021, nearly 200 countries agreed to keep 1.5C alive. It’s a series of decisions and resolutions that build on the Paris Accord, on what needs to be done to tackle climate change.

What is the Paris Rulebook?

The Paris Rulebook states the guidelines for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and took 6 years of discussion to complete.

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What is the Clydebank Declaration?

Launched at COP26 in Nov 2021, the Clydebank Declaration was signed by 22 countries aiming to establish at least 6 green shipping corridors (zero-emission shipping routes between 2 ports) by 2025 to decarbonize shared shipping routes. With Singapore set to become the 23rd signatory in 2022.

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KEY ANNOUNCEMENTS AT COP26

1. GLASGOW FINANCIAL ALLIANCE FOR NET ZERO (GFANZ) said over $130 trillion of private capital from over 450 firms across 45 countries, has been committed to accelerate the transition to a net-zero economy. Green finance provided by banks, markets, insurers and active climate-aware institutional investors play a pivotal role in driving climate action.

2. The FIRST MOVERS COALITION with more than 20 members will operate across 8 sectors: steel, cement, aluminium, chemicals, shipping, aviation, trucking, direct air capture. It’s a platform for companies to commit to buying zero-emission goods and services by 2030 and to create demand for low-carbon technologies, make them cost-competitive and to build clean supply chains for the future.

3. Major international banks and financial institutions like HSBC, Fidelity International and Ethos have committed to ending all international public financing of new unabated coal power by the end of 2021.

4. MULTILATERAL DEVELOPMENT BANKS’ (MDBs) made a joint statement on Nature, People, Planet to commit nature into their policies, analysis, assessments, advice, investments and operations.

Who the MDBs are: Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, IDB Invest, Islamic Development Bank, and World Bank Group.

5. 100+ countries signed up to THE GLOBAL METHANE PLEDGE and agreed to decrease their methane emissions by 30% compared with 2020 levels, by 2030. Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases, responsible for a third of the current warming and accounts for approximately 0.5C of the warming of the world to date.

6. World leaders from 144 countries signed a declaration to STOP AND REVERSE DEFORESTATION by 2030. Countries that signed the pledge cover around 85% of the world’s forests and governments of 28 countries committed to remove deforestation from palm oil, soya and cocoa amongst others. The pledge also includes about £14bn ($19.2bn) of private and public funds, some of which will go to developing countries to restore damaged land, tackle wildfires and support indigenous communities.

7. A new requirement for NET ZERO TRANSITION PLANS will be imposed on listed companies in the UK by 2023. UK firms and financial institutions will have to set out detailed public plans on how they will meet the UK’s net-zero target.

Net zero is the achievement of an overall balance between the amount of carbon a business or country is emitting, and the carbon that it’s removing from the atmosphere.

8. A NEW INTERNATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY STANDARDS BOARD (ISSB) has been set up to develop and approve IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards (IFRS SDS). Comprising of 14 members, the ISSB has complete responsibility for all sustainability related technical matters of the IFRS Foundation.

9. THE GLASGOW BREAKTHROUGHS is the first set of global leader-led targets aims at driving down the cost by 2030 for sustainable solutions like clean power, electric vehicles, green steel, sustainable agriculture and hydrogen production.

Source House of Commons Library, The Law Society, UK COP26, Gov.uk, The Washington Post, Seatrade Maritime News