Following the theme of adaptation, loss and damage, on Monday the UK pledged £290 million to help poorer nations cope with the impact of climate change. Most of the new UK funding will be utilised to invest in climate action, improve conservation and ensure low carbon development in Asian and Pacific nations. In 2009, poorer nations were promised $100 billion of financial help by 2030. We hope that this new fund will inspire wealthy nations to offer more funding for conservation, low carbon development and support for climate-related disasters around the world.
The second week of COP26 started with a focus on adaptation, loss and damage, while they key themes for Tuesday were gender, science and innovation. We look at some of the key announcements.
UK commits £290 million for climate adaptation
Barack Obama addresses climate conference
Former US President Barack Obama took to the stage on Monday to deliver a warning that we must work harder and act quickly to reach the targets set within the Paris Agreement. Obama stated “we have not done nearly enough to address the crisis. We are going to have to do more.” Pledges have been made throughout the last week to address the climate emergency, however new research suggests that this is not yet enough to ensure temperatures stay below 1.5°C. Obama added that “the consequences of not moving fast enough are becoming more apparent all the time.”
New framework to help businesses measure climate resiliency
The United Nations’ Race to Resilience programme launched a new set of metric systems to help businesses and regions measure climate resiliency. Race to Resilience was launched in January 2021 as the next step following on from the Race to Zero campaign. The goal of the new framework is to enable four billion people globally to become more resilient to climate risk by 2030.
Fossil fuel industry has largest delegation at COP26
Reports of greenwashing have surfaced throughout the COP26 summit, and protestors took to the streets over the weekend to express their frustration. On Monday, it was reported that more delegates from the fossil fuel industry have attended the summit than from any single country, according to an analysis from Global Witness. Research found that 503 people with links to fossil fuel interests had been accredited to attend the event in Glasgow. We acknowledge that the fossil fuel industry is vital in the journey to decarbonise our society and hope the strong presence from this industry represents their willingness to learn and develop low carbon technology at a faster rate.
UK health secretaries commit to carbon neutral health services
In a landmark pledge, all four UK health secretaries have committed to reach net zero carbon emissions. The pledge was made alongside 47 other nations, including the US and Germany. This is a significant step forward on the road to net zero, as health systems currently account for 5% of all global emissions. NHS England and Scotland have pledged to reach net zero by 2045; NHS Wales has pledged to reach net zero by 2030; and Northern Ireland has confirmed they will develop a sustainable and low carbon health system to meet emission targets.
We all must change our behaviour to address the climate crisis, says UK chief scientist
Sir Patrick Vallance announced on Tuesday that we all must do more to reduce carbon and reach net zero. We must look to make changes within public behaviour, as well as making public transport and low carbon lifestyles more accessible. Sir Patrick stated: “The technologies we need are either here or are in development. If we implemented them now and scaled up, a lot of change then takes place in terms of climate emissions. The second reason for hope is we’ve got a whole generation that’s absolutely determined to do that. So there’s behaviour change already happening right across the globe. And the third thing is that I think some of the commitments at [COP26] are going to make a difference in terms of getting people together.” Read our blog on the benefits of active travel to find out how we can all make a difference.
UK pledges £165 million to address gender equality and climate change
The UK Government pledged £120 million to fund schemes in Bangladesh that build resilience, prevent pollution, protect biodiversity, strengthen renewable energy and manage waste, while providing access to finance, education, skills and leadership training for women. Up to £45 million will be spent to empower local communities and grassroots groups in Asia and the Pacific to challenge gender inequality and help people adapt to the impact of climate change.
Climate Action Tracker predicts global temperature rises of over 2.4°C by 2100
The highly respected climate analysis coalition Climate Action Tracker (CAT) has shared a study based on the short-term climate goals nations have agreed to meet. The findings suggest that temperatures will rise upward of 2.4°C before the end of this century, causing widespread extreme weather and devastating effects. If nations agree to long-term commitments to reduce carbon across all industries, we may be able to reach the more optimistic temperature predictions published last week.
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