COP26 – 1,5 degree conference

The thermometer of the climate crisis continues to rise. If we join forces, we can still limit the temperature rise. COP26, the United Nations climate conference, can play a crucial role in this. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, does not seem to have forgotten the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). Before the conference he states:

“Securing a brighter future for our children and future generations requires countries to take urgent action at home and abroad to turn the tide on climate change. It is with ambition, courage and collaboration as we approach the crucial COP26 summit in the UK that we can seize this moment together, so we can recover cleaner, rebuild greener and restore our planet.” - Source: COP26 Explained

Why is limiting the temperature rise to 1,5 degrees so important? Because at 2 degrees of global warming, there would be severe impacts on people & nature:

  • As much as 1/3 of the world’s population would be regularly exposed to severe heat, leading to health problems and more heat-related deaths.
  • Almost all warm water coral reefs would be destroyed.
  • The Arctic sea ice would melt entirely at least one summer per decade, with devastating impacts on the wildlife and communities they support.
  • We can’t rule out the possibility that irreversible loss of ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic could be triggered, leading to several metres of sea level rise over centuries to come. Source: COP26 Explained
  • Et cetera.. Read more? Climate change driving entire planet to dangerous 'tipping point‘

So, what should be achieved during COP26? The goals are:

  1. Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach
  2. Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats
  3. Mobilize finance
  4. Work together to deliver - Source: COP26

These are great goals. It remains a huge challenge to reach an agreement with almost 200 countries. Greta Thunberg expressed this in a blunty way during her speech at the Youth4Climate Pre-COP26 meeting in Milan: “Bla bla bla”. She has a point, there is a lot of bla bla during COP meetings. We eagerly await whether our world leaders are taking action during COP26. The conference will be held from 31st of October to 12th of November in Glasgow, UK.

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