Why COP26 is so important?
News Desk || shiningbd
If you’ve been following the news recently, it’s likely you’ve heard people talking about COP26 - but do you actually know what it is, and why it matters so much?
The UN Climate Change Conference (the official name for climate COPs) has happened every year since 1995. The two-week summits are an important space for stakeholders to discuss the climate crisis on a global level.
These annual conferences bring together those that have signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an international environmental treaty addressing climate change.
Every UN member state is a signatory for the UNFCCC, as well Palestine, the Cook Islands and Niue, while the Holy See is an observer to the treaty.
Effectively every nation, country, or state in the world is involved, giving a total of 197 signatory parties.
Each year representatives from every party come together to discuss action on climate change in what is known as a COP. The 26th COP was meant to take place in Glasgow, UK last November, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the disruption, COP26 is already keenly anticipated - with many leaders, activists and scientists having high expectations for this year’s conference.
When is COP26?
The UN Climate Change Conference 2021 (or COP26) was meant to take place from the 9th to the 19th of November 2020 but is now scheduled for the 1st to the 12th of November 2021.
Government officials are expected to discuss technical issues including carbon credits, funding for countries vulnerable to climate change and nature-based solutions in the first week of the summit.
In the second week, heads of state are expected to meet to negotiate and make agreements.
Why is COP26 so important?
There are two main reasons why the 2021 summit is so important.
Firstly, COVID-19 has refocused priorities and caused individuals and governments alike to pay closer attention to the environment. As many countries look to rebuild their economies in the wake of the pandemic, there has been a major emphasis on ‘building back better’ through a green recovery.
Secondly, COP26 is being viewed as the successor to COP21 where the Paris Accord was signed, arguably the greatest success from the UNFCCC in recent years. COP26 is seen as the summit to both address what has and hasn’t been achieved since 2015, while also setting concrete plans to reach the Paris Agreement targets.
It’s also the first COP to be held since the US left and rejoined the Paris Agreement, so it’s likely that there will be extra eyes on US contributions to the summit.