GLASGOW (November 2, 2021)—After two days of high-level announcements and speeches, the World Leaders Summit at COP26 has concluded. More than 100 heads of state and government took the podium to set the tone for the much-anticipated UN climate conference. Over the coming days, negotiators will continue working towards a formal outcome on November 12.
Following is a statement from Ani Dasgupta, President & CEO, World Resources Institute:
“The first two days of COP26 offered the world a sharp reminder of the urgent need to accelerate climate action. You can feel a sense of excitement and determination to move the agenda forward. Many leaders announced serious new climate plans, partnerships and finance commitments. Now attention shifts to the negotiators who need to work together to deliver what is necessary to accelerate climate action this decade.
“Among the highlights of the first days were commitments to halt deforestation by 2030 and significantly cut methane emissions, along with a number of new net-zero pledges and increased commitments on adaptation finance. One of the most awaited announcements was India’s suite of near-term actions for a strengthened 2030 climate plan and commitment to reach net-zero by 2070. There were also new finance commitments by countries like Japan, Spain and Switzerland. Scotland pledged a million pounds to support developing countries experiencing losses and damage from climate impacts beyond what they can adapt to, the first of its kind.
“The world has made major strides since the Paris Agreement was forged, though action is still not fast or ambitious enough. Before Paris, the planet was on a path to heat up as much as 4°C by the end of this century. WRI research shows that if countries achieve their 2030 emissions reduction targets and their net-zero goals, we could limit temperature rise to about 2°C. While still insufficient, this progress is largely thanks to the Paris Agreement, which called for countries to come back together regularly to ratchet up their ambition and finance.
"We are looking for countries to build on this momentum in the coming days. Negotiators must work to spur a renewed spirit of solidarity. Developed countries should come forward with details on their additional financial pledges to meet the $100 billion annual commitment — including making up for any shortfalls — and agree on the process for setting the next goal of financial support to developing countries. Major emitters with insufficient 2030 climate plans should agree to come back to the table with stronger ones by 2023. Outside the negotiations, countries, businesses, investors and other actors should back their bold promises with action, financial resources and accountability.
“These climate talks, disrupted by COVID and threatened by mistrust, can either be a turning point or another missed opportunity. We hope negotiators seize the opportunity to move the world closer to a zero-carbon, resilient and more prosperous future.”