Our climate song is all about the climate event of the season, which is almost upon us. But how prepared are you? Mitigation, adaptation, finance, collaboration… There’s a long list of topics on the agenda. But don’t despair. We’re here to catch you up to speed ahead of the conference!
What is COP26?
First things first, let’s sort out what this COP thing is. COP stands for Conference of the Parties, and it’s the supreme decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), or just UN Climate Change for short.
The UNFCCC is simple: supporting the global response to climate change, and COP is the worldwide climate summit where decisions are made.
COP26 is held in Glasgow, the so-called ‘Dear Green Peace’ of the UK, and will run for two weeks, starting on October 31st and ending on November 12th.
With a membership of 197 parties that will cover topics ranging from finance and public empowerment to adaptation and transport, you can see why there’s a call for two weeks of negotiations.
In short, COP26 is the 2021 UN climate change conference, where over 190 world leaders will meet to decide how to tackle climate change.
What makes COP26 special?
COP26 is all about realizing the Paris Agreement. You’ve probably already read our previous blog post about this infamous treaty, but just in case you need a quick reminder, here goes:
In 2015, COP21 took place in Paris. This marked a momentous occasion in history when 196 parties adopted a legally binding international treaty on climate change. The Paris Agreement has three key elements:
- A global agreement to work together to limit global warming to well below 2°C (and aim for 1.5°C);
- A promise to deliver the money necessary to reach the goal and provide measures to adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change; and
- A commitment by all nations to establish national plans for reducing their emissions, called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), is to be updated every five years.
And now the time has come. Or, to be precise, the time has passed. COP26 was initially supposed to be held five years after the Paris Agreement, in 2020, but a global pandemic broke out (you can’t have missed it), and they postponed the conference for a year.
But better late than never. COP26 marks the occasion where countries will update their NDCs and present their (hopefully) ambitious plans to combat climate change and limit global warming to 1.5°C. So, while Paris was where countries agreed and made promises, Glasgow was where they needed to deliver.
What’s on the agenda of COP26?
Four goals need to be achieved at COP26 to deliver on the Paris Agreement, and they concern mitigation, adaptation, finance, and collaboration. Let’s take it from the top:
1. Secure global net-zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.
Mitigation is about reducing or preventing greenhouse gas emissions, tackling climate change at its core. Here, countries are asked to speed up coal phase-out, reduce deforestation, speed up the switch to electric vehicles and encourage further investments in renewables.
Net-zero is a crucial aspect of this, meaning that the greenhouse gases we emit into the atmosphere should balance those removed from the atmosphere. If you want to know more about this intriguing concept, you can read our previous blog post about Race to Zero.
2. Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats
We know that the climate will continue to change regardless of how much we reduce our emissions today. This is because of a phenomenon known as “thermal inertia,” in which the ocean (as the heat sinks) stores a great deal of excess energy, which slowly leaks out onto the surface as excess heat.
So, even if all emissions were to stop today suddenly, the Earth’s surface temperature would continue to increase for a few decades. This is where adaptation plays in.
Countries that are affected by climate change need to protect and restore ecosystems. A wetland can, for instance, protect against both droughts and floods by storing a lot of water.
Countries also need to implement early warning systems and build defenses and resilient infrastructure and agriculture to prevent the loss of homes, livelihoods, and even lives to climate change-induced events.
3. Mobilise finance
Money rules, and developed countries are called upon to mobilize at least $100 billion a year in climate finance to achieve the mitigation and adaptation goals.
4. Work together to deliver
Governments, businesses, and civil society must work together to mitigate and adapt to climate change. An essential part of COP26 is to complete the ‘Paris Rulebook,’ the rules needed to implement the Paris Agreement.
COP26 must also resolve issues with transparency to ensure that countries keep their commitments and agree to stick to the 1.5-degree goal. These concerns are finding a solution for carbon markets, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by setting limits on emissions and enabling the trading of emission units.
Whew, that was a lot to take in, huh? And it’s just scratching the surface of what they will negotiate and discuss during the conference. But now, you should be well-versed enough to follow the events as they unfold at COP26.
Excited about a global climate summit?… Who isn’t!?
COP26-Our Climate Song
In counting down to the start of the summit, Deedster prompted a creative collaboration with All My Friends Are Stars to create a music video that highlighted the findings from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report. Check out the lyrics here.
Through music, creativity, and scientific insights, we wanted to communicate the current state of our planet earth and the challenges we are facing in humanity with this song.
As part of our aim of raising climate awareness and inspiring climate action, this music video is a creative way to reach out and create a meaningful impact in achieving climate actions.
Featuring Americk Lewis and Smilla Axelsson, the song ‘Remedy’ is an invitation and an encouragement to be more climate-conscious and make an actionable impact. With the title ‘Remedy,’ our climate song is part of the solution in embracing the movement and urgently taking action.
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