COP26, day 2: world leaders commit against methane and for forests

Find every day at the end of the day the highlights of the 26e United Nations Climate Conference, to be held until November 12, as well as insights from journalists from the World.

What you must remember :

  • Agreement on the reduction of methane emissions

Nearly 90 states joined on Tuesday a “global pact for methane”, an initiative of the United States and the European Union to tackle this very powerful pollutant, responsible for a quarter of global warming since the era. pre-industrial.

France, Germany, Argentina, Canada, Brazil, the United States, Indonesia, Iraq and the United Kingdom have pledged to reduce global methane emissions by at least 30 % by 2030 compared to 2020 levels. This is the first global political commitment in this area. The signatory countries cover almost half of the world’s methane emissions. However, China, Russia and India, which account for a third of emissions, are not part of this new alliance.

Methane (CH4), emitted by agriculture and livestock, fossil fuels and waste, is the second greenhouse gas linked to human activity after carbon dioxide (CO2). Its warming effect is twenty-nine times greater per kilogram than that of CO2 for a horizon of one hundred years, and eighty-two times for a period of twenty years.

Reducing these emissions therefore represents a “Important opportunity” to slow down warming ” short term “ and D’“Help bridge the gap between current trajectories and those compatible with a warming of + 1.5 ° C or 2 ° C”, stressed the United Nations Environment Program last week.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Reducing methane emissions, a powerful lever for limiting the climate crisis
  • Agreement to stop deforestation

British Prime Minister Boris Jonhson in Glasgow on November 2, 2021.

A hundred countries sheltering 85% of the world’s forests, including Brazil, much criticized for its environmental policy, pledged on Tuesday, November 2, to halt deforestation by 2030. Lungs of the planet with oceans, forests play an essential role in the fight against climate change, by absorbing a significant part of the greenhouse gases released each year into the atmosphere by human activities.

The initiative will benefit from public and private funding of $ 19.2 billion (or € 16.5 billion) over several years. A promise considered too soft by the defenders of the environment. For the NGO Greenpeace, the 2030 target remains far too distant and gives the green light to “An additional decade of deforestation”. For its part, the NGO Global Witness explained that it feared that it would be repeated “The failures of previous engagements” similar, due to insufficient funding and uncertain follow-up of the given word.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers The fronts of deforestation are multiplying on the planet

The statement of the day:

“I am cautiously optimistic. (…) There is still a very long way to go. “

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on COP26’s chances of success at a press conference.

Read also COP26: what are the challenges? Find the answers of our journalist Audrey Garric

Picture of the day:

Israeli Energy Minister Karin Elharar was able to enter the premises of COP26 on Tuesday. The day before, Mme Elharar, who uses a wheelchair, had searched in vain for about two hours for an entrance accessible to people with disabilities.

The report :

Despite its commitments on the international scene, China – responsible for 27% of global greenhouse gas emissions – intends to continue to develop, and is consuming coal like never before.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers China struggles to achieve its climate ambitions

Words to understand COP26:

Protocole de Kyoto

It was the first legally binding international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Signed in 1997 and entered into force in 2005, this text only set binding targets for 55 industrialized countries, representing 55% of global CO emissions.2 in 1990. The protocole de kyoto aimed to reduce their emissions by at least 5% between 2008 and 2012 compared to the 1990 level.

But this text, seen as a first step on paper, turned out to be a failure in practice. While some signatories have respected their commitments (such as the European Union), the big polluters have not achieved their objectives: the United States has never ratified the protocol, Canada has left it, New Zealand, the United States. Russia and Japan have not made any commitments for the second period of the treaty (2013-2020), and China, which has become the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases, is not concerned.

Ultimately, if the protocol slowed CO emissions2 among developed countries, it had no impact on those of developing countries, which tripled between 1990 and 2012.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers A slow race to save the Earth

The number :

216 millions

This is the number of people who could be forced, by 2050, to migrate within their country due to climate change, in order to seek better living conditions, according to a World Bank report published on September 13, 2021. “Internal climatic migrations will be the most important in the poorest regions and the most vulnerable to the vagaries of the climate”, warn the authors of the report.

The authors modeled population movements using three scenarios. By 2050, in the pessimistic scenario, it is sub-Saharan Africa that would record the largest number of climate migrants (up to 86 million), ahead of East Asia and the Pacific (49 million) , South Asia (40 million), North Africa (19 million), Latin America (17 million) and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (5 million).

Episode 2 : “Climate refugees” flock to Bor

Solutions for the planet:

Ten million tons. This is the amount of edible food that ends up in the trash in France each year. Waste but also a lot of energy wasted unnecessarily to produce these commodities. However, simple solutions exist to reduce this waste.

Find all the articles in our special COP26 file here.

The World with AFP

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COP26, day 2: world leaders commit against methane and for forests