COP26: despite the awareness, concrete actions are long overdue

How did the COP 26, which opened its doors at the leaders’ summit, Monday 1is November in Glasgow (Scotland), will it manage to agree more than 120 heads of state and government to act radically and immediately against global warming, when the G20, which ended the day before in Rome, did not succeed? The meeting of the twenty main economic powers of the world has not even managed to agree on a common goal of carbon neutrality in 2050, yet absolutely necessary to achieve a warming of 1.5 ° C by the end of the century. .

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The absence of a dynamic initiated by the G20 is not very good news for the enormous “Conference of the Parties”, which physically brings together, until November 12, nearly 30,000 people, delegates (representatives of the countries ) and observers (NGOs), in a somewhat chaotic atmosphere. Because its stake is enormous – almost overwhelming: according to its organizers, who succeeded one another on Monday at the platform of the Scottish Event Campus, this 26e COP represents ” the last chance “, six years after the historic Paris agreement, to avoid uncontrolled and deadly global warming by limiting it to 1.5 ° C.

” Race against time “

Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, set the tone, calling for immediate and decisive action, because “This COP must act to save humanity. Either we stop global warming, or it is it which stops us ”. “Future generations will not forgive us if we do not [pas de Glasgow] a success “, ruled Prime Minister Boris Johnson, host of the summit, assuring, in his colorful way, that “Humanity is like James Bond, it is engaged in a race against time” in the face of global warming.

Prince Charles called on the private sector to put their hands in their pockets, “With trillions, not billions”, to finance the energy transition in the South, and Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados, launched a powerful appeal to save her island-state, threatened by rising sea levels, like many other archipelagos: « We can survive a warming of 1.5 ° C but 2 ° C is a death sentence. “

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The awareness was palpable in Glasgow: no one denied the urgency of the situation. However, the concrete actions, and required according to the IPCC, which predicts a warming of at least 2.7 ° C by the end of the century in the current state of the countries’ emission reduction commitments (NDCs , in UN jargon), were still missing on Monday.

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COP26: despite the awareness, concrete actions are long overdue