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COP26 shifting the game

11 November, 2021

Last week some of the team were at COP26 in Glasgow. Early headlines were very encouraging: eliminating deforestation, reducing methane by 30%, South Africa to reduce coal reliance, and 50% renewable energy in India.

The real challenge, of course, is getting global alignment to no more than 1.5 degrees of warming, as set out in the Paris Accord. Everyone arrived at COP26 knowing this would be the challenge. How do we achieve this, especially when earlier this week reports suggested that a higher rise was almost inevitable?

One thing that has been heartening has been the real commitment from businesses to go further and faster than before, and the general acceptance of the Science Based Targets Initiative to help us get there. Credible targets and robust climate strategies are essential if we are to limit warming to less than 1.5 degrees. But global politics also comes into play and there are challenging policy and investment challenges ahead if businesses are going to be able to deliver. If you’d like to understand these challenges in more detail, we recommend listening to this.

Thursday’s announcement of a joint agreement from China and the US to work together is certainly encouraging, but what remains of the negotiations will be nail-biting. With COP26 coming to a close today, we looking forward to seeing the final discussions, the pledges and the commitments, to understand exactly what we will be working towards.

By Marie Guérinet

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