In Glasgow, James Watt, a Scottish engineer, improved the workings of the steam engine and, unconsciously, started the Industrial Revolution. He could have never imagined that humans would burn that much oil, coal, and gas in two centuries that they would endanger the climate.
On Monday, more than 120 leaders will attend the COP26 climate talks. They will discuss issues that can end with watery statements delaying the necessary actions until it’s too late, or ideally, come up with a plan to decarbonize the planet immediately. Climate experts and leaders consider this meeting the world’s ultimate chance to address the climate crisis.
On Monday, Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the UK, whose government is hosting the climate talks, will warn that the clock on climate change will start running down.
According to remarks sent to journalists, he will emphasize the importance of action regarding climate change in an opening speech. On Sunday, the G20 leaders’ meeting in Rome verifies that leaders finally listen to the science. However, they still lack the unity and management to make the ambitious decisions real and start actions.
COP26 gathers approximately 25,000 people for the international event. It comes after a year of extreme weather changes that took the lives of hundreds of people in unexpected places that surprised even climate scientists.
The latest UN climate science report issued in August clarified what needs to be done. According to the report, global warming should start decreasing to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures to prevent the worsening impacts of the climate crisis. Therefore, to fulfill the plan, the world must cut emissions over the next ten years and reach net-zero by 2050, where greenhouse gas emissions will not exceed the amount removed from the atmosphere. The G20 leaders’ meeting concluded that many member nations have to raise their emissions-reductions commitments, known as NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions), over this decade to meet net-zero by 2050.
But their failure shows that the countries using and producing fossil fuels still have a tremendous amount of influence in global deals on climate.
Last week, China’s long-awaited new emissions promise was just a fraction more extensive than its previous one. On Sunday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia wouldn’t be armed enough for net-zero by 2050. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed no concern in relegating coal. India made no net-zero commitment, and it was one of the nations against setting a date on phasing out coal.
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