Insights | The COP26 Anti-Carbon Pledge

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The COP26 Anti-Carbon Pledge

Despite setbacks and questions about its results, the COP26 Climate Summit held in Glasgow, Scotland, achieved a commitment document signed by 200 countries that pledged to “accelerate efforts towards the progressive reduction of the use of coal and help to more funding to help developing countries cope with climate change ”

Although the document is not binding, analysts agree that it is a minimum agreement to avoid global warming beyond 1.5 degrees. “It is an important step but it is not enough. We must accelerate climate action to keep alive the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. It is time to go into emergency mode, “said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at the end of the summit.

“I would not describe what we did as a failure. It is a historic achievement. We kept 1.5 degrees within reach and a commitment to work on reducing the use of coal ”, said in turn the president of COP26, Alok Sharma, in statements to the British channel BBC.

It should be noted that a change in the wording was about to make COP26 fail. When the countries had already agreed on the final text, India and China asked to change Article 36 that proposes the progressive elimination of coal. This article called for “accelerating efforts towards the elimination of coal, but India and China wanted instead of“ elimination ”to read“ progressive reduction ”. Despite the discrepancies, the countries accepted the change of an article whose expectations had already been cut. The good news is that the Glasgow Climate Pact is the first to explicitly provide for the reduction of the use and exploitation of coal, the fossil fuel that generates the most greenhouse gases.

In addition to this important deal on coal, the text asks countries to report on their progress towards greater climate ambition next year, at COP27, to be held in Egypt. It also calls for stricter deadlines for governments to update their emission reduction plans.

Colombia’s commitments

Colombia came to COP26 to ratify its environmental goals: to limit the emission of carbon dioxide by 51 percent by 2030 and to be carbon neutral in 2050, despite the fact that, at a global level, it is responsible for only 0.6 percent of gases greenhouse effect (GHG).

The goal set by the government of President Iván Duque is at the level set by great powers such as the United States, which hopes to limit by 50 percent also to 2030, and the European Union, which expects to do so by 55 percent for the same date.

Protecting forests has also been one of the great commitments that Colombia has brought to the Glasgow Summit. President Duque has indicated that the protection of the country’s forests and jungles is essential, which is why he assured that illegal deforestation will be eliminated by 2030.

In addition, COP26 has also been a space in which the country has advanced some of its goals, such as protecting 30 percent of its territory, declaring 30 percent of its seas and 30 percent of its land areas as protected areas by 2022, eight years earlier than originally planned.