The race to save planet from climate change

Friday, 2021-10-29 16:22:32
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UN chief Antonio Guterres warned that failure to slash global emissions is setting the world on a “catastrophic” path to 2.7 degrees Celsius heating. (Photo: Getty)
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NDO – The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) will take place this weekend. The countries are racing against the clock to make the best use of this great opportunity towards making a breakthrough to save the planet from climate change.

COP26, which will be held in Glasgow, the UK, from October 31 to November 12, has been considered the humanity’s last chance to get impending climate change under control. This is the largest climate conference since the historic events in Paris back in 2015. COP26 is expected to adopt plans to limit global warming to well below 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels, as well as bring carbon dioxide emissions to “net zero” by 2050 in hopes of slowing down the pace of global warming.

However, on the eve of the highly-anticipated conference in Glasgow, difficulties have begun to arise. According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the reality showed that most of the parties to the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2015 have not fulfilled their set targets. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it would be very difficult to fulfill necessary agreements on climate change response at the COP26. In addition, the news that some leaders would not attend the event created an unfavorable start for COP26.

Pressure has been increased ahead of COP26 as a series of statistics proved that climate change and environmental pollution are getting worse. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) warned that the growth rate of greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 has exceeded the annual average during the 2011-2020 period. According to the WMO, if emissions continue to increase, along with abnormally high temperatures, people will suffer more extreme weather phenomena, such as intense heat, heavy rains and melting ice. All these problems will cause unpredictable impacts on socio-economic aspects.

On the eve of the COP26, many countries have announced plans to cut carbon emissions as well as increase their participation in the Global Methane Pledge commitment to reduce global methane emissions. This was seen as a positive outcome.

However, in order to make sure the COP26 doesn’t become a missed opportunity, more drastic, urgent and synchronous actions are still needed to reach a breakthrough joint agreement on climate change response, thereby paving the way to a green and sustainable future.