The Environment with Melissa Evatt.
So, if you haven’t been living under a rock for the past month (or just simply wanted to switch off momentarily from the enviro news) you will have seen the Climate conference taking social media by storm.
If you don’t know much about COP26, here’s a quickfire bullet-list that’ll give you a lil’ catch up.
What is COP26?
- COP26 (aka, Conference of the parties) was the 26th meeting which occurs annually around the globe. World leaders get together to discuss any changes or new tactics in their approaches in tackling climate change and the rise in temperatures around the world.
- This year’s meeting was held in Glasgow UK and welcomed 120 world leaders.
- COP26 was held from October 31st to November 13th with protests and marches for climate action taking place in major cities across the UK and countries around the globe.
Now you’re caught up on the basics of COP26, here is an outline of what was promised and what targets were put in place to be met in order to tackle the ever-increasing challenge of climate change:
- Deforestation will cease to exist by 2030.
- Over 30 of the world’s biggest financial companies have pledged to end investment into activities linked to deforestation.
- Protect and restore ecosystems, communities and natural habitats.
- Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep within, the now amended, 1.5 degrees within reach (rather than the former 2 degrees).
Now that we are getting SOME large corporations and companies taking accountability of their actions, it begs to differ whether they will stick to their promises of ceasing deforestation and ceasing to support the investment in companies that aid in the destruction of such precious forests.
Whilst COP26 took place, a lot of environmental disasters, protests and other occurrences had taken place, all hidden in the shadows of this large-scale event. For example, in just the week of the 6th – 12th of November alone over 20 incidents occurred, all of which received little to no media attention. Heavy rain causing floods and storms in Australia, South Asia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, some of which causing evacuations and power outages. Drastic weather such as waterspouts and tornado warnings in Canada and an all-new record snowfall caused chaos in China. Dust storms engulf Uzbekistan and lava destroys home in La Palma.
Now that we’re aware of these huge promises, what can we expect from the UK Government now that this climate conference has ended for 2021? Can and will the UK stick to these targets?
With countries having previously failed to achieve net zero, decrease in temperatures and just implementing more green policies, it now feels as though it is up to us to maintain pressure in order to save our planet. With rumours circulating about Boris Johnson’s alleged plans to quietly approve plans of a new coal mine in Cumbria (this will be the first one in the UK in over 30 years) it feels like nothing short of a ticking time bomb before we’re faced with catastrophic repercussions.
For more information about COP26 and what was promised, feel free to look through these sources for more information:
- For more about ending deforestation by 2030: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-59088498
- PDF – COP26 explained: https://ukcop26.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/COP26-Explained.pdf
- Simplified version of the above: https://ukcop26.org/cop26-goals/
- ‘Global Hazards Weekly Bulletin’ for more up-to-date information on environmental occurrences around the globe: http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/~sgs02rpa/extreme.html
For more information on Project Cumbria (new coal mine) here are some useful websites with links to petitions:
- 38 Degrees, ‘Stop the Cumbria Coal Mine’: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-cumbria-coal-mine
- Greenpeace, ‘No New Coal’: https://action.greenpeace.org.uk/l/854853/2021-05-04/rh65j?source=UN&subsource=ECENCLPEUN02GQ&utm_source=bsd&utm_medium=redirect&utm_campaign=post%20pardot%20launch%20redirect