Key takeaways from Tuesday’s COP26: On track for 2.4 degree warming, and is the US really ‘back’?

Here’s what you need to know on the 9th of the summit.

The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, known as AOC, appeared at the COP on Tuesday with very different messages.

Pelosi reaffirmed House Democrats’ plan to pass President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion economic and climate bill next week. “We are very proud of that,” he said.

He also said that the US House of Representatives delegation reached the summit “equipped” and “ready to take on the challenge of facing the moment.”

But as Pelosi sought to say that the United States has once again led the climate crisis, Ocasio-Cortez, who is also a Democrat, said there is still a long way to go.

“No, we have not regained our moral authority. I think we are taking steps,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We have to take action to get international respect and authority, to get the credit. We have to cut emissions to get the credit for being committed to climate change. It’s really that simple.”

Ocasio-Cortez said she seeks to hold her party members accountable for passing the economic and climate law, which contains $ 555 billion for renewable energy incentives and tax credits. If approved, it would be the largest climate investment in the history of Congress.

Amal the puppet makes a cameo at COP

Little Amal, a giant puppet representing a Syrian refugee girl, at a COP26 session on Tuesday.

A giant puppet named Little Amal, which is the Arabic word for hope, opened the COP26 plenary event on gender equality, drawing attention to refugee children living on the front lines of climate change.

Representing a Syrian refugee girl, the three-and-a-half-meter puppet was accompanied on stage by Samoan climate activist Brianna Fruean. Amal handed Fruean a bag of seeds. Fruean gave Amal a sei flower, which represents hope and light.

The Samoan activist called on world leaders to act as “planters of a world future.”

“I hope that these seeds that Amal has traveled here with today can inspire you all and remind you of the importance of your role as planters of a global future,” Fruean said, asking leaders to “plant the solutions, the goals, and the limits. strict that can help to remedy this broken world. “

“We have both embarked on a journey here. We have come here to the COP from two very different places. But we are connected by the fact that we live in a broken world that has systematically marginalized women and girls, especially women and girls.” of vulnerable communities, “Fruean said.

Little Amal, operated by puppeteers, traveled more than 8,000 kilometers from Turkey to Glasgow to draw attention to the plight of young refugees.

Let’s blow more than 1.5 degrees

Oil storage tanks are displayed in Artesia, New Mexico.
New analysis shows that even with the avalanche of new commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the world is on the way to 2.4 degrees Celsius warming above pre-industrial levels, well above the 1.5 degree limit under which scientists say the planet should remain.
The world is on track for 2.4 degree warming despite promises from COP26, analysis finds

Watchdog Climate Action Tracker (CAT) warned on Tuesday that global greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 will remain roughly double what is needed to stay below the 1.5-degree threshold.

The net zero targets of 40 countries account for 85% of global emissions cuts, but the group found that only 6% of those emissions were supported by concrete plans, under what is known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). .

“It’s all very well for leaders to claim they have a net zero goal, but if they don’t have plans on how to get there, and their 2030 goals are as low as many of them, then frankly, these net zero goals are just talk about real climate action, “said Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics, in a statement. “Glasgow has a huge credibility gap.”

Taryn Fransen, an international expert on climate change policy at the World Resources Institute, said the NDCs of Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Australia, Turkey and Russia were out of place with their own net zero targets. He said new and updated NDCs covered about 80% of global emissions, but only about 63% of emissions were addressed through any significant changes to those plans.

Germany, US and China reject electric vehicle deal

An electric car is charging in Las Vegas.

A global agreement on electric vehicles was expected to be announced this Wednesday, when the topic of COP26 will be transportation. But the United States, China and Germany are resisting the deal, according to various reports, spearheaded by the UK’s COP26 presidency.

CNN obtained a draft declaration on zero-emission vehicles, without signatures, that would commit the signatories to “work towards making all sales of new cars and trucks zero emissions globally by 2040, and no later than 2035 in leading markets “.

The agreement seeks to include countries, automakers and financial institutions. A footnote in the statement makes clear that the agreement “is not legally binding and is globally focused.”

US and Chinese officials have not responded to CNN’s request for comment.

A German government official told CNN that delegates are debating whether to get on board, and that Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer is not prepared to sign an agreement. Germany is the largest car manufacturer in Europe.

“It is known that the transport minister is not ready to sign,” the source said. Scheuer’s office has not responded to CNN’s request for comment.

E3G climate think tank co-founder and CEO Nick Mabey said it was “clear that neither China nor the US, for various reasons [will sign the declaration], despite the fact that both have very aggressive electric vehicle policies and are definitely trying to reach the entire global market. “

He added: “They are not going to be enrolled in a phase-out, although there has been a lot of debate in those countries.”

Who is going to pay for the crisis?

The Grijalva River after it overflowed due to heavy rains in Villahermosa, Mexico, in November 2020.

The COP26 presidency says it hopes to have a draft text for the Glasgow Accord by the end of Tuesday, but there are still considerable gaps in the agreement on who should pay for the crisis, particularly for the Global South to adapt to its impacts. .

Jennifer Tollman, E3G’s senior policy advisor, said the issue was one of the few key sticking points and that if left unresolved, the entire deal could collapse “like dominoes.”

More money has started to flow in the past two days, and the European Union on Tuesday announced 100 million euros ($ 115 million) for the dedicated Adaptation Fund.

This follows a collective commitment of $ 232 million from 13 national and sub-national governments, including first-time donors from the US and Canada, on Monday, which was marked by the UNFCCC as the largest single mobilization for the fund.

“This is about tackling the effects of the crisis we are already in,” said EU Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, announcing the compromise. “It is not just about preventing things from getting worse, but we must realize that today is a day when we must also act on adaptation. Financing adaptation is critical.”

Several developing nations and civil society groups say that most of the climate finance has gone towards mitigation, the reduction of greenhouse gases, but argue that 50% of the funds should be used to help them adapt to the crisis. That can mean anything from building levees and levees to prevent flooding, or upgrading buildings to withstand extreme weather events.

While wealthy nations have agreed to transfer $ 100 billion a year to the Global South to help with their energy transition and for adaptation, reports have shown that much more money will be required.

Developed countries should “mobilize and provide at least US $ 1.3 trillion per year by 2030 in the form of subsidies, of which 50% for mitigation and 50% for adaptation,” said the Environment Minister of Gabon, Lee White, speaking on behalf of the African Group.

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