The United Nations Conference on climate change a.k.a. COP26 is one of the largest summits in history to be held on the climate issue. Hosted in Britain, over 4000 delegates from countries all around the world have gathered to find a way compelling nations to take action against global warming.
The issue of limiting global warming temperatures is under debate, with countries being on the target of climate-related catastrophes advocating strongly. For them, climate change is a matter of life and death. It can no longer be ignored.
1.5 °c or 2.5 °c?
Delegates have already spent about 2 weeks discussing the issue at hand; whether the global temperatures should be allowed to rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the Earth’s pre-industrial temperatures, or the limit can be relaxed up to 2.5 degrees Celsius.
Already, at this time, the Earth’s temperature difference due to global warming is 1.1 degrees Celsius. An obvious reason why the Earth is witnessing an escalation in droughts, famines, forest fires, and even hurricanes.
The current trajectory of global warming at the current industrial emission status is bound to make the planet about 2.7 degrees Celsius hotter than the pre-industrial era, experts say.
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Countries on Target
Countries such as Tuvalu, a small island country in the Pacific will be directly hit by the disasters of global warming. These will face not only natural disasters like the ravaging seas but human life will be at stake with food shortages, droughts, and much more.
Rich countries may be able to cope with it, but what about the poorer nations that are already suffering from their financial problems?
Look at Kenya for instance, there are already food shortages due to the famines made intense by global warming, which coupled with financial burden leaves no room for the Kenyans to breathe.
Cop26 What’s Happening?
COP26 President Mr. Alok Sharma urged the delegates to work together towards achieving the united goal of tackling climate change. For about two weeks now, the delegates have spent discussing the issue, there have been quibbles over the language used to draft the documents.
‘Requests’ instead of ‘urges’ and other minute issues should not have been the focus. On the contrary, bold action should be taken in accelerating the battle against global warming.
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“This is our collective moment in history,” Alok Sharma said at a gathering of delegates in the early afternoon. “This is our chance to forge a cleaner, healthier, more prosperous world. This is our time to deliver on the high ambition set by our leaders at the start of the summit. We must rise to the occasion.”
Furthermore, a delegate from the Marshall Islands, Tina Stege, echoed other negotiators in reminding the summit that details aside, the overarching aim of any deal must be to keep alive a key goal of the Paris accord: limiting global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) beyond pre-industrial levels.
“1.5 is non-negotiable,” she said. “The safety of my children, and yours, hangs in the balance”.
What Some Developing Countries Think
Developing countries such as China and India, which are benefitting enormously from industrialization, are not keen to spend their money on doing measures that stop global warming.
To them, this issue comes below their financial priorities especially considering their large populations. Also, they consider that it is not fair that the developed world, after having received the wealth of industrialization and basing their economies on fossil fuels should shake off the historic responsibility that falls on them.
They are asking for changes to be made in the COP26 draft letter to put reparation on established countries. Therefore on Wednesday, Diego Pacheco Balanza, Bolivia’s head envoy and the spokesman for the Like-Minded Developing Countries group, along with 21 other countries released an opposition to the draft agreement.