What is the COP26?
It is the 26th Conference of the Parties. Since 1995, this summit has brought together signatory States to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
In 2021, COP26 will be held in Glasgow (United Kingdom), from the 31st of October to the 12th of November, after having been postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 190 world leaders will be participating. Tens of thousands of government, regional and local representatives as well as non-state actors (business, investors, NGOs and more) will also be participating in these two weeks of negotiations.
The COP or Conference of the Parties
The Parties are the 197 signatory parties (196 States and the European Union) to the UNFCCC. These Parties gather together every year under the aegis of the United Nations. In 1988, it created the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a body for assessing science related to climate change.
Why is it decisive?
As per last report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (published in August 2021), the world is not on the right path to stay below 2°C or even 1.5°C of global warming compared to the pre-industrial era, which is a long-term goal of the Paris Agreement.
In order to reverse this trend, scientists have emphasised the need to divide the amount of global greenhouse gas emissions over the next ten years by two. From now until the COP26, countries will ance their new objectives concerning the redunnouction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Focus on the last report by the IPCC (August 2021, first part of the sixth assessment report)
This report is the result of the international collaboration of 250 scientists from more than 60 countries, and provides a summary of the current climate situation as well as new global and regional climate projections. The analysis is alarming. The rise in the global temperature has continued to increase at a speed that will most likely exceed the threshold of temperature rise since the pre-industrial era between 2021 and 2040.
What has happened since COP21?
On the 12th of December 2015, during COP21, the Paris Agreement was adopted. The Paris Agreement’s aim is to keep a global temperature below 2°C, and if possible 1..5°C, above pre-industrial levels. It is also the Paris Agreement that sets the targets that countries set for themselves to reduce their GHG emissions, i.e. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). In advance of COP21, each country had to present its plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Agreement includes an upward revision of these national contributions every five years.
In 2016, France and the European Union ratified the Agreement, which came into force on the 4th of November 2016. Since then, it has been ratified by 192 countries, with Turkey being the last country to ratify it in 2021.
In December 2018, the Katowice climate package, which was adopted during COP24 in Poland, implemented shared and detailed rules, modalities and procedures to execute the Paris Agreement.
In December 2020, the EU updated and enhanced its NDC of at least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 1990. It also committed to become climate neutral in 2050 from 2019.
What does COP26 need to achieve?
COP26 must address four major issues:
- Raising Climate Ambitions. States that have not yet committed themselves must pledge their new climate ambitions, by updating their nationally determined contributions and publishing long-term strategies for 2050.
- Finalise the Paris Rulebook for the Paris Agreement. Article 6 of the Paris Agreement contains mechanisms that allow countries to trade emission reductions in order to achieve their NDCs. A decision by the international community is needed to make these mechanisms operational.
- Mobilise Climate Finance. Developed countries have promised to mobilise 100 billion dollars in favour of developing countries for each year from 2020 to 2025. Nevertheless, there are issues remaining, such as differences of opinion persisting in relation to climate financing.
- Strengthen the Action Agenda. The Paris Agreement encourages States to work with non-state actors within ‘Action Agendas’, which bring together initiatives by major sectors of activity, such as the International Solar Alliance.
What is France doing at COP26?
France was the host country for COP21 in 2015, and in Glasgow, will continue to assert its role as a key player in the fight against climate change and as a guarantor of the spirit of the Paris Agreement. Together with the European Union, France is taking major action on several issues, including:
- a transition that is fair and socially balanced,
- financial commitments for the most at-risk countries,
- support for innovation in the technological, scientific and economic fields,
- accelerating adaptation to the impacts of climate change,
- a carbon neutral trajectory, with France and the EU already on this path by 2050.
Protecting the climate and protecting biodiversity are two inseparable priorities
Climate and biodiversity emergencies are two sides of the same crisis, and the solutions to these emergencies must be mutually supportive. This is the message of the Marseille Manifesto, which summarises the pledges and declarations made at the IUCN World Conservation Congress (Marseille, 3–11 September 2021), because 1 million animal and plant species are currently under threat of extinction.
The French Pavilion Events
The French Pavilion Programme
The events are broadcasted local time (Glasgow).
Indicative programme dated November 9th, refer to the programme posted on the French Pavilion for the latest changes.