COP26 is a conference that happens every year in the United Kingdom It is called the United Nations Climate Change Conference in full and it lasts 2 weeks long. This year’s slogan was: “Uniting the world to tackle climate change”. Although it might not sound like a big deal, COP26 was the first conference that happened after the U.S. government announced its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement back on June 1st of 2017. Furthermore, this year’s COP has been the most attended and the most contested one till date.
“COP 26: Where world leaders take decisions on the fight against global warming”
What is COP26 and why is it important?
COP stands for Conference of the Parties and it’s held under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The first COP was held in Berlin, Germany back in 1995, and ever since those conferences have been happening every year till date.
They are a chance for world leaders to take decisions about climate change and how we can deal with it globally. COP26 that has recently happened had about 10 000 people attending it, 57 countries were involved in decision-making and more than 8000 journalists were giving details of the decisions being made.
The main goal of COP is to make sure everyone understands how serious of a problem climate change really is and ultimately reach an agreement among the nations on what needs to be done in order to successfully tackle it.
Why is COP26 important?
You might ask why is it important for someone who lives in the UK and has never been to America how this conference in Katowice (COP26 location) will affect their life? Well, COP26 is an issue that affects everyone living on Earth no matter where you are. This means that everything about it is important for everyone to know, even if the decisions taken do not fully apply to your country or state you live in.
What happened at COP26?
The main things that have been discussed are the actions nations should take in order to meet the targets of the Climate Change agreement. If you are not very familiar with COP already, it is important to know that there are several main issues at stake here. Let’s discuss two of them:
Climate Vulnerable Forum
This topic tries to help nations, especially those that suffer the most from climate change. Many poor countries have had their GDP drop by 1-2% because of climate changes, among other things. These are not small numbers, since GDP is the way countries measure how successful they are economically. One percentage point may not sound like a lot but it can mean that some countries that already have little resources available to them will lose even more money trying to deal with climate change effects.
The Climate Vulnerable Forum also brings up a topic of Loss and Damages. Countries that suffer the most now are likely to be affected more in the future with no one to help them so they want an insurance system put in place ensuring they will not lose everything.
Loss and Damage Mechanism
This topic deals with poor countries suffering from effects of climate change, for example small island states that are about to be swallowed up by the sea or countries that already face drought once in a while. This topic suggests an insurance system so these countries can still get access to food and water even in the worst of times when there is little rainfall.
It also aims at limiting negative actions, sometimes climate change can cause natural disasters like forest fires or earthquakes, so this topic discusses how to limit the damage these disasters can cause and minimize their effects.
Whether or not climate change will affect your lives in a matter of decades is a big mystery but, even if it does not, these decisions will affect your life in the long term. Why? Although you might not be aware of it now, if COP26 gives money to poor countries so they can invest in things like renewable energy sources or recycling technology, they will start using them which will benefit you as well since less pollution will also mean less global warming.