The climate conference has just concluded with almost 200 countries agreeing to lower their effect on climate change. While I think the deal reached is definitely progress, it seemed to have upset a lot of people in the process. Many are angry that switching to electric only and phasing out coal was not mentioned strongly enough. Smaller nations that have suffered tremendously under the effects of climate change through storms and rising water temperatures were upset to hear that there would be no reparations made for them from the damages they have incurred; instead a conversation would be started with bigger countries about what to do next. I believe this is unfair because we cannot keep standing by and letting the smaller nations suffer from the consequences of global warming created by the wealthiest countries. I feel that more should have been done at the meeting to support smaller nations as they combat the worst effects of climate change.
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After researching COP26 and the events that have preceded these past several days, one thing that I found notably interesting is how Mohammed Barkindo, the secretary general of oil producer OPEC, said that the conference was “definitely a wake-up call.” I think it’s interesting how even though the effects of climate change and global warming have been on the rise for a long time now, there are still those who don’t even consider the great dangers that will come with these crises. Barkindo being an important figure will definitely have a positive affect or at least draw some more attention to these issues after he stated that something needs to be done. If something isn’t done in the next few years, and if the global temperature increases past 1.5 degrees Celsius, the Earth will be almost unrecognizable in ways we can’t yet comprehend, as things like natural disasters, coastal flooding, and the dying/endangerment of many species will occur much more frequently. Barkindo continued to address the Paris agreement and it’s significance to help maintain our current global conditions, and I think that if some change is made in the future (must be immediate and on a large scale), then we can not only successfully approach the issue of climate change, but also make the issue well-known to all and hopefully even stop it in it’s tracks.
Besides some commitments made till this point, one thing that I am particularly interested about the COP26 conference is its menu option which bears some critics, while the COP26 main website assumed its menu to be sustainable. In these recent days, many environmentalists mocked the COP26 menu for containing lots of meat, dairy, and fish options when it is a climate summit event. The campaign group Animal Rebellion even said that this was like “serving cigarettes at a lung cancer conference”. In fact, animal consumption is also one of the biggest contributors to climate change, which is even equal to the energy issues, and COP26 organizers certainly acknowledge this and even put the carbon footprint beside each dish. However, the question is why there are still many meat options. Or does the COP26 have any intention by doing that? On the other aspect, to Washington Post, “Ana Maria Kleymeyer, a climate lawyer who has been to every COP since 2006, said that there are far more vegetarian options on the menu than ever before, and she couldn’t remember organizers ever before publicizing the carbon content of the food.” This might be the reason why COP26 announced its menu to be sustainable (as the UK organizers assumed that they had made some improvements compared to the previous years’ conferences). Despite this fact, a confirmation from COP26 organizers is needed. For the considerable amount of emission from agriculture, humans should take it into consideration as seriously as the energy problems.
What I found interesting about COP26 is the length of time and the slow progress it has taken thus far in achieving some of the goals that have been set out, like reaching net-zero carbon emissions by the middle of this century. I do acknowledge that throughout COP26 there has been some progress made, such as the signing of the global methane pledge by over 100 countries. However, there had been other topics, like displacement which has enlarged inequality gaps, that hadn’t been discussed. Furthermore, the allocation of financial resources seemed to be a repeating factor that hindered many nations – especially those viewed as developing nations- from coming together to achieve the environmental goals set out for COP26. Many scientists have argued that there isn’t much time left to prevent irreversible environmental changes. Much of the power to prevent such irreversible changes lays in the hands of global leaders. Yet with the way COP26 ended many people are disappointed. It had been expected for discussions between global leaders to continue after the last day of COP26. Be that as it may, the conference of parties has been going for too many years. Climate change does not wait, and neither should world leaders when it comes to tackling climate change.
The glassgow conference is a very important event that every one should know about. I didn’t know this thing existed until professor brought it up and this shouldn’t be the case everyone should be informed about it. So for this weeks blog we were instructed to write about something we found interesting about the COP26 conference. When I looked it up I read about all the interesting things and the conflicts between some of the countries and also that in about two weeks the conference should come to an agreement which in my opinion they aren’t united enough to come to a common ground. Of all the articles I read I noticed that only a few peoples are involved in this event I believe that they should bring it out to the world and raise awareness so that every single person has a voice to it. So what I found to be the most interesting is that some of the influential figures will be showing up to the event which will raise awareness and address the problem as deserved.
The main thing I find interesting at COP26 is the demonstrations being performed by the young activists at the event. While the politicians boast about how they are committed to preventing the temperature to go above 2 degrees Celsius, they continue to do the bare minimum to keep a good image. They are choosing their own self needs over the state of the world and are letting it go up in flames. These young activists, the most notorious being Greta Thunberg, are trying their best to bring awareness towards the true severity of the issue at hand and that the politicians must stop delaying their actions and fully commit. At COP26, these activists are constantly hovering around the site, attempting to get the attention of those with the power to make change. Despite strict security keeping them away from the actual scene and delegates of COP26, they have still made their voices heard.
The thing that is most interesting to me about COP26 is the agreement that is still trying to be reached. The agreement calls to end the use of coal and other fossil fuels. Nothing has been agreed upon yet but as the final hours of the summit near hopefully a compromise can be made to help lower co2 emissions.
Something that caught my eye about COP26 was the major protest in Glasgow. I think this is a message from the younger generations that this summit better have an impact. If serious change is not promised then I think these protests will spread to many of the developed nations. Additionally, I thought President Obama’s thoughts on China and Russias disregard for climate change was something that needed to be said. He also challenged the Republican party on climate denial. What Obama said that was the most impactful was his call to the young generations to “stay angry” with the current climate policy, and to press for change.
One thing that I found interesting that has happened at the COP26 is agreement between the United States and China to cut greenhouse gases in an agreement that commits Beijing to addressing its methane emissions. I found it interesting because the United States and China are the two countries with some of the highest levels of greenhouse gas emissions. China and the United States also have two of the highest economies, so I think that it is a great idea for these two powerhouse countries to tag team an issue as big as climate change.
One thing I find very interesting is the role of youth in the push towards solutions for the climate crisis. On November 5, at the climate conference in Glasgow, young climate leaders faced negotiators, ministers, and officials to demand action to prevent catastrophic climate change within the lifetime of younger generations. Many younger climate-activists are anxious and fearful about the future of our planet and it is important our voices be heard which was recognized by COP26 President, Alok Sharma. Many leaders and countries are taking steps to empower youth and give them tools needed to face climate change head on and that is exactly what we need for a brighter, more sustainable future.