Climate Crisis

COP26: Everything to know about the climate change summit on 9 November

A delegate walks at the venue of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 9, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Talks continue at COP26 in Glasgow. Image: REUTERS/Yves Herman

Simon Torkington
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
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Climate Crisis

  • This round-up brings you everything you need to know about the COP26 climate summit, climate change and greenhouse gas emissions targets.
  • Top stories: Former US President Barack Obama backs climate protesters; wealthy nations urged to 'pay up' for climate damage; island state of Tuvalu seeks to remain a nation if submerged by rising sea levels
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Key COP26 stories

Countries should be able to finish rules to implement the Paris Agreement by the end of the U.N. climate change summit, which is due to finish on Friday, the European Union's climate policy chief Frans Timmermans said on Monday.

The Netherlands on Monday said it would join countries that have committed at the COP26 climate summit to stop public financing for new fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of next year.

Tuvalu is looking at legal ways to keep its ownership of its maritime zones and recognition as a state even if the Pacific island nation is completely submerged due to climate change, its foreign minister, Simon Kofe said on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the official U.N. climate conference agenda will focus on how global warming disproportionately affects women. It will also feature more panels on climate science and environment ministers from a raft of countries will take the stage.

The think tank Climate Action Tracker will publish its analysis of how much warming the world is heading for today, accounting for the emissions-cutting pledges made at COP26.

Deployment of carbon capture storage (CCS) in Indonesia's oil fields in Cepu and Bojonegoro could cost the country about $500 million, a senior official at Indonesia's state oil firm Pertamina told Reuters on Tuesday. Indonesia is the world's eighth-biggest carbon emitter and has brought forward its goal for net zero emissions to 2060 or sooner.

2. 'Stay angry' - Obama urges youth to push leaders on climate

Former U.S. President Barack Obama returned to the international spotlight Monday in Glasgow, urging young people to pressure their leaders to do more to combat climate change.

Agreeing with youth campaigners, Obama said "time is really running out".

"You are right to be frustrated," he said. "Folks in my generation have not done enough to deal with a potentially cataclysmic problem that you now stand to inherit."

Addressing the world's youths directly, he said: "I want you to stay angry. I want you to stay frustrated. Channel that anger, harness that frustration, keep pushing harder and harder for more because that's what's required to meet this challenge."

"I want you to stay angry. I want you to stay frustrated. Channel that anger, harness that frustration, keep pushing harder and harder for more because that's what's required to meet this challenge."

Barack Obama, former US President

Obama arrived at the start of the crucial second week of the U.N. summit, as negotiators work to iron out the details of an agreement that will clarify and strengthen the 2015 Paris Agreement climate pledges.

He also sought to assure world leaders that the United States was indeed back at the negotiating table as a credible partner.

Obama told U.N. delegates that he found it "particularly discouraging" to see the leaders of China and Russia skip the Glasgow talks. Minutes later, he called out Republican politicians back home for hindering progress on climate action.

Russian, Chinese and others' "national plans so far reflect what appears to be a dangerous lack of urgency and willingness to maintain the status quo on the part of those governments, and that's a shame," he said.

3. As climate damage mounts, poor nations press wealthy to pay up

Poor nations are pressuring their wealthy counterparts at the U.N. climate summit to pay up for the mounting damage being caused by global warming, pointing to increasing powerful storms, cyclones, droughts and floods afflicting their people.

The campaign being waged at the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland seeks hundreds of billions of dollars per year more for climate-vulnerable economies even as they struggle to access some $100 billion pledged by world powers years ago.

Those previously promised funds, meant to help developing nations transition off fossil fuels and adapt to the future realities of a warmer world, were offered in recognition that poorer countries are least responsible for climate change.

climate finance provided and mobilised (USD billion)
The $100 billion annual climate finance target for developing nations has not yet been met. Image: OECD

"We’ve been too slow on mitigation and adaption, and so now we have this big and growing problem of loss and damage," said Harjeet Singh, an advisor with Climate Action Network, who is involved in the negotiations on behalf of developing countries.

Climate-vulnerable countries have been raising the issue of who should pay for climate damage since the earliest international talks on global warming decades ago, before the impacts of global warming were seen as a current threat.

Economists now estimate the costs of damage from climate change-related weather events could be around $400 billion per year by 2030. A study commissioned by development agency Christian Aid, meanwhile, estimated that climate damage could cost vulnerable countries a fifth of their gross domestic product by 2050.

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