What we have read

On the UKCOP26 website, we can read the concluding statement from the COP26 president

I am really pleased that this has been delivered. It is down to the hard work of the UK team; the hard work of all the Parties; the great cooperation that we have seen from all negotiators, and from all ministers; and right at the start of the summit, world leaders came out and set out what they wanted delivered out of this event. I would say, however, that this is a fragile win. We have kept 1.5 alive. That was our overarching objective when we set off on this journey two years ago, taking on the role of the COP presidency-designate.

Our opinion

CO2 emissions need to be reduced urgently

We welcome any action towards a better climate. There is no doubt that global climate actions is and will be difficult. We appreciate that commitments have been made and that there are signs of hope.

We also support that GHG emissions need to be reduced urgently. There is no doubt that GHG contributed to global warming and that we need to make all efforts to keep global warming below 1,5 degree Celsius.

Current polices are not sufficient

Having said that, we cannot fool ourselves. The current policies are not enough to ensure that we stay below 1,5 degrees Celsius. Obviously, many organisation have analysed this in depth. Let’s take a look at one of them: Climate Action Trackers “Warming Projections Global Update

Policy implementation on the ground is advancing at a snail’s pace. Under current policies, we estimate end-of-century warming to be 2.7°C.

Climate action tracker

Some people argue that staying below 1,5 degrees is not that important. They argue that staying below 2 degrees is also good, it is only 0,5 degree difference. You can’t even feel the difference, right? WRONG! Let’s take a look at a quote from the article: Climate Pledges Fall Dangerously Short of the 1.5 °C Target.

At 1.5 degrees Celsius, we’re talking about losing 70 percent of coral reefs; at 2 degrees Celsius, corals will be gone. At 1.5 degrees Celsius, 1 in every 100 Arctic summers will be ice-free; at 2 degrees Celsius it’s 1 in 10.

Jocelyn Timperley

There are even bigger problems

There is a lot of focus on GHG emissions and rightfully so. However, there are other – even bigger – problems. According to Stockholm Resilience Institute, there are 9 Planetary Boundaries. Boundaries that we should stay within, in order to remain in a safe operating space.

Unfortunately, several of those Planetary Boundaries have already been transgressed. Until 2021, it was believed that 4 out of 9 boundaries where transgressed. But in early 2022, it became evident there are well beyond the 5th boundary as well. The nine boundaries are:

  • Climate Change (transgressed)
  • Chemical pollution and the release of novel entities (transgressed)
  • Stratospheric ozone depletion
  • Atmospheric aerosol loading (not quantified yet)
  • Ocean acidification
  • Nitrogen and phosphorus flows to the biosphere and oceans (transgressed)
  • Freshwater consumption and the global hydrological cycle
  • Land system change (transgressed)
  • Loss of biosphere integrity – biodiversity loss and extinction (transgressed)

If we do not take action soon, this will lead to irreversible tipping points.

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