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COP Scorecard: Here’s What You Need to Know

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(Bloomberg) — COP26 took fourteen days and a few lengthy nights of negotiations. It produced breakthrough pledges, a algorithm on carbon buying and selling and a few large aspirations that should be scrutinized in opposition to actual motion within the years forward. Right here’s what it is advisable know.

Coal Goal

For the primary time, a COP textual content takes on coal, essentially the most polluting fossil gas, and goes additional than the G-20 had carried out earlier than.  It was watered down on the last-minute to a pledge to “section down” somewhat than “section out” unabated coal energy, however the inclusion continues to be a major sign.  India and China’s resistance is a reminder it would take a very long time to wean the world off coal.  

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China-U.S. Deal

The largest shock in Glasgow was an settlement by the 2 greatest emitters to work collectively on local weather. No large concrete motion, however excellent news the pair are at the very least speaking on local weather amid the broader diplomatic standoff. China had been all however absent from the talks till then. President Joe Biden meets Chinese language President Xi Jinping nearly on Monday.

Carbon-Buying and selling Guidelines

Exhausting-won and long-awaited. The foundations on worldwide carbon buying and selling carry readability to firms and standardization that ought to assist scale back emissions, although some activists are apprehensive they aren’t fairly tight sufficient and extra must be carried out to bolster scrutiny. The stress to pin down guidelines was rising because the voluntary marketplace for offsets grows in an unregulated sprawl. By some estimates the market might ultimately be price $100 billion.

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Fossil Gas Taboo

The Glasgow pact referred to as for an finish to inefficient fossil gas subsidies. Whereas that language has knocked round in G-20 communiques for years — to little impact — activists had been inspired by the symbolism of it lastly making its method right into a COP accord, which is signed off by virtually 200 international locations. G-20 nations spent $600 billion subsidizing fossil fuels final yr, one thing U.S. local weather envoy John Kerry labeled “madness.” 

Methane Pledge 

Greater than 100 international locations agreed to slash methane; and there’s a reference to methane for the primary time within the total pact. It’s not binding, however once more, a strong sign that it’s time to deal with emissions which might be far more potent than CO2. Russia and China didn’t join.

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Crank Up the Plans

Nations have to come back again subsequent yr with higher local weather plans. However there’s a get-out clause. As issues stand, international locations’ local weather plans, generally known as nationally decided contributions, or NDCs, put the planet on observe for two.7 levels of warming. And we’re nonetheless ready for India to submit the one it was meant handy in earlier than COP. The factor to observe now’s whether or not international locations really get cracking on new plans.

Scrutiny 

New guidelines had been agreed that can permit for higher scrutiny on emissions reporting. Finally, local weather targets ought to be comparable, permitting for everybody to assess what everybody else is doing. This is a crucial little bit of progress.

Money for Harm

For the primary time, there’s a recognition that international locations struck by catastrophic local weather occasions will get assist. There’s an settlement to correctly arrange a mechanism — although the finer particulars and actual money nonetheless have to be hashed out. That’s one thing for COP27, in Egypt subsequent yr. Wealthy international locations failed to fulfill a pledge to supply $100 billion in local weather finance, a failure that casts a shadow on the end result.

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Banks

Former Financial institution of England Governor Mark Carney cajoled banks, traders and insurers representing $130 trillion in property to decarbonize their companies by mid-century. Finance is a strong software within the combat in opposition to local weather change however the checklist doesn’t embody the world’s three greatest banks, all of that are Chinese language and main suppliers of coal finance.  Even for the banks signing up, the important thing take a look at is whether or not they cease financing fossil fuels.

And It All Provides Up To…

If all of the pledges come to move, and it’s a giant if, it places us on the right track for warming of 1.8 levels Celsius, in response to the Worldwide Vitality Company. That’s significantly better than the place we had been on the way in which into COP, however nonetheless method above what’s protected.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Bloomberg.com

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