Key themes for Cop26 climate summit unveiled

Event is 'our best hope of safeguarding the planet', says its president

BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 12: A supporter of the Fridays for Future climate movement holds a sign that reads: "Stop Coal!" outside the Chancellery where earlier in the day the government cabinet met to agree on amendments to Germany's climate protection law on May 12, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. Germany's Federal Constitutional Court recently ruled that the current law is insufficient in protecting future generations from the consequences of climate change, giving climate activists, including the nine young plaintiffs who brought the suit, a big victory. However many activists are saying the new government commitment of climate neutrality by 2045 is not enough and are demanding the same goal but for 2035. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Key themes for the Cop26 climate summit, which has been promoted as the best hope of saving the planet, have been released.

Each day will have a different theme - from finance to empowering women to cities of the future - drawn from the four overarching goals of tackling climate change.

Other discussions at November's summit in Glasgow include energy, youth empowerment, zero-emission transport and protecting nature.

“The Cop26 summit in Glasgow is our best hope of safeguarding the planet for everyone, building a brighter future and keeping the 1.5C target alive,” said Cop26 President Alok Sharma.

“I have been pleased to see progress and momentum on the four key goals I have been taking to governments across the world and the presidency programme will continue this throughout the two weeks of the summit.

“From finance to energy and gender to adaptation, these are vital issues that need to be addressed to make Cop26 inclusive and successful.”

The four main goals of Cop26 are:

  1. Secure global net-zero by mid-century and keep limit of 1.5C temperature increase within reach.
  2. Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats.
  3. Mobilise finance.
  4. Collaborate to deliver.

The timetable called the UK’s Presidency Programme, “sits at the heart of the UN summit and will focus on closing off the outstanding aspects of the Paris Agreement”.

The subjects being discussed are:

  1. Mobilising public and private finance.
  2. Accelerating the transition to clean energy.
  3. Elevating the voice of young people and demonstrating the critical role of public empowerment.
  4. Ensuring sustainable land use.
  5. Adapting to climate hits and addressing the loss and damage.
  6. Progressing meaningful participation by women and girls.
  7. Looking at innovative science.
  8. Driving towards zero-emission transport.
  9. Promoting environmental action in cities.

Advisers to the UK Government have warned it must rapidly step up action on climate change or risk undermining success at the Cop26 talks.

Policies are urgently needed, the Climate Change Committee says, to use clean heat pumps in homes, ensure new houses are energy-efficient and can cope with heatwaves, drive the shift to electric vehicles, and encourage people to eat less meat.

The Climate Change Committee warned in June that the government is not delivering on the targets it has set to tackle global warming.

The committee’s latest progress reports to parliament show the UK is off track on meeting commitments made under the Paris climate deal to cut emissions by 2030 and legal carbon-cutting targets for the late 2020s and 2030s.

In June the Tesla Model 3 was Britain’s best-selling car model, as drivers shift towards electric and hybrid vehicles before a ban on petrol and diesel cars.

Updated: July 8th 2021, 5:55 PM
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