Climate change

UN Climate Change Conference 2021 to begin on Sunday

Written by Oceanographic Staff

The COP26 summit will be held in Glasgow from 31 October until 12 November to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, ultimately acting as an important event for marine conservation.

Hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy, the COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference will be held in the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, following a one-year delay due to the pandemic.

The conference’s ultimate aim is to bring together nations and interested parties to discuss how to tackle climate change. It was set up around three decades ago and the COP21, held in Paris, was the birthplace of the famous Paris Agreement which committed countries to keep global warming under 2 degrees. While world leaders set ambitious goals to reduce their emissions, the agreement planned to review these goals every five years – now the five years is up, which makes the COP26 summit so important.

On the agenda this year are discussions and talks from countries which will explain how they will achieve their climate plans. This will most likely include plans to phase-out the use of coal, stop deforestation, go electric in the automotive sector as well as to invest in renewable energy. The formal opening of the conference will take place on 31 October and all eyes will be on the World Leaders Summit from 1 to 2 November. Find an overview schedule for the conference events here.

The run-up to the COP26, however, was shadowed by a report that stated that a “document leak reveals nations lobbying to change key climate report”, according to the BBC. The article reported that “Saudi Arabia, Japan and Australia are among countries asking the UN to play down the need to move rapidly away from fossil fuels” and that some “wealthy nations are questioning paying more to poorer states to move to greener technologies”.

Ahead of the COP26, marine conservationists urge country leaders to consider the ocean when thinking about how to fight climate change. After all, the ocean covers over 70% of the planet, while it absorbs and stores greenhouse gases on a large scale (35 times more CO2 is absorbed by seagrass than rainforests). The Marine Conservation Society, for example, says in a press release: “By protecting and rewilding ecosystems in our ocean, blue carbon stores will have increased capacity and ability to store carbon” – a big factor that could help immensely in tackling climate change.

For more from our Ocean Newsroom, click here.

Photography courtesy of Unsplash.

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