COP26 - Wins for the Planet
The COP26 was a two week event where the world came together to find common ground and solutions to the climate crisis. Did they succeed?
There were some momentous and surprising announcements during COP26 that we should all be extremely hopeful about.
The first was the announcement by the over 130 countries that they would stop deforestation by 2030. These countries included Brazil which holds most of the Amazon Rainforest; an area of forest, which if completely lost, would be catastrophic for the future and increase the rate of climate change. This announcement is a big relief after years of campaigning and despair as we have watched forests being logged, burnt and destroyed. Let’s hope that this promise is kept!
The second important part of the final pact which was agreed was the agreement to “phase down” and in many countries, “phase out” fossil fuels. This means that we will no longer need coal, oil and gas to provide our electricity and we will rely on renewable energy such as solar, wind and water power. This will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere which cause global heating. Some countries, like India, felt that they couldn’t promise to not use coal at all as they are a poorer country with a huge population of well over a billion people. Hopefully, they will be able to transition away from these at a faster rate in the future.
In particular, we can all be excited by the number of young people that have been present and demanding a change for all of our futures. It is the numbers of people marching and getting their voices and ideas heard which put pressure on the politicians and envoys to make promises and change the way that the world does business so that the world works for everyone, not just a few.
By the end of the COP26, there was a general feeling that progress has been made to tackle to the climate crisis on a global scale, but more needs to be done. They are going to meet again next year in Egypt and again in 2023 to ensure that countries are keeping their promises and going further in their commitments in the future.
Does this make you feel more hopeful for the future or do you think that more needs to be done? What would you say to the leaders of the world if you had 5 minutes?
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