Although the COP26 in Glasgow brought concrete advances in the fight against climate change, the event ended up leaving the clear feeling that national governments are not producing answers that are equal to the challenge facing the planet. For us at BlockC, the balance was positive, as we launched the first marketplace for the purchase and sale of carbon credits in Brazil during the conference, in partnership with the AirCarbon Exchange of Singapore and the City of Rio de Janeiro.
Our staff is producing an in-depth analysis of the COP26 results and their impact for companies operating in Brazil, which will be published here in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we've compiled below summaries and links to some of the event's reports published in the mainstream press and on specialized websites.
Pervasive commitment to ending coal use and shortfalls in climate finance dampen optimism about the Glasgow deal
For the British newspaper, experts welcomed the "Glasgow Climate Pact", which for the first time had as its main target fossil fuels, but criticized the agreement for not going far enough. The conference also brought a victory in the resolution with rules on carbon markets, but did not make progress in the promised climate financing from rich nations to countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The text of the agreement was last-minute intervention by India to soften the language about coal, replacing its "phasing out" by "phasing out".
Was COP26 a good deal for Brazil?
The think thank Americas Society/Council of the Americas publication states that, for Brazil and Latin America, what is in the COP26 agreement on carbon markets is as important as what is left out. Setting rules for a global carbon market will allow countries that can reduce their emissions beyond their determined national contributions (NDCs) in the 2015 Paris Agreement to help countries that cannot pay to achieve their own NDCs. According to Article 6, the part of the COP26 agreement that deals with carbon trading, such trading can take place through government-to-government agreements or between public and private parties in different countries, with corresponding adjustments in the NDC accounts.
Forget the words of this COP26 agreement. Follow the money.
For the economic information agency, the final communiqué from the Glasgow climate conference initially promised to “accelerate the elimination of coal and fossil fuel subsidies”, but at the last minute the wording was changed to “scale up efforts to reduce the energy of the coal and eliminate inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.” The result: the “Glasgow Climate Pact” will not have much of an impact on what the world's biggest emitters will do in the coming years. However, despite the softened wording, clearly classifying fossil fuel subsidies as “inefficient” is a step forward, because these energy sources do not pay society for the cost externalities that their pollution imposes on human health and the global climate.
What the COP26 Climate Conference Really Achieved
The news site acknowledges that nations have made new promises about methane gas pollution, deforestation, coal financing, as well as the completion of long-awaited rules on carbon trading, in addition to a remarkable deal between the US and China. However, it points out that climate scientists, legal experts and policymakers are unanimous in saying that the final Glasgow deal has resulted in insufficient progress in dealing with the climate crisis.
A detailed analysis of the agreed results of the negotiations
In one of the conference's most detailed assessments, the specialist website hailed the fact that negotiators have finally ended discussions around the Paris Agreement's “book of rules”, highlighting regulations on carbon markets and regular data reporting climate change across all countries. However, it highlighted as a negative note of this COP the failure to provide vulnerable nations with money to rebuild and respond to the inevitable impacts of climate change.
Between advances and failures
The consulting firm's website welcomed the first direct mention of the negative effects of fossil fuels, with an emphasis on the need to reduce coal and fossil fuel subsidies. However, he highlighted the lack of clarity about a consistent platform to increase the countries' ambitions, in line with the commitment to maintain the temperature increase at 1.5ºC, as provided for in the Paris Agreement.