The COP26 conference is being held in Glasgow. COP stands for Conference of the Parties and will be attended by those countries that signed the Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1994. The COP26 conference held in Glasgow in 2021, is the 26th meeting, which is why it’s called COP26. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic COP 26 was not held in 2020 and was postponed to 2021. 

The conference is being held to discuss climate issues, which are affecting all of us on a global scale. Over the past 10 years, the temperature of the planet has risen considerably and has been the warmest recorded. This increase in temperature has been caused by the fossil fuel emissions caused by humans. This has resulted in rising sea levels and the melting of ice caps. Over the last ten years, the world has experienced extreme floods and forest fires, which are an effect of climate change.

In 2015, COP21 was held in Paris, France and attended by 195 countries. During the conference, the Paris Agreement was drawn and agreed goals were set to address climate change. The Paris Agreement stated all nations must reduce the production of harmful greenhouse gases and increase the use of renewable energy such as wind, solar and wave power. The increase in global temperature should be kept well below 2 Celsius. In addition $100 billion dollars should be spent each year in climate finance to help poorer countries by 2020 and the progress should be reviewed every five years.

During COP26, the attending countries agreed to further cuts in emissions of carbon dioxide which is a greenhouse gas causing climate change. This includes a plan to reduce the use of coal which is responsible for 40% of CO2 emissions annually. 

The countries agreed to increase the funds to help poorer countries with the effects of climate change and the introduction of clean energy. The poorer countries are not responsible for the increase in emissions but are affected the most by climate change. It was also agreed to phase out subsidies that artificially lower the price of coal, oil and natural gases.

The two biggest CO2 emitters, the United States and China pledged to address areas such as methane emissions and the use of clean energy. This agreement was welcomed, as China has been reluctant in the past to address their use of coal. Over 100 countries also agreed to stop deforestation by 2030, which is important, as trees are needed to absorb CO2. 

The countries will meet at COP27 next year in Egypt to evaluate the progress made.