COP26 is a crucial opportunity to prevent the most disastrous impacts of climate change and uphold the credibility of the Paris Agreement. To have a chance of keeping global warming to 1.5°C, emissions of greenhouse gases must halve by 2030 and reach ‘net zero’ by 2050. Every additional increment of warming escalates the risks to people, ecosystems and communities.
National emission reduction targets submitted in 2015 were not ambitious enough to keep the rise in the global average temperature to ‘well below’ 2°C, let alone 1.5°C. And across the world, countries are grappling with increasingly severe and more frequent climate change impacts. COP26 needs to be a turning point. For a positive outcome in Glasgow substantial progress is needed in three main areas: in raising the ambition of countries’ 2030 nationally determined contributions (NDCs); on providing support for climate-vulnerable developing countries; and on agreeing the remaining details of the ‘Paris Rulebook’.