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The COP26 conference kicked off to a roaring good start on November 1st, 2021 with more than 120 world leaders and 2000 delegates gathered in Glasgow, United Kingdom. Here are some key developments as reported on each day.


Monday, 1st November, 2021

  • Boris Johnson drew similarities between a ticking time bomb in a film and the climate change crisis. He emphasized that humanity has only one minute left in the doomsday clock and we need to get serious now or there will be disastrous consequences for our children.
  • United Nations Chief, Antonio Guterres, refuted claims that the climate change situation is improving. He warned that the climate change situation is not improving and urged world leaders to take actions and stop their dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Joe Biden assured world leaders that the United States is not just merely rejoining the climate accord but is working overtime to translate its words into actions.
  • India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, announced later in the day of India’s net 0 target by 2070.This was probably one of the most positive and welcomed news of the day as India has not really committed to any climate change targets till now. He also declared that India will shift to at least 50% renewable energy by 2030.



Tuesday, 2nd November, 2021

  • Xi Jinping, Jair Bolsonaro and Joe Biden and other world leaders agreed on a landmark deal to end deforestation.
  • Approximately 100 countries including the US pledge to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030. Methane is one of the greenhouse gases responsible for global warming and the 30% reduction by 2030 could potentially limit global warming.
  • The US, UK, India and China were among the world leaders to form international coalition to coordinate and rapidly drive down the cost of clean technologies including electric vehicles and clean energy.
  • The US, UK and EU pledge to give $8.5 billion to South Africa to help it adapt to other sources of clean energy moving away from coal power.



Wednesday, 3rd November, 2021

  • More than 20 financial institutions and countries including the US, UK, Denmark and Costa Rica signed off on a deal to stop financing fossil fuel production overseas and shift the $8 billion yearly fund to finance clean energy production.
  • The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net 0(GFANZ) was a new agreement formed with 100s of the world’s biggest financial institutions with assets worth $130 trillion to align their goals with net 0 emissions by 2050. However, this was faced with skepticism by experts as the financial institutions are still free to finance fossil fuel productions.
  • London announced that it will become the world’s first net 0 financial hub within the next decade.
  • India announced a more ambitious climate change plan as it has a high pick-up rate of solar power.



Thursday, 4th November, 2021

  • Global pledges and commitments at COP26 could limit global temperature rise to 1.8 degrees Celsius, which was lower than the 2.0 degrees Celsius prediction made the day before. However, the UN Special Advisor, Selwin Hart, warned nations not to get complacent as the world is still on the disastrous path to 2.7 degrees Celsius temperature rise by end of the century.
  • Up to 50% of the global fossil fuel could become worthless by 2036, according to a new study. Countries that are slow to adapt to net 0 goals might lose out and early adopters could potentially gain.
  • Scientists presented a reality check to the countries gathered at the COP26 conference that the global carbon emissions are soaring back to record levels similar to that of before the pandemic.
  • A new study by the UN has reported that only 2% of the Great Barrier Reef have managed to escape coral bleaching since 1998. This is one of the unavoidable damage caused by climate change which slashed hopes that the world’s largest coral reefs could eventually recover aided by global climate change efforts.



Friday, 5th November, 2021

  • Thousands of environmental youth activists including Greta Thunberg took to the streets of Glasgow protesting and accusing world leaders that the COP26 is nothing but a huge greenwashing event. Greta Thunberg expressed her discontentment on COP26 and that the policies introduced were only beneficial to the world leaders and governments and there is no tangible benefits for humanity.
  • A new study revealed that the global carbon emissions are projected to rise by 13.7% by 2030. This painted a grim picture for humanity as we need to slash carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2030 to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • On the contrary to the projection above, a preliminary assessment by the Energy Transition Commission on week 1 of COP26 found that humanity can indeed cut carbon emissions by 40% if nations act on their promises and commitments presented at the climate summit.
  • The climate envoy for US, John Kerry, updated that the $100 billion a year fund from developed to the developing nations could be handed out by 2022. This is a 2 year delay when the pledge was signed initially at the 2015 Paris climate accord to give developing nations the fund from 2020 to 2025. However, this is still a year earlier compared to the 2023 projection made just a week before the COP26 climate summit. Once fulfilled, the funding will help developing nations adapt to greener energy alternatives and cushion the impacts brought on by climate change.


Week 1 of COP26 came to a conclusion with dozens of pledges from nations, industries and institutions from around the world to tackle climate change. However, it was faced with heavy criticism from environmental activists and skeptics that the pledges and commitments made were merely just words crafted to give the illusion of positive change.

The weekend of week 1 also saw more protests from activists demanding governments to make actual impactful changes quickly.


Monday, 8th November, 2021

  • The EU’s Earth observation programme, Copernicus, presented findings that October 2021 was the third warmest ever recorded with an average of 0.42 degrees Celsius higher than the 1991 to 2020 average.
  • Former president of the US, Barack Obama, urged world leaders to take actions now. He also criticized Russia and China for sitting on the sideline and not proactively taking part to combat climate change.
  • A senior advisor from Beijing, China rebutted the allegations that China is not taking part in the battle against climate change and explained that it has solid plans in action rather than the long term commitments by most countries.
  • African nations intend to start conversations and negotiations to channel about $700 billion a year from 2025 to help them cope with climate change.



Tuesday, 9th November, 2021

  • The Climate Action Tracker (CAT), which is the world’s most revered climate analysis coalition, revealed that we are on a catastrophic path to a temperature increase of 2.4 degrees celsius by the end of the century based on the short term goals set out by nations in COP26.
  • The UK Met office presented a new finding that at least a billion people would be affected by severe heat stress even if the global temperature increased just by 2.0 degrees celsius. The heat will get to a point where the human body could not cool itself by sweating and even healthy persons could die within 6 hours resting in the shade.
  • All the UK health secretaries made commitments to build climate resilient healthcare systems. The healthcare industry produces around 6.4% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. 46 other countries also made similar pledges.
  • The scientific advisors from Canada and Britain said that we need significant behavioural changes to mitigate climate change.
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the democratic congresswoman, lauded Joe Biden for his commitments to battle climate change. However, she remarked that the US has to deliver on its promises in order to truly get the credits.


DAY 10

Wednesday, 10th November, 2021

  • The US and China surprised the climate summit by releasing a joint pledge to work together to slow climate change this decade. China’s climate envoy, Xie Zhenhua, said that this agreement between both the countries will be beneficial for the world as a whole.
  • The first draft of COP26 agreement was released and it was received with polarizing reception. While it had ambitious goals of limiting temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius at the beginning of the document, the rest of the document called on countries to release new commitments to limit global warming to 2.0 degrees Celsius.
  • A group of 30 countries including the UK, Canada, Poland, Kenya and India and 11 car makers signed a declaration to phase out combustion powered vehicles by 2040. The list of auto-makers include Ford, Volvo, GM, Mercedes Benz, BYD and Jaguar. However, two of the biggest vehicle manufacturers, Toyota and Volkswagen, were not part of the signatories. Transportations, especially via land, is one of the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions as it accounts for a quarter of the global carbon emissions.
  • Saudi Arabia expressed that there should not be any discrimination towards any specific form of energy source and stated that tackling climate change should be a holistic effort rather than pointing the finger at fossil fuels.


DAY 11

Thursday, 11th November, 2021

  • The UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, criticized COP26 for the weak goals set out in the climate summit. He also urged governments and institutions to end the trillions of subsidies given to the production of oil, gas and coal.
  • The Climate Action Tracker (CAT), the world’s most revered climate coalition, released a new study that all the commitments made in the climate summit could only bring us 9% closer to the target of 1.5 degrees Celsius. The study also warned that humanity is on a path to disastrous damages brought on by climate change.
  • Vanessa Nakate, an activist from Uganda, expressed her disappointment that promises alone will not save humanity and we need extreme and quick action.
  • Richie Merzian, the former Australian COP negotiator, criticized his country for not proactively taking part in the climate summit and compared it to Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  • Despite believing that world leaders are listening to the need to take actions against climate change, some scientists are worried by the slow progress made in the summit.


DAY 12

Friday, 12th November, 2021

  • Activists and civil society groups walked out on the final day of the summit citing that the goals were too poor to achieve tangible benefits.
  • A new study by more than 200 scientists warned that the amazon forest is on a tipping point from deforestation, degradation, wildfires and climate heating, close to irreversible damage if our approach is not changed. A few countries including Norway and Costa Rica called on the negotiators at the climate summit to strengthen the language used to end fossil fuel subsidy.
  • A climate specialist from Bangladesh expressed that richer countries should start funding poorer countries for the damages already suffered by them and that the richer countries should be called as polluters rather than donors.
  • Finally, the COP26 reached the end of the day without any final text or agreement by the negotiators present at the summit. The COP26 chairman, Alok Sharma stated that the negotiations will continue into the night and may potentially cross over into the weekend.


DAY 13

Saturday, 13th November, 2021

  • The COP26 summit came to a conclusion with almost 200 countries agreeing on a deal to tackle climate change.
  • At the eleventh hour, India requested to change the term from phasing out coal to phasing down. It cited that coal is a vital and affordable source of energy for a developing nation like India. Although this was faced with backlash from other countries, they eventually agreed.
  • The COP26 summit was either a success or a failure depending on who you ask. While there was many ambitious goals and pledges set out by world leaders, environmental experts and activists are extremely critical that the final agreement does not go far enough to avoid a disastrous end to humanity caused by climate change.
  • The nations will reconvene next year at the COP26 climate summit to present their plans and roadmap to achieve the pledges and commitments made this year.