The UK is hosting a summit to tackle climate change, which is seen as important.
Las 1 October to 12 November meeting in Glasgow can make a big difference in our daily lives.
What is COP26 and why is it happening?
The world is warming due to the emission of man-made fossil fuels.
Extreme weather events associated with climate change – including heatwaves, floods and forest fires – are intensifying and the government has agreed that urgent joint action is needed.
For this conference, 200 countries are being asked to come up with plans to reduce emissions by 2030.
They all tried to change global warming in 2015 from 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level to “well below” and set a target of 1.5 degrees Celsius – so that we can avoid climate catastrophe.
This is known as the Paris Agreement, and it means that countries will have to reduce emissions significantly by 2050 until they reach net zero.
What will be decided in COP26?
The top countries will determine their plans to reduce emissions before the start of the discipline – so, we should get an idea of whether we are already on track.
But in two weeks we can expect a storm of new announcements.
Many are expected to be very technical, with the rules still needed to implement the Paris Agreement, for example.
But other announcements may include:
- Quick switch to electric car
- Periodically extracting coal power
- Cut down fewer trees
- Protecting more people from the effects of climate change, such as financing the coastal defense system.
An estimated 25,000 people, including world leaders, negotiators and journalists, are expected in Glasgow.
Thousands of promoters and businesses will be there to organize events, networks – and demonstrations. The extinction rebellion, for example, calls for an immediate end to the use of fossil fuels.
At the end of the conference, some kind of announcement is expected.
Each country must sign up and may include specific commitments.
Perhaps there are sticking points?
Expect a lot of discussion about money and climate justice. Developing countries tend to have less pollution per capita of the population and are not responsible for most of the past emissions.
But they feel some bad effects of climate change.
Money is needed to reduce their emissions and tackle climate change. This means there could be more solar panels in countries dependent on coal and flood defense systems.
Developing countries affected by climate change will also fight for compensation.
Rich nations have previously pledged িয়ন 100 billion (£ 80 million) a year to help poor countries by 2020, but that hasn’t happened. Thus, rich countries will be expected to make more money.
China’s commitments to COP26 will also be very important. It is now the world’s largest polluter and has investments in coal plants around the world.
Many observers will see how quickly China – and other major fossil fuel producers – will be willing to reduce their reliance on them.
How will COP26 affect me?
Some of the promises made in Glasgow can have a direct impact on our daily lives.
For example, you can change whether you drive a petrol car, heat your home with a gas boiler, or take a lot of flights.
You will hear many words
- COP26: COP stands for Conference of the Parties. Founded by the United Nations, COP1 occurred in 1995 – it will be the 26th
- Treaty of Paris: The Paris Agreement brings together the nations of the world – for the first time – into a single agreement to tackle global warming and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- IPCC: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change examines the latest research on climate change
- 1.5C: Keeping global average temperature rise below 1.5C – compared to pre-industrial period – will avoid the worst effects of climate change, scientists say
How do we know COP26 is a success?
As the host country, the UK probably wants to support a strong statement that promises free emissions to all countries by 2050 – as well as a big reduction by 2030.
It will also seek specific commitments on coal, petrol cars and nature conservation.
Developing countries will seek a significant financial package over the next five years to help them adapt to rising temperatures.
Any of this can be considered inadequate because there is not much time left to keep the 1.5C target alive.
However, some scientists believe that world leaders have left too late and that whatever happens in COP26, 1.5C cannot be achieved.