After breakthrough agreements being announced in week one of COP26, the parties refocused their efforts on negotiating remaining key areas, such as transportation, adaptation, and achieving key goals identified heading into COP26. These key goals included conceptualizing the delivery of climate financing and solving barriers to a carbon market agreement, e.g. accounting rules on double-counting emissions and carryover of legacy emissions credits, amongst other goals.
Some major agreements and updates from week two include:
- Adaptation/Climate Finance: over 70 entities, including international development agencies and sovereign governments, committed to the ‘Principles for Locally Led Adaptation’ with over $450 million mobilized for the initiative. The Adaptation Fund raised a record $356 million in new pledges from COP26.
- Social Issues: the ‘Science, Innovation and Gender Day’ saw several countries commit to addressing gender equality outcomes through climate investment and innovation, including new commitments to, and investments in, gender equality initiatives from the U.S., Germany, and Canada, and several other nations. These efforts come on the heels of U.N. research and testimony on how climate change disproportionately affects women through forced travel and food insecurity induced by changing climatic conditions.
- Adaptation/Innovation: 22 governments and the E.U. announced four innovation missions, expanding on three originally announced in June 2021. The four missions are: (i) ‘Urban Transitions’ - demonstrate on large scale how cities can de-carbonize through 50 projects around the world; (ii) ‘Net-Zero Industries’ - unlock new emissions reductions for key industrial sectors like steel, cement, and chemical manufacturing; (iii) ‘Carbon Dioxide Removal Mission’ - implement new CO2 reduction technology to remove 100m metric tons of global CO2 emissions annually by 2030; and (iv) ‘Integrated Biorefineries’ - replace fossil fuels, chemicals, and materials with bio-based alternatives, with more details to be released in 2022.
- Transportation: the U.K. pledged to end sale of most diesel trucks between 2035-2040; parties agreed to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles by 2040, without the support of key signatories like the U.S., China, Japan, and Germany, and certain large auto manufacturers; parties have committed to a number of agreements to reduce emissions from aviation and promote sustainable aircraft; and nineteen countries agreed to develop green shipping corridors (zero-emissions routes between ports).
Additionally, agreements regarding cooperation on climate change and essential principles of the Paris Agreement framework continued throughout the week two themed-days:
- In a surprise move, China and the U.S. agreed to work together to curb climate change in the next decade through agreements to boost green energy, combat deforestation, and reduce methane emissions.
- A key goal heading into COP26, Article 6 negotiations are coming to a head with time running out in which to reach a compromise. It was reported in week one that several nations which have historically blocked Article 6 agreements expressed willingness to concede certain points to get a deal done. Expect updates throughout the weekend on the issue which many believe is vital to COP26's success.