COP 26: 'A step in the right direction, but work is far from done' says EU

COP 26: 'A step in the right direction, but work is far from done' says EU
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Credit: Belga

The European Union noted on Saturday that the Glasgow Pact, adopted by close to 200 countries at COP26, was “a step in the right direction,” but much still needed to be done.

“COP26 is a step in the right direction. 1.5 degrees Celsius remains within reach, but the work is far from done,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement issued by the Commission, Belga News Agency reports. “The least we can do now is implement the promises of Glasgow as rapidly as possible and then aim higher.”

Von der Leyen noted that the conference had set itself three objectives: getting commitments to cut emissions during this decade and meet the 1.5°C target, meeting the target of 100 billion dollars per year in climate finance for developing and vulnerable countries, and reaching agreement on the Paris rulebook for further implementation of the 2015 Paris accord.

“We have made progress on all three objectives,” she said.

“Several major emitters have announced new emission reduction targets,” she noted, adding that over 100 countries had agreed to cut their methane emissions by 30% under the Global Methane Pledge launched by the EU and the U.S.

New partnerships have been launched to support countries in their transition to clean energy, and the latest pledges should bring global climate finance up to the 100 billion-dollar mark, the European Commission head pointed out.

“The EU already contributes more than a quarter of global climate finance, with over 27 billion dollars a year,” she added.

If all long-term commitments announced in Glasgow are implemented, “we should keep global warming under 2 degrees, von der Leyen stressed. "So we need to work further, so that next year’s climate conference in Egypt puts us firmly on track for 1.5 degrees.”

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