Story at a glance
- Greta Thunberg joined thousands of protestors in Glasgow, Scotland to voice their criticisms of world leaders attending the global climate summit COP26.
- Thunberg said world leaders were not taking enough drastic action to effectively combat global warming.
- Many world leaders have made fresh commitments to new climate change policies in order to help limit a global temperature rise to only 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Eighteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg was not impressed with world leaders’ commitments to new climate change policies during COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland this week.
Thunberg spoke after an organized strike saw thousands of protestors march 1.6 miles across the city center of Glasgow and said, “it is not a secret that COP26 is a failure. It should be obvious that we cannot solve the crisis with the same methods that got us into it in the first place,” according to CNBC.
The young climate activist continued to criticize the speeches and commitments world leaders pledged during the global climate summit by saying, “while behind the curtains governments of the Global North countries are still refusing to take any drastic climate action.”
Those commitments came from world leaders including the U.S., U.K., and India. For example, President Biden pledged that the U.S. would cut its carbon emissions by 50 to 52 percent by 2030, while the U.K. announced it will set to reduce its carbon emissions by 78 percent by 2035.
However, some experts believe that the commitments made during COP26 will be viewed differently by everyone, as expectations going into the global climate summit vary. Manish Bapna, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, told The Washington Post that, “COP26 is probably unfolding in a way that exceeds expectations compared to where we were a couple months ago, in no small part because I do think we’ve seen a few countries — a few important countries — step up.”
Just a few days before COP26, the United Nations (UN) released its Emissions Gas Report and it warned that countries around the world needed to do significantly more than previous commitments to climate change policy in order to hit the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement’s biggest goal- to limit the warming of Earth’s temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Experts are trying to calculate if the latest pledges at COP26 will actually be enough to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. According to The Guardian, The International Energy Agency (IEA) analyzed a string of commitments made by global leaders this week and found that, if the commitments are implemented in full, the Earth’s rising temperatures would be within 1.8 degrees Celsius.
But like Thunberg, others not only took issue with the global commitments made thus far, but also with IEA’s analysis.
Selwin Hart, UN assistant secretary general for climate change, said based on nationally determined contributions, country’s individual climate action plans, “the world is on a 2.7 degrees Celsius pathway, a catastrophic pathway, and therefore we are a long way away from keeping the 1.5 degree Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement alive.”
There may still be time for countries to expand their NDCs, and for activists like Thunberg to convince them of the dark realities of global warming, as COP26 continues on for one more week, until Nov. 12.
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