In a week’s time, world leaders will meet in Glasgow to seek agreement on actions to deal with the climate emergency. COP26 marks five years since the Paris Agreement, where countries pledged to do their part to limit global warming to well below 2 C and preferably 1.5 C.
However, global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. In recent years, we have witnessed an increase in natural disasters. Heat waves, wildfires, floods, loss of sea ice, heavy rains, ice formation, drought, and storms are causing deaths and huge economic losses.
The recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirms that the world is warming rapidly due to human influence. Only by taking collective action will we stop global warming and decrease its economic, social and environmental impacts. Although some effects of climate change are now unavoidable, keeping the global temperature rise below 1.5 C is still within reach if countries increase global ambition and take coordinated action.
Where Paris brought promises, Glasgow must now deliver on promises.
The European Union committed to climate neutrality by 2050 and a reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55% by 2030. With the Climate Law, the EU made these targets legally binding. With the Fit for 55 package, the European Commission proposed 14 legislative measures to meet these goals and fundamentally transform the EU economy and society for a just, green and prosperous future. The 14 proposals, in areas as diverse as forestry, buildings, road transport, sustainable aviation and shipping, renewable energy and energy efficiency, fiscal policies and carbon markets, will enable the necessary acceleration of GHG emission reductions in the next decade, while maintaining the innovation and competitiveness of EU industry. They consolidate the leadership of the EU in the global fight against climate change.
To ensure a just transition to a climate neutral economy, the EU aims to mobilize at least € 65 billion over the next six years for targeted support to the regions, industries and workers most affected by the energy transition. This support, provided through the Just Transition Mechanism, will address the social impacts of the transition and ensure that no one is left behind.
However, the EU cannot act in isolation. Aware that our emissions represent only eight percent of the global total, we continue to encourage all of our partners to enhance their own global climate ambition. The EU recognizes Canada as a strong partner in global climate action. Canada’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, with a long-term goal of net zero emissions by 2050, is a positive sign ahead of COP26.
We warmly welcome Canada’s recent announcement in support of the Global Methane Pledge, along with new national measures aimed at reducing methane emissions from oil and gas by at least 75% below 2012 levels by 2030. Targeting methane, a greenhouse gas with approximately 30 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide, is critical to limiting short-term increases in global temperature due to the shorter duration methane lasts in the atmosphere. Canada’s support for the Global Methane Pledge brings it closer to achieving its emissions reduction target and creates a global push to reduce methane emissions ahead of Glasgow.
We welcome Canada’s commitment to ban the export of thermal coal by 2030, and a commitment to end coal-based electricity. This will be an important step towards Canada’s goal of achieving a 100% net-zero electricity system by 2035.
Looking ahead to COP26, we look forward to working with Canada on our shared priorities: ambitious emission reduction targets by 2030 and strategies by all parties towards net zero emissions by 2050. Increased adaptation efforts to prepare for the impacts of climate change. And make sure developed countries deliver on their promise to mobilize at least $ 100 billion per year in climate finance for the poorest countries.
COP26 in Glasgow will be the time for the whole world to accelerate the action. The EU will bring the highest level of ambition to Glasgow. We do it for our planet. We do it for all future generations.
Opinion: “Only by taking collective action will we stop global warming and decrease its economic, social and environmental impacts,” says Melita Gabrič, EU ambassador to Canada. # COP26 # Climate Change # Climate Crisis # Just Transition
Melita Gabrič is the ambassador of the European Union to Canada.