IPCC REPORT PUTS NEW PRESSURE ON UPCOMING GLASGOW CLIMATE CONFERENCE

08/16/2021

Last Monday, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their much-anticipated Sixth Assessment Report (IPCC). The document, synthesizing the work of approximately 14,000 scientific papers and endorsed by 195 countries, confirmed that humanity can no longer prevent global warming from intensifying over the next 30 years. While the report portends that certain climate impacts are now locked in, it also highlights that immediate action by the world’s governments can prevent more catastrophic outcomes (New York Times).

With many sources calling this news a “code red” for humanity, observers are looking to the world’s leaders to act, pointing to the upcoming UN Climate Conference of the Parties (COP26)—scheduled to take place in Glasgow this November—as the venue for change (Al Jazeera, France24). Prior to the release of the report, Member States had agreed to submit updated greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets ahead of COP26 (Bloomberg). Now, many are urging countries to increase their ambitions.

On August 12, European Union (EU) Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrell, called on major industrialized nations to commit to tougher climate targets, urging the EU specifically to “lead by example” (Reuters). India’s environment minister, Bhupendra Yadav, echoed this sentiment in a recent tweet, noting that countries with historically high emissions must take on the largest burdens in correcting the current crisis (Bloomberg).

Some industry leaders have also taken notice of the new report. Major maritime organizations have announced plans to meet ahead of COP26 to strategize how the shipping industry can contribute to more ambitious carbon emission targets as well (gCaptain).