THE BRIEF [Nov 1-7’21]

COP26 Week 1 results are in.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Weekly Climate 🎉

As we’re focusing on COP26 this week, the “News you can’t miss” is removed because it’s all basically COP26 news.

References: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5] and [6].

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This week’s highlights

COP26 Week 1

We’re kicking things off with a good little overview of the first few days at COP26 when world leaders were still present. The remainder of the COP will be up to negotiators to get any agreements done.

Before we dive deeper into the COP it might be a good idea to talk about how to measure success at COP. Everybody knows that most COP meetings end with more words and no action. So what exactly are we trying to achieve here? Grist looked at that. George Monbiot also gives his very clear message in this post on The Guardian: It’s plain and simple, COP26 must be about keeping fossil fuels in ground. It’s also pretty clear the general public wants more than words: New polling data reveals that people want politicians to act.

One approach to results that seems to be working (at least to some degree) is to frame the climate crisis as a global health problem. It’s pretty clear that climate change has devastating effects on the health of all species, including humans. Everything from more disease to death by wildfire will be challenges we need to deal with in a warming world.

Now for some actual results:

So based on all of this, have we averted a climate disaster? The CEO of IEA says if everything is fully implemented by the dates given by the countries, we could limit warming to 1.8C. So, is that enough? Not if you ask most activists. Greta Thunberg called the summit a failure for failing to even keep within the bounds of its own Paris Agreement.

Other non-COP26 news

[#covid] — COVID put a much needed dent in emissions. In 2020, emissions dropped by 5.4% primarily due to lockdowns. But emissions for 2021 are expected to increase by 4.9%, i.e. less than 1% away from the all time high in 2019.

[#misinformation] — Related to the congressional hearing last week on the fossil fuels industry’s role in delaying climate action here are two (Part 1 and Part 2). really detailed posts about what that fossil fuel industry knew about climate change and when they knew it. They’re too detailed and too long to review in any meaningful detail there, but they’re very enlightening.


That’s it for this week folks! 

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See you all next week 👋