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The Good, the Bad, and the Future of the COP26

If you’re just catching up with the events of the week, the COP26 is finally wrapping up today. And no, it’s not a summit for the 26 most important cops in the country(are cop conferences even a thing?). Anyway, the COP26 is the Conference of the Parties - and it is the 26th edition of the conference. The Conference of the Parties falls under the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - which pretty much mandates all countries on Earth to come together on ways to combat ‘dangerous climate change.

On the off-chance, you missed all the important updates and pledges to fight climate change, here’s a quick round-up of some things that happened at the conference:

The Good:

The fossil fuel industry had the biggest delegation. Hopefully, this means they were there to talk about transitioning to renewable energy, and not to convince everyone otherwise. 

Obama called on all world leaders to fight climate change with a sense of urgency and particularly criticized China and Russia for not appreciating the need for quick action.

According to an advisor, China is doing more for climate change than is recognized and has put in place concrete actions in the near future.

More than 100 countries pledged to cut carbon emissions by 30% (woot!).

The Bad:

Police broke into an emergency shelter that was housing climate protesters and activists. You can read more about that here.

Developing nations say that rich countries are refusing to talk about the damage and loss that climate change has brought about in smaller countries.

The world leaders all tossed a coin into the Trevi fountain in Rome (a popular tradition for good luck) to wish for good luck for fighting climate change. Is it just me or does that sound like they think there’s nothing much to be done except cross our fingers, stock up the apocalypse bunker and hope for the best?

The Future:

12 donor governments have pledged $413million USD for the countries that are most vulnerable to climate change. 

Even with all the pledges made to cut methane and other emissions by 2030, the Climate Action Tracker still estimates that we will overshoot the conferences’ main objective to keep global warming within 1.5 degrees celsius by twice as much. 

Climate activists are still saying that the latest agreements are not a concrete plan to move towards renewable energy - they’re full of loopholes and are an attempt to ‘greenwash’ the non-renewable energy sector. 

And there you have it - it seems like we’re trying to commit to things, but still failing to do so in a way that’s going to change the trajectory of our planet’s dire future by much. So where do we go from here? In the words of a wise little orange creature - “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. ” - The Lorax.

If you want to get involved, here’s a good place to start for information on the US’s climate policies. Alternatively, if you’re ready to get involved or donate, Climate Connect is a great place to find local organizations fighting the good fight. 

P.S: Manimal Tales has a new personalized children’s book on climate change in the works! 

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