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COP26: First week's highlights

The second week of COP26 negotiations is just ahead. Check below the highlights of the previous week.

These commitments aren’t the sum total of COP business, and over the rest of the week, negotiators will work to try and reach an agreement on more aggressive deals on emissions reductions, financing for developing nations, and more.

Monday, November 1:

“Excellencies, we face a moment of truth,” Secretary-General Guterres told leaders at the opening, “On behalf of this and future generations, I urge you: Choose ambition. Choose solidarity. Choose to safeguard our future and save humanity.” (link)

David Attenborough says to be ‘motivated by hope not fear’: David Attenborough called in his speech at the conference for a new industrial revolution powered by millions of sustainable innovations. Looking directly at world leaders in the audience, he also urged them to work together. “In my lifetime, I have witnessed a terrible decline. In yours, you could and should witness a wonderful recovery.” (link)

Xi Jinping of China, along with Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and Vladimir Putin of Russia, decided not to appear in person at the summit. (link)

India strengthened its 2030 commitments but pledged to reach net-zero by 2070, a good signal but far too late to prevent catastrophe. India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi committed to India getting half of its energy from renewable resources by 2030. (link)

10 multinational development banks promised to act in line with 1.5º C, without providing details or limiting fossil fuels. (link)

Tuesday, November 2:

Over 100 leaders make a landmark pledge to end deforestation at COP26. Leaders representing over 85% of the world’s forests commit to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by 2030, supported by $12bn of public funds and $7.2bn of private investment. (link)

More than 100 countries have joined the Global Methane Pledge with $300 million in funding to cut dangerous methane emissions. (link)

New commitments mean the developed world could reach the goal of $100 billion for climate finance for developing nations a year early in 2022. (link)

Wednesday, November 3:

A commitment was made by more than 20 countries to stop funding any fossil fuel development overseas by the end of 2022, and divert the estimated $8bn a year saved into clean energy investment instead (link)

Thursday, November 4:

More than 40 countries agree to phase out coal-fired power. Major coal-using countries, including Canada, Poland, South Korea, Ukraine, Indonesia, and Vietnam, will phase out their use of coal for electricity generation, with the bigger economies doing so in the 2030s, and smaller economies doing so in the 2040s. However, some of the world’s biggest coal-dependent economies, including Australia, China, India, and the US were missing from the deal, and experts and campaigners told the Guardian the phase-out deadlines countries signed up to were much too late. (link)

Friday, November 5:

Young activists poured into the Scottish city to demand action from leaders, as the focus of the official event turned toward the impact of climate change on future generations. The protests outside of the COP26 venue were joined by 73-year-old former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and 77-year-old John Kerry, the U.S. climate envoy. (link)

Saturday, November 6:

100 000 protesters joined a Climate March in Glasgow. The "Global Day of Action for Climate Justice" march was one of approximately 100 climate change demonstrations held in other parts of the UK. Events were also taking place in a further 100 countries including Kenya, Turkey, France, Brazil, Australia and Canada. (link)

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