Are the 1.5 °C still within reach?

Brussels, 16 November 2021. This weekend, the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 came to an end with a series of announcements. “The outcome is sobering. The announced plans will not be enough to limit global warming to the necessary 1.5 °C. Climate protection is coming – but too late and too slowly; even the grand appearances of the heads of state will not change this,” said Manuela Ripa, MEP of the ÖDP, summing up the two weeks of climate negotiations.

The goal of COP26 was to at least keep the 1.5 °C within reach. However, according to the adjusted Emissions Gap Report (UNEP), the current climate plans of the countries still lead to global warming of 2.4 °C.

Ripa says: “Particularly critical is the intervention of China and India, both of which at the last minute, have extremely weakened the amendments presented on the global coal phase-out and the end of fossil fuel subsidies.” Now the text no longer talks about complete phase-out, but acceleration of the phase-out, as well as a halt to inefficient subsidies. So yes – it is the first time that coal and fossil fuels are explicitly mentioned in a COP decision – but with such weak wording, this is symbolic at most.

The European Union also needs to be more concrete: “For example, in its draft legislation to limit methane emissions or the eagerly awaited EU taxonomy: nuclear power must not be declared sustainable by the EU under any circumstances,” the ÖDP politician demands.

“Ultimately, we need a permanent staff of negotiators from each country who are in constant exchange and do not only meet for the climate conferences. Climate and biodiversity protection must be made a top priority worldwide,” concludes the ÖDP politician.

So that next year it will not be the same: COP27 in Egypt is decisive without anything decisive happening!


Photo Credit: ukcop26