Join Cif at COP26 – Europe’s first zero-carbon COP – in Katowice, Poland from 20-22 March 2019, and share your analysis and thoughts.
The second meeting of the UN’s climate change convention (COP) in two years brings together nearly 500 participants including ministers, diplomats, scientists, city planners, entrepreneurs, investors and civil society experts. With an agreed by and large to tackle climate change, the focus of COP 26 will be on how to turn their initial pledges into action.
The fledgling European Green Growth platform, co-founded by the likes of Sir Bob Geldof and Lucy Crawford, is supporting COP 26 by developing a platform for green growth as the Paris climate accord’s central pillar and instrument for delivering the change needed to tackle climate change.
Indisputably the media and PR front-man of COP26, said to have cost $15m (£12.2m) just to bring in talent and a party in the Marienbad Palace is Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who claimed last year that climate change was a national security threat as much as a security threat. He called on the international community to ensure EU states that do not act on their Paris pledges would face penalties from the EU and the international community. Varadkar (aka the Pope of Ireland) is yet to sign the Ireland’s climate change action plan which is subject to Parliament’s scrutiny. A bevy of warm international debate is scheduled including Baroness Alfie Lucas from UK Green Party (a contributor to COP26’s charter of Copenhagen commitments); former Irish Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore and Christiana Figueres, the UN climate change chief.
Emission commitments are expected to remain largely the same (40% by 2030), although what they might be modified to is another matter. Several dozen non-EU countries (Brazil and Argentina in particular) have given countries like the US the boot by saying they won’t have any kind of climate financing during COP. The US remains an outside observer, and no longer a member of the IPCC, but where its climate and energy policies shine a light on the rest of the world, US President Donald Trump is no climate renegade. He is merely following the expressed views of his country’s people (the US is the number one carbon dioxide emitter per capita) and spewing wisecracks like the one he made last year when he called climate change a Chinese conspiracy to stop his coal-fired power plants.