The COP26 meeting in Glasgow was the 26th session of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). These annual meetings aim to discuss climate change and produce a set of commitments, with this year's commitment labelled the Glasgow Climate Pact.
COP26 came to an end on Saturday, 13 November after two weeks of negotiations leading to the adoption of the Glasgow Climate Pact. The pact is met with mixed reactions due to some last minute revisions . One of the revisions, promoted by India and backed by China, called for nations to “phase down” rather than “phase out” the use of fossil fuels. Another revision promoted by the United States and the European Union, omitted reference to a finance facility for the “loss and damage” that climate change has caused in the developing world and replaced it with the promise of future “dialogue” on the issue.
Most of the largest carbon emitters have pledged to be net zero by 2050, or earlier, apart from two major players, India and China. India promised to turn net zero by the year 2070 and China promised to become net zero by 2060.
Over 100 countries pledged to reduce their methane emissions by at least 30% from present levels, by 2030. This pledge is estimated to avoid an almost 0.2-degree Celsius temperature rise.
Carbon markets facilitate the trading of emission reductions. A carbon market existed under the Kyoto Protocol but no longer exists because the Protocol expired in 2020. A new market under the Paris Agreement is yet to become functional. The new Pact has allowed these old carbon credits to be used in meeting countries’ emission reduction targets until 2025.
30 countries have agreed to work together on the transition to zero emission vehicles (ZEV) by making these vehicles accessible, affordable and sustainable in all regions by 2030, or sooner. 19 countries have stated their intent to support the establishment of “green shipping corridors”, while the UK has also pledged to shift to clean trucks by committing to stop the sale of most new diesel trucks between 2035 and 2040.
The Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use has been endorsed by 134 countries covering 91% of the world’s forests. These countries commit to working collectively to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030, while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation.
A new global initiative aims to reach 100 million farmers at the centre of food systems transformation with net zero and nature positive innovations by 2030, via a multi-stakeholder platform convened by World Economic Forum (WEF) involving farmers’ organisations, civil society, businesses and other partners.
Global leaders commit to a shift towards locally led adaptation through over 70 endorsements to the Principles for Locally Led Adaptation.
The Urban Climate Action Programme (UCAP) will help cities to implement projects like low-emission public transport systems, renewable energy generation, sustainable waste management, new climate-smart buildings codes and climate risk planning to become carbon neutral by 2050.
Through the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), over 450 firms across 45 countries committed about $130 trillion of private capital to transforming the economy to net zero. These commitments deliver the estimated $100 trillion of finance needed to achieve net zero over the next three decades.
Many of these net zero pledges are dependent on innovation leading to new technologies, alternative fuel sources and new infrastructure processes reimagined. The alternative asset management industry together with GFANZ can play a major role in fast-tracking new developments.
A record of 132 impact funds have started this year, according to data from Preqin. Impact funds include all investments that target areas such as renewable energy, healthcare, affordable housing, or micro-financing. These types of investments have amassed $20 billion since 2015 according to Bloomberg.
Investors are increasingly demanding environmental, social and governance considerations to be included in their investment strategy as they want to play their part in mitigating the effects of climate change.”
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