11 November 2021
US-China Declaration, Elimination of Oil and Gas Highlighted at COP 26
Photo credit: Anastasia Palagutina/Unsplash
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The Glasgow Climate Change Conference has hosted launch events for a number of high level declarations and initiatives.

During the second week of COP 26, declarations and initiatives have included the U.S.-China Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s, the launch of the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, and a Declaration following the inaugural meeting of the International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition at COP 26.

The Glasgow Climate Change Conference has featured launch events for a number of high-level declarations and initiatives. 

Just before the opening of COP 26, leaders adopted the G20 Rome Leaders’ Declaration, an outcome of their 30-31 October 2021 meeting in Rome, Italy. The 61-paragraph Declaration includes sections on global economy, health, sustainable development, support to vulnerable countries, the financial architecture, environment, and circular economy, among others. On climate change, the Leaders acknowledge that promoting sustainable food systems will make a “major contribution to tackling the interlinked global challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.” They commit to tackling “the critical and urgent threat of climate change and to work collectively to achieve a successful UNFCCC COP26 in Glasgow.”

Among other commitments, the Leaders highlight the “importance of the effective implementation of the global goal on adaptation,” say they will submit adaptation communications, and indicate they will increase their “efforts to implement the commitment made in 2009 in Pittsburgh to phase out and rationalize, over the medium term, inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption and commit to achieve this objective, while providing targeted support for the poorest and the most vulnerable.”

During the first few days of COP 26, a number of high-level announcements, partnerships, and declarations were announced during the World Leaders’ Summit. These announcements included India’s commitment to achieve net-zero by 2070 and Nigeria’s commitment to achieve net-zero by 2060. New funding commitments also were announced, including for adaptation. Key declarations and partnerships announced during the World Leaders’ Summit include:

  • Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use, in which 110 countries aim to end deforestation by 2030;
  • Global Methane Pledge – which now has more than 100 members – to collectively reduce methane emissions by 30% below 2020 levels by 2030, which could avert 0.2 degrees of global warming; and 
  • High Ambition Coalition announcing its resolve to deliver on mid-century net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions goals, including by phasing out unabated coal-fired power plants and halting inefficient fossil fuel subsidies as soon as possible. 

Based on the commitments announced through the end of the World Leaders’ Summit, the International Energy Agency (IEA) revised its projections for global temperature change, down from 2.1 °C of warming by the end of the century to 1.8 °C by the end of the century, if all commitments are fully implemented. The Executive Director of IEA highlighted that this was “a landmark moment” as it represents the “first time that governments have come forward with targets of sufficient ambition to hold global warming to below 2 °C.” 

During the second week of COP 26, governments and organizations have launched additional declarations and initiatives, including:

  • US-China bilateral declaration: The U.S.-China Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s was announced on 10 November 2021. Among other elements in the bilateral declaration, the two countries agree to “develop additional measures to enhance methane emission control, at both the national and sub-national levels,” welcome the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, and recall “their respective commitments regarding the elimination of support for unabated international thermal coal power generation.”   
  • Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance: This initiative to phase out oil and gas is led by Costa Rica and Denmark. Additional members include France, Greenland, Ireland, the Canadian province of Quebec, Portugal, Sweden, and Wales. Associate members are the US state of California and New Zealand.
  • A declaration following the inaugural meeting of the International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition at COP 26. Through this declaration, Ministers and representatives from 23 countries acknowledge that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is the appropriate forum in which to address emissions from international aviation, and identify ways to collaborate through ICAO. In addition, they highlight ways to ensure the effectiveness of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

Additional announcements are featured on the UK COP Presidency’s COP 26 Outcomes webpage. 

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