COP26: DAY 4

World leaders are returning to their country, which is why “the eyes of the world” are on the negotiators who are working on the details of the climate commitments made during the last two days.

On the fourth day, the focus of the summit was funding.
Being the most important conclusions:

  1. The UK is committed to becoming the world’s first “net-zero” aligned financial centre, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced today.
    To that end, he said British financial institutions would be required to disclose their climate impacts, but will not make net-zero mandatory.
  2. The world’s major financial players promise trillions.
    Sunak also welcomed “historic” climate commitments from private companies covering $ 130 trillion (€ 112.16 trillion) of financial assets. Known as the “Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero” or GFanz, it covers more than 450 companies based in 45 countries on six continents and from all parts of the financial industry.
    To guard against greenwashing, Gfanz will form his plans using “the most rigorous scientific scenarios.” To check your climate progress, there will be an advisory panel that will be made up of 20 independent experts and seven NGOs.
    The UK government believes that this “huge cash fund” could finance the transition to net-zero emissions, including ditching coal, switching to electric cars and reforestation.
  3. Environmental groups suspect that the financial plan has too much “room for manoeuvre.”
    Climate activists consider this to mean that a net-zero financial centre could function as usual with an eye-catching marketing slogan.
    According to the UK Greenpeace director, “The world’s first net-zero aligned financial centre would be one in which financial institutions and businesses are required by law from the outset to align their loans and investments with the overall goal of limiting heating to 1.5 degrees “. “Instead, these new rules seem to allow ample room for manoeuvre for financial institutions to continue their business as usual, rather than ‘reconfigure’ the system as the Chancellor claims.”
    He believes that transition pathways should be science-based and not determined by “industry participants in welcoming alliances.”
  4. Meeting the $ 100 billion climate finance target: three years behind schedule
    Developed countries have once again reiterated their commitment to providing climate finance for the most vulnerable. But this funding target was destined to be met in 2020 and is now expected in 2023, three years late.
    Sunak also added that the UK will allocate £ 100 million (€ 118 million) to the Task Force on Access to Climate Finance, which aims to make it “quicker and easier for developing countries to access finance than they need. “
  5. Although there is financing, can those who need it get it?
    Members of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group told COP26 today that with climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, access to finance was a “big problem” because it takes four to five years to obtain a loan”.
    Made up of 46 countries with one billion inhabitants, LDCs are responsible for less than 1% of global emissions. However, they suffer disproportionately from the effects of climate change. Therefore, the process should be simplified so that money can be more easily accessed in the event of an emergency in the event of a climate disaster. So they end up borrowing and most LDCs are now falling into the debt trap.

Negotiations aside, during the Conference of the Parties, non-Party stakeholders spoke in the Cop26 Blue zone to highlight the importance of business, finance and civil society in accelerating the transition to a world without carbon emissions.
The representatives of the indigenous peoples came together to demand the recognition of their right to be part of the negotiations since they care for 70% of biodiversity and are 5% of the world’s population.
In the 26 years since the first COP was held in Berlin in 1995, international climate policies have mostly ignored or violated the cultural and territorial rights of indigenous peoples, even though they were recognized in 2001 as a formal constituency, one of the nine major thematic groups authorized as observers.

In 2015, the Paris Agreement legally recognized the crucial role of traditional knowledge and community innovations as cals and indigenous peoples to understand and address the climate crisis. The move was intended to ensure that they could participate in and influence international climate policies in a more meaningful and equal way. But six years later they say that little has changed within the UN-led negotiations, while external environmental destruction continues unchecked in their communities and the impact of the climate crisis is worsening.

This week, it was announced that $ 1.7 billion will be awarded to indigenous peoples and local communities in recognition of their key role in protecting the planet’s lands and forests. But, while the net-zero goals, a central theme of Cop26, revolve around incentivizing carbon sequestration markets through massive reforestation, biofuels and new technologies, many indigenous leaders see them as false climate solutions that will lead to more land grabs and environmental and cultural destruction.

For them, keeping fossil fuels and minerals in the ground is the only way to reduce global warming and its devastating impacts.
Those unable to enter rejected the “big business” approach to the climate crisis by commemorating slain land defenders.

At least 1,005 environmental and land rights defenders have been assassinated since the Paris accords were signed six years ago. One in three of the dead were indigenous, such as the case of Berta Cáceres, winner of the prestigious Goldman award for environmental defenders, who was murdered at her home in Honduras in 2016 for opposing the construction of a dam on a river. considered sacred by its people.

Meanwhile, in the outskirts, the demonstrations continue. In the absence of accommodation, Scottish activists have occupied a building in the city centre to house activists who have been forced to sleep in the open or settle for inadequate arrangements. Such is the case of several indigenous elders approaching local activists asking for blankets to sleep in the open.

Lack of accommodation is not a new issue, in previous summits, the local government worked with activists to provide hostel-style accommodation for those who could not afford expensive hotel rooms, thus converting to gyms and community centres. While acknowledging that the Covid-19 restrictions add a layer of difficulty this year, activists have been highly critical of the lack of practical action by the Glasgow city council.

Claudia Moray accredited at COP26 Glasgow, UK

Claudia Moray Legal Specialist Environmental Law at COP26 Glasgow, UK

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