On 31 October, the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) begins in Glasgow, Scotland. It is organised by the United Kingdom in partnership with Italy. Five days before the start, experts from politics, business and science discussed the upcoming two weeks of negotiations in an online briefing. Expectations are high for the climate summit, which was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 crisis. Although climate protection efforts have increased worldwide in recent years, the world is still a long way from achieving its goals.
Among other things, the direct negotiations of the world leaders in Glasgow will deal with the question of how states measure and monitor greenhouse gases and how frequently they will review their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in order to make possible further greenhouse gas reductions. In addition, the focus is on the following questions:
In our briefing, State Secretary Miguel Berger of the Federal Foreign Office and State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety set out the political scope of this year's Climate Change Conference. Jill Gallard, British Ambassador to Germany, outlined what the UK COP26 Presidency expects and listed progress on mitigation, adaptation, climate finance and global collobaration across all sectors of society as the goal. In her presentation, DKK Board Chair Professor Astrid Kiendler-Scharr explained the implications of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report (IPCC) Report for the goals of the Paris Agreement: Unless there are immediate, rapid, and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to 1.5°C will be beyond reach. The political responses that can help to achieve this were discussed afterwards on the first panel. Pressure from companies that have understood how their business models depend on a climate-neutral world can help to further boost these efforts – Dr Melanie Maas-Brunner, Member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, reported on this in her input. In the following interview, Rabea Koss talked to moderator Conny Czymoch about the work and results of the Citizens' Climate Council in Germany. Both inputs from the business community and civil society were discussed in greater depth in a second panel discussion.
Around 350 people from the diplomatic corps, politics, business, academia and civil society took part in the online briefing, which was broadcasted live from the Federal Foreign Office.
Picture credits: DKK, S. Roehl
26 October 2021