IIF Authors

Status: Will be live at 11/22/2021 15:06

IIF COP26 Outcomes and Implications

Progress, but not enough to avert dangerous climate change: The Glasgow Climate Pact acknowledges the urgency of emissions reductions to ‘keep 1.5c alive’, with accelerated timelines for up-dates to 2030 targets within countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Landmark agreements were reached on reducing methane emissions, and abating deforestation. However, current policies still orient the world towards dangerous levels of warming, and the new agreement fell short of explicitly calling to end coal use. 

Climate finance promises reaffirmed, but flows still lacking: Developed countries have not delivered on the ‘$100 billion’ of climate finance for developing countries, and a post-2025 financing mechanisms remains in the balance for future COPs. While new pledges to scale up finance for adaptation were a positive outcome, outstanding questions on other financing – such as funding to address “loss and damage” – will remain on the negotiating table. 

A pathway forward for global carbon markets: Negotiations on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement proved a success at COP26, with an agreement reached on implementing a new global carbon market for international transfer of mitigation outcomes. 

Private finance is committed – yet mobilization remains complex: The financial services industry played a key role at COP26, with new announcements from the private sector and regulators—and the launch of a new global sustainability standards board. However, while the private sector has a major role to play in decarbonizing the economy, many noted that their actions must be complemented by public policy to have a real impact on global emissions 

Emissions reductions need to be fast and furious: The final scorecard for COP26 is an improvement over previous COPs, but well short of outright victory. The IEA has estimated that if all COP26 commitments are met, global warming will be limited to 1.8c by 2100. But this is still too high, particularly given that current commitments for 2030 would leave global warming at 2.4c in 2100. The strength and speed of emissions reductions will need to ramp up rapidly in the coming decade to stabilize the global climate.