The Climate Summit was held in Glasgow last November (COP26). Our colleague Jos Cozijnsen was there and explains the most important results. “We saw the expected action boost indeed!”
Jos has been following the international climate negotiations for years. First, as an environmental ministry official, then on behalf of the American NGO Environmental Defense Fund. And now for Climate Neutral Group (CNG)!
Jos explains: “CNG is a member of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). On behalf of this organisation, we lobby for robust carbon market rules. I went to Glasgow to help countries and companies enable tighter CO2 targets. In order to achieve this, more resources and flexibility need to become available. This means, among other things, using the carbon market: pay for the remaining emissions and also make it possible to support climate projects abroad.”
Holding each other accountable is essential
The most important achievement in Glasgow has been to establish the rules for reporting emissions and the international carbon market. Finally, the Paris Agreement can be implemented. “As countries voluntarily determine their own CO2 obligations, it is essential that they always hold each other accountable for setting more ambitious targets. And because there is still a gap between the agreements and the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, the carbon market can help bridge that gap.”
Use of fossil fuels mentioned
The key to success in keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees is for government leaders to meet annually, to check and tighten up the implementation of agreements made. Another success is that the use of fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas) has been mentioned in the final statement for the first time. Jos: “Unfortunately, it turned out to be impossible to force countries like China and India to abolish coal. But it worked with South Africa: by providing financing for alternatives from the West.”
Turn commitments into action
So, what’s next? “Everything now depends on the implementation of announced commitments by countries: scaling down coal, phasing out subsidies for oil and gas without CO2 capture, combatting tropical deforestation, and reducing methane by 2030 in the sectors of waste, energy and agriculture. Meaning that everyone has to turn their commitments into action and collaborate internationally!” says Jos.
Intermediate goal for 2025
The Netherlands and the EU now need to make their 2030 climate plans more clear, but also formulate an interim target for 2025. “We are pleased that in the Netherlands, the Rutte IV coalition agreement has mentioned a 55% reduction in CO2 for 2030, and 70% for 2035. However, 2025 is still missing”, explains Jos. “And since the rules for the international carbon market have been established, the Netherlands can also make an additional contribution to tropical forest protection and reductions in developing countries. There you can achieve twice as much carbon reduction with the same amount of money.”