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26th UN Climate Change Conference to conclude

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26th UN Climate Change Conference to conclude

COP26
Image: COP26

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) concludes today.

COP26 brought together UN Framework Convention on Climate Change members to address the urgent need to slash climate-warming gases and transition away from fossil fuels. Absent from the discussions were leaders from major polluters China and Russia.

Outside the conference halls saw mass demonstrations powered by young people criticizing nations for consistently failing to address climate change.

Expect COP26 to still end on a positive note as the US and China have agreed to cooperate. Likewise, China has for the first time committed to phase out coal, but without any timeline in place.

Some 105 countries have also pledged to cut methane emissions by 30% before 2030, while a draft agreement among 200 nations aims to end carbon-producing emissions by 2050.

Expect any real medium-term progress to be hindered by systematic issues in emissions reporting. A document leak revealed several nations lobbied to change critical UN IPCC evidence on urgent climate recommendations and a Washington Post investigation revealed countries purposefully use falsified data in their emissions reports to the UN.

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John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesman, gave a briefing at the White House on Friday. Photo: Evan Vucci/Associated Press

Given this, the climate crisis at hand will likely worsen in the long-term as countries evade accountability while placing economic growth over our collective future.

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