COP 26: Goals & Critical Criticism

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was written for The European Sting by one of our passionate readers, Dr Animesh Upadhyay. The opinions expressed within reflect only the writer’s views and not necessarily The European Sting’s position on the issue.

The 26th Conference of the Parties lasted from the 31st of October 2021, until the end of 12th
November 2021. One of the major outcomes was the initiation of the ‘Glasgow Climate Pact’,
agreed by all the delegates present over at the UN Climate Change Convention.
The COP 26 failed utterly to implement the transformational action that our planet needs. The
aftermath of the summit was as follows:

  1. To prevent more than 1.5°C of warming, each country – specifically the ones that leave an
    immense amount of carbon footprint – must modify and execute more ambitious 2030 targets,
    that are in line with a fair share of reductions. Countries were asked to bring forward new
    initiatives and targets a year from now, ceasing the traditional five-year period – one plausible
    saving grace of the Glasgow Climate. This maintains an inevitable pressure on countries like
    Australia to update their term climate targets.
  2. The developed nations of this globe must support the people on the frontlines of our changing
    planet, and they must be at the table making decisions. Wealthy countries must meet the
    obligations made to provide climate finance now: $100B a year; with each heavy emitting
    country paying its fair share any shortfalls made up. A total sum of $500B should be delivered
    by 2025. Most climate finance currently supports mitigation, but half of it must support
    adaptation. One way to avoid financial burnout by developing nations is to provide quality
    finance – ideally through grants and not loans.
  3. Wealthy countries must also cater to the losses of the poor and vulnerable countries – who are
    mostly affected by climate change. Addressing this damage is in addition to the financial help for
    climate adaptation.

India’s role in the “Phase Out” game:

The Glasgow climate deal has put India and its neighbor: China; under spotlight after they
opposed the commitment to stop using coal altogether. In a way, India’s decision to go against
this complete abatement had the historic timeline behind it to back it up.
India has a different economic and cultural background than the west and thus the laws enforced
upon the west/developed nations wouldn’t be exactly fair for developing nations, such as India.

However, the COP president: Mr Sharma has clearly outlined in his speech that India must
explain to all the ‘Climate-vulnerable’ nations the reason of their decision. As Mr Alok Sharma
also declared this deal as “historic” and mentioned that it “keeps 1.5 C within reach”. The
superpower – China, that shares a tense relationship with India seemed to be on the same page
and commented that countries have signed the UN climate deal share a common responsibility to
fight climate change; however, their varied economic standpoints prohibit them to maintain fair

India’s environment minister stated that controlling the nation’s ‘poverty reduction agenda’ took
precedence over abating a complete use of coal. When the final consensus was reached by the

two countries, other nations put down their bold statements that the process is turning out to be
“untransparent” and was not the right decision. In the final draft, India took the floor and made a
proposal indicating that phasing “down” coal aligned with their intentions and that a complete
“phase out” was more than a leap in the direction to save the planet.

India has an amazing track record for using renewable sources for energy. It met with the 20
gigawatt goal by 2010 and by 2016 was already heading towards 175 gigawatts and thus if India
can take the “phase down” as a challenge, it will surely win accolades. Unfortunately, for now it
has earned global criticism to what many claim is an integral commitment to fight global

One major takeaway from the summit was what happened outside the negotiating rooms.
Thousands of people rallied the streets asking their leaders to deliver a formidable set of policies,
whereas many other activists propagated radicalism questioning the effectiveness of all.

The challenge for us belonging to the advocacy community will be constantly keeping up the
pressure and, critically build new platforms that take climate-conversations to various other
communities and bring more supporters with like minded ideas into this ever-expanding

Because only after harnessing this generation’s asset: The vastness of social media;
can we generate millions of more conversations that will we be able to engage people to create
the tipping point needed to realistically keep the 1.5 degrees goal alive and thus create a society
for everyone to survive. That would be a happy New Year, indeed.


  1. Dr. Minaxi Upadhyay says:

    This article highlights how the climate desaster could be controlled if we human follow certain rules. Well expressed by Dr. Animesh Upadhyay. Congratulations 👏👏

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