Key summits pave way for Glasgow climate change conference | News | SDG Knowledge Center


A series of high-level events convened ahead of the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP 26) with the aim of creating momentum for successful negotiations and catalyzing efforts towards a net zero transition and more ambitious action on the adaptation to climate change, resilience and finance, among others. The 2021 Seoul P4G Summit meeting later this month will serve as the next stepping stone towards COP 26.

On March 23, 2021, China, the European Commission and Canada co-convened the Fifth session of the Ministerial Conference on Climate Action (MoCA). The virtual event brought together ministers from the Group of 20 (G20) countries and other key parties to the UNFCCC process, and was the first ministerial meeting of the year dedicated to international climate action at the approaching COP 26.

At Knowledge of SDGs Hub, we reported that discussions focused on how to strengthen global ambition while fostering global cooperation and solidarity, and on understanding the country-specific challenges and opportunities that arise in implementing low-carbon, resilient and sustainable recoveries after the COVID-19 crisis.

Addressing the Ministerial Conference, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres stressed that “all countries, businesses, cities and financial institutions must commit to achieving net zero, with clear and credible plans to achieve it. achieve, from today ”. He urged participants to find breakthroughs in the areas of adaptation, finance and coal phase-out, and urged countries to “move forward immediately with virtual negotiations”.

A month later, US President Joe Biden called the Leaders Climate Summit, which took place from April 22-23, 2021. The virtual event brought together 40 world leaders, as well as stakeholders from international organizations, businesses, subnational governments, indigenous communities and youth, to “ galvanize the efforts “of the world’s major economies to tackle climate change, highlight the economic benefits of early and” decisive “action and catalyze global cooperation and ambition” to increase the chances of achieving significant results ”at COP 26.

the SDG Knowledge Center Coverage of the event highlights that the Leaders’ Climate Summit once again convened the US-led Large Economies Forum (MEF) on Energy and Climate. The 17 MEF members are Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, EU, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, the Russian Federation, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. Together, they are responsible for around 80% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and global gross domestic product (GDP).

MEF meetings had been held periodically from 2009 to 2016. Following the Trump administration’s announcement that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement, Canada, China and the EU have co-organized five Ministerial Meetings on Climate Action (MoCA) between 2017 and 2021. The MEF and the fifth MoCA took place in 2021.

At the Climate Leaders’ Summit, MEF participants, along with leaders from vulnerable countries and ‘countries charting innovative paths to a net zero economy’, pledged to ‘prepare the world for success’ during this decade. Agreed actions included: galvanizing the efforts of the world’s major economies to reduce emissions by 2030 to keep the 1.5 ° C temperature target “within reach”; mobilize funding from the public and private sectors to drive the net zero transition and help vulnerable countries cope with climate impacts; and focusing on the economic benefits of climate action, including job creation to ensure that all workers benefit from the transition to a clean energy economy.

To support these actions, world leaders offered the following commitments:

  • The United States presented its goal of reducing emissions by 50 to 52% by 2030 from 2005 levels, which is also reflected in the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) that the United States has submitted. at the UNFCCC on April 21, 2021, after joining the Paris Agreement. The United States also announced a series of commitments to create jobs, mobilize finance, drive transformational innovations, conserve nature, build resilience, strengthen adaptation, and drive economic growth. communities;
  • Japan raised its previous target of reducing its emissions from 26% to 46-50% from 2013 levels by 2030, “with great efforts to achieve a 50% reduction”;
  • Canada has raised its previous target of reducing emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 to 40-45% from 2005 levels by 2030;
  • Argentina will strengthen its NDC, deploy more renewable energy, reduce methane emissions and end illegal deforestation;
  • The UK will legislate a 78% reduction in GHGs below 1990 levels by 2035;
  • The EU has enshrined in law a target of reducing net GHG emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and a target of net zero by 2050;
  • The Republic of Korea, which will host the 2021 Seoul P4G summit in May, will end public funding for coal overseas and strengthen its NDC this year to be in line with its 2050 net zero target;
  • China will join the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, strengthen control of CO2-free GHGs, strictly control coal-fired power generation projects, and gradually reduce the consumption of coal;
  • Brazil has pledged to reach net zero by 2050, end illegal deforestation by 2030 and double funding for the fight against deforestation;
  • South Africa will step up its NDC and postpone its peak emissions forecast ten years earlier to 2025; and
  • The Russian Federation called for international collaboration to tackle methane.

Building on the outcomes of the March MoCA and Leaders’ Climate Summit, Germany’s Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze and COP 26 President-designate Alok Sharma, UK, summoned some forty ministers from around the world for the 12th Petersberg Climate Dialogue, held from May 6 to 7, 2021, by videoconference. the Event focused on political preparations for the Glasgow Climate Change Conference, and look for “Take the momentum generated by President Biden’s summit […] in the negotiations on the common set of rules under the auspices of the Paris Agreement. “The participants called for” to do [COP 26] success and conclude negotiations on all unresolved aspects of the [Paris Agreement] rule book. “

According to the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) Press release, “The various political measures towards total neutrality of greenhouse gases are increasingly defined, in particular in economically strong countries.” The statement noted that many participants agreed that “the pace of the Paris Agreement, whereby the international community reviews and raises the ambition of its climate targets every five years, has been effective” and acknowledged that ‘increased financial support from richer countries is needed. strengthen climate efforts in developing countries.

In her opening statement, Minister Schulze noted that “climate action is still at the top of the agenda despite the tragedy of the pandemic”. Among the priorities of COP 26, she identified:

  • complete the transparency framework;
  • specify common deadlines for NDCs; and
  • finalize the provisions on cooperation mechanisms in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

In his remarks, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned participants that under current commitments, including those recently made, the world is still heading for a “disastrous” temperature increase of 2.4 ° C. above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. However, he said, “we can avoid the worst impacts of climate disruption and use the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to steer us on a cleaner, greener path.”

In the six months remaining before COP 26, Mr Guterres urged “all ministers to start working on an ambitious and balanced political agreement that supports developing countries”, and called on all stakeholders to ensure that their initiatives are “ambitious, credible and verifiable”. “There should be no doubt about the environmental integrity of our actions,” he said.

The next stepping stone to the Glasgow Climate Change Conference is the Seoul P4G Summit 2021, scheduled for May 30-31, 2021, in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The Summit will focus on the theme “An inclusive green recovery towards carbon neutrality” and explore how “scalable and replicable market-based solutions can inspire an increased ambition loop of climate action and sustainable development.” The Summit aims to serve as a “catalytic moment for collective action” towards net zero. The Seoul Declaration, which is expected to emerge from the Summit, will seek to help raise the ambition of the NDCs by emphasizing action and setting milestones for the Decade of Action.

The event includes a series of leadership sessions, breakout sessions and thematic sessions targeting the water, energy, food and agriculture, cities and economy sectors. circular, which correspond to the five thematic tracks of P4G where the global platform works to accelerate innovative multi-stakeholder partnerships. bring transformative change to achieve SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production). the SDG Knowledge Center an overview of the thematic sessions is available here.

The Green Future Week, which will take place before the Summit, will include ten sessions dedicated to: carbon neutrality; the Green New Deal; Civil society; Ocean; Biodiversity; a business forum; Green technology; Forests; Green finance; and the next generation. You can read the SDG Knowledge Center overview of future green sessions here.

The Glasgow climate change conference was originally scheduled to be held November 9-19, 2020, but has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is currently scheduled to take place from November 1-12, 2021, in Glasgow, UK.


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