Key Takeaways to-date from the COP26 Climate Summit

As members are aware, the United Kingdom is hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland.  The conference is scheduled to run until November 12, 2021.  It is perhaps the largest climate change conference in history.  Approximately 120 heads of state will address the conference and nearly 50,000 people have registered to attend in-person or virtually.

In HRAI’s previous reporting in the lead-up to the summit, we informed members that four major priorities were on the agenda for the conference:

  1. Securing net-zero by 2050 by accelerating the phase-out of coal, reducing deforestation, speeding up the transition to electric vehicles, and greater investments in renewable energy and green technologies;
  2. Protecting and restoring ecosystems and building more resilient infrastructure and agriculture;
  3. Mobilizing the public and private sectors to contribute, especially developed countries, approximately $100 billion per year in climate finance to fighting climate change and assisting developing nations; and
  4. Encouraging governments, businesses, and other actors to work together in pursuit of the Paris Agreement’s mandate to hold global warming to 1.5 °C and net-zero future by mid-century.

With the climate summit now well under way, here are the key takeaways we can report so far:

Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Canada will end exports of thermal coal and accelerate the phase-out of coal-fired electricity by 2030. This transition will be accompanied by a $185 million support package to support affected coal workers and communities. The prime minister also announced Canada will contribute up to $1 billion for the Climate Investment Funds Accelerated Coal Transition Investment Program to aid developing countries in the transition from coal-fired electricity to clean power.

President Biden announced a new long-term plan on how the United States will achieve net-zero by 2050 as well as significant measures to fight climate change through the agriculture, forestry, and oil and gas sectors. The president said the United States will partner with the European Union to reduce global methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Biden also announced that he will work with Congress to quadruple climate finance support to developing countries by 2024 and reiterated the United States’ commitment to the goals of the Paris Agreement.

While developing countries failed to meet their 2020 climate finance contribution targets, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK will commit a further billion dollars to international climate finance, taking the UK’s total to £12.6 billion by 2025. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged $10 billion over the next five years.

The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), announced that 450 private sector investment firms and banks across 45 countries will work together over the next three decades to deliver $100 trillion in climate finance, the estimated figure to achieve net-zero by 2050.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged that India will reach net-zero by 2070, marking India’s first net-zero commitment. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China, the world’s largest polluter of carbon dioxide emissions, that China will achieve net-zero by 2060.

Other significant announcements include:

As a trade association representing the Canadian HVACR industry, HRAI will continue to work with our partners in industry and government to achieve Canada’s ambitious climate change targets.

We also recognize that the HVACR will increasingly play a leading role in these efforts through continual technological innovation, bringing more energy efficient products to market, leading decarbonization efforts, and providing expert advice to government actors on how Canada can realize net-zero emissions by mid-century.

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