It was Youth Day at the Glasgow Climate Change Conference. A Fridays for Future march gathered 10,000 schoolkids and supporters in the streets. Inside the venue, events focused on youth and gave glimpses of the world they will inherit. Negotiators continued to try to resolve key issues before the subsidiary bodies' closing plenaries on Saturday, 6 November.
- Negotiations on finance and adaptation
- Events taking stock of COP 26 commitments and the role of youth
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The negotiations today clustered together issues. Negotiators tend to follow, or specialize in, one issue, so clustering together finance and adaptation issues blocks off hours of the negotiators’ time and helps prevent conflicts in their schedules.
Finance negotiations were one such cluster. There were extensive discussions - morning and afternoon - on the new collective quantified goal on climate finance. It is a new agenda item and parties are putting forward their initial proposals. The goal in Glasgow is not to set a specific number, but to establish a process for countries to learn, deliberate, and decide how much finance developed countries (and those able and willing to do so) will provide and mobilize.
Adaptation was the second major cluster of the day. The discussions included how to develop and implement national planning processes to build resilience and reduce vulnerability to the effects of climate change. Many developing countries are disproportionately affected given their low contribution to global emissions and high vulnerability to negative climate impacts. Many of the agenda items involve supporting developing countries in their efforts.
Loss and damage refers to permanent, detrimental effects of climate change, whether through rapid onset events (like extreme weather events) or slow onset events (like sea level rise). As countries suffer more and more of these lasting effects, from lost economic activity to lost lives, the calls for including loss and damage were heard through negotiation rooms, from finance to transparency. Under the agenda item devoted to loss and damage, negotiations involved trying to work out how to bring together the diverse communities of practice working on disaster risk reduction or agriculture, to give two examples, to support developing countries.
Around the Venue
There was a full slate of Presidency events to consider the role of youth and also take stock of the pledges made by countries and businesses so far.
Youth NGOs took the big stage in an event titled “Unifying for Change: The Global Youth Voice at COP 26.” It was a chance to unveil the Youth Statement from the 16th Conference of Youth, held just before the COP began. Signed by over 40,000 youth representatives, with input from 2,000 organizations from 130 countries, the overriding message of the statement is that youth must be meaningfully and actively included in decision-making processes to safeguard their future.
Former US Vice-President Al Gore opened an event titled “Destination 2030: Making 1.5°C a Reality” convened by the High-Level Climate Champions with a stark warning. He proclaimed we’re entering an era of radical transparency, where any mismatch between pledges and actions would trigger a wave of pressure for accountability and climate action. Lord Adair Turner, Energy Transition Council, presented initial estimates of the pledges made at COP 26 by countries and companies. Crunching the numbers, he said if (and he emphasized the “if”) these pledges are fully realized, they would lead to a reduction of nine of the needed 22 Gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent to keep 1.5°C in sight.
Other events included:
- Global Climate Action Agenda events on youth, water, and the ocean;
- High-level Event on the Needs of Developing Countries;
- The Danger We're in and the Case for Hope: A presentation by Al Gore;
- The Role of Parliaments in Climate and Nature Policy; and
- The Power of Public Engagement for Harnessing Climate Action: Stories and Lessons of Empowerment from around the World