Amid an energy crisis caused by war in Ukraine, climate experts say November talks must act on plans to limit global heating
When weary delegates tumbled out of the emptying halls of the Scottish Event Campus into the chill of a Glasgow night last November, the mood was buoyant, if exhausted. Workers in hi-vis began dismantling stages and pulling down scaffolding, as the departing representatives of nearly 200 countries exchanged weak high-fives and wry grins. After two weeks of gruelling climate talks, there was a broadly successful outcome: the world had agreed, at last, to make concrete plans to limit global heating to 1.5C.
True, the deal reached in Glasgow was fragile. Most countries came to the Cop26 climate summit without carbon-cutting plans of the level of stringency scientists said was needed. They left the talks with targets that would imply heating of about 1.9C – a “historic” achievement compared to the 6C of heating we were heading towards a decade ago, but still far off 1.5C, the figure scientists say is the threshold of safety. That left plenty to do in the months to come.