Sustain What

After COP26 Cheers and Jeers, Some Hopeful Climate and Energy Undercurrents

by |November 17, 2021
Scenes from the final hours at COP26

Scenes from the final hours at COP26. Photos: UNFCCC

Two weeks of climate treaty negotiations, demonstrations and proclamations in Glasgow ended Saturday night with another non-binding nudge toward climate progress even as heat-trapping gases and climate impacts accumulate.

Is humanity’s climate and energy future safer now than it was the last time world leaders met on climate a year ago?

I’d argue, marginally, yes, but not because of anything that happened in the negotiators’ Blue Zone at the conference complex.

And of course that is a qualified yes. It’ll take hard, sustained work to build progress where it’s needed most — in countries with the fewest energy choices and greatest vulnerability to today’s climate impacts, let alone what’s coming on this human-heated planet. That’s also where the most emissions growth is coming.

It’s up to nations that gained power and wealth burning fossil fuels to invest for change in the under-energized world even as they cut emissions at home.

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