Update from COP26
Three months ago, at a time when fires, floods and heatwaves raged across the continents, all governments unanimously endorsed the dramatic warnings issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) regarding the scale of the impacts that our planet will face if we do not change course. The IPCC stressed that governments could still protect the rights of present and future generations to a safe climate, but only if they undertook urgent and systemic action.
The researchers conclude, our carbon budget will be gone by the end of this decade. Staying below 1.5°C global warming will require a rapid and massive cut in our carbon emissions.
Despite this stark warning, most governments have failed to review their national climate commitments and energy policies in line with science. We are still waiting for governments gathered in Glasgow to adopt action-oriented decisions that bolster mitigation measures and effectively ratchet up ambition. This means, among other outcomes, reaffirming the need to keep temperature increase below 1.5°C, agreeing that national governments must submit enhanced commitments every five years, and establishing an annual ambition enhancement mechanism to mobilize greater action until the mitigation ambition gap is closed.
Failing to do so would let COP26 go down in history as a fatal blow to the Paris Agreement where governments have abdicated their responsibility to deliver on the Paris goals. This is particularly difficult with an unprecedented push for false solutions that divert global attention from the urgent need to phase out fossil fuels.
The KJWA negotiations concluded on 5 November in an agreement on the need for a transition towards sustainable and climate-resilient food systems, taking into consideration the vulnerability of agriculture to the impacts of climate change. To achieve this transition, participants acknowledged the key role of:
- soil and nutrient management practices, for instance, organic fertilizer and enhanced manure management
- sustainably managed livestock systems, such as enhancing animal health and sinks on pasture and grazing lands
Furthermore, they also noted the importance of scaling up support and resources to achieve inclusive, sustainable and climate-resilient agricultural systems.
We continue to influence the text for the KJWA outcome decision to be adopted at COP27 in November 2022, so that it requires more concrete actions from countries to include measures on sustainable agriculture in the climate action plans.
On the sidelines of the COP
We are following COP26 as it continues until the weekend in the hope to see increased action from countries to integrate climate action with a shift towards sustainable food systems. Stay tuned for more information.