COP26: The Final Push

COP26 is nearing the end of the second week.

Even with the new climate declarations made last week, the Climate Action Tracker notes there is still a major gap in reaching the 1.5°C warming target. It predicts that current policies and actions will send the world hurtling towards a 2.4°C temperature increase by 2100.[1]UN Secretary-General Guterres has called for more regular reviews of climate plans—once every year instead of every five years—should the outcomes of COP26 fall short of expectations.[2]

With just one day left, delegates are working hard to iron out a global carbon market deal and unlock trillions of dollars of investment.[3]Despite the promise to mobilise US$100 billion of climate financing yearly, wealthier nations continue to resist committing to compensate vulnerable counterparts for losses and damages arising from climate change.[4]

The Like-Minded Developing Countries—composed of 22 nations including large emitters like China, India, and Saudi Arabia—are now calling for US$1.3 trillion per year to be channelled to developing countries by 2030 for climate mitigation and adaptation.[5]India in particular demanded for US$1 trillion in financial support by 2030 for the country alone to uphold the surprising net-zero pledge it made last week.[6]

One welcome surprise came from the world’s two largest carbon emitters, China and the US, announcing on Wednesday to work more closely together on climate actions.[7]While largely symbolic, the joint declaration still sends a powerful message, recognising the urgency for action.

To support China’s climate ambitions, the Hong Kong government has to become more transparent with the progress of its climate actions through its new Office of Climate Change and Carbon Neutrality. For example:

·Provide more regular update of local greenhouse gas emission trends

·Review the government’s carbon reduction pathways and targets regularly

·Set carbon reduction pathways and targets for government-funded projects and institutions

·Update green procurement guidelines to reduce carbon emissions

·Add climate-related information in the disclosure of government waste and energy statistics (Monitoring of Solid Waste in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Energy End-use Data, etc.)

Walk the talk - A call to action to support FoE (HK):

·Tree Planting Challenge and Climate Tree Care

·CESGA accreditation and scholarship program

·Carbon Neutrality Forum

Interested Topic:
Climate Change
Nature Conservation

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