showCASE No. 123: COP26: A Decade to Deliver?


In this issue of showCASE we are taking a look at the outcomes of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) that took place earlier this month in Glasgow. According to CASE economist Karolina Zubel and CASE intern Giuseppe Scullari, despite certain disappointments such as a failure to reach an agreement on the creation of a “loss and damage” fund or insufficient inclusivity of the event, certain progress was made in the fields of mitigation measures, deforestation, and mobilisation of both public and private funds.


By Karolina Zubel and Giuseppe Scullari

After two weeks of drafting – on 13th November, one day after the scheduled end of the meeting – an agreement was eventually reached in Glasgow during the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26). The deal represents a balanced compromise between interests and needs of roughly 200 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Most contentiously, developed countries did not manage to reach an agreement on the creation of a “loss and damage” fund dedicated to helping the most exposed nations recover from climate-related disasters. What is more, they failed to deliver on their 2009 promises of USD 100 billion annual funding to low- and middle-income countries by 2020.

The event, postponed by one year due to COVID-19, gathered nearly 40,000 registered participants – almost twice that of the previous (2019) United Nations (UN) climate conferencearound 25% of which were non-governmental groups. Yet the overwhelming majority of the latter were not allowed to directly observe the discussions, thereby raising criticism over the real level of inclusivity of the event. However, encouraging achievements were reached, too. New ambitious pledges were made especially over mitigation measures, deforestation, and fresh financial mobilisation – from both public and private sources. Overall, the results could be divided into four broader categories. The first concerns mitigation, the second – solidarity in fulfilling these activities, the third – financing scheme, while the fourth – transparency.


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