Rathbones launches latest Planet Paper: Good COP bad COP, a guide to human efforts to tackle climate change
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told the world to “grow up” and tackle climate change; that “this is the most important period I think now in the history of the planet - because COP simply must succeed”.
All eyes are now firmly on COP26 in Glasgow, from 31 October to 12 November. But what exactly is a COP? What makes a good one, and what is its significance? Rathbones’ Stewardship Director, Matt Crossman seeks to address those questions in the latest Planet Paper: Good COP bad COP, a guide to human efforts to tackle climate change by looking at some of the significant COPs of the past and what they can tell us about what needs to happen in Glasgow this November to make this a ‘good’ one.
The Planet Paper takes a deeper dive in to what a COP is, and some examples of good and bad ones. Chapters include:
- Shaping the climate change debate
A look at international agreements as well as what a COP is, and what is in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
- Bad COP – COP3 Kyoto 1997
Key members China, India, the US and Australia didn’t ratify the agreement at all, reflecting the political atmosphere at the time.
- Bad COP – COP15 Copenhagen 2009
A toothless ‘Copenhagen Accord’ was adopted, essentially allowing parties to the treaty to set their own targets for 2020.
- Good COP – COP21 Paris 2015
COP21 delivered the now-famous Paris Agreement, the main thrust of which was the commitment to keep temperature rises to ‘well below’ 20C.
- ? COP – COP26 Glasgow 2021
Of primary significance is the need to review progress made since the Paris Agreement on long-term decarbonisation plans and efforts. The 2020 deadline agreed for these ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ (NDCs) has been pushed back, but is vital given the deepening understanding of the science around climate change since 2015, and the rapid pace of action required.
Rathbones’ Stewardship Director, Matt Crossman said: “The availability of renewable energy sources and other technological advancements over the past 26 years since the first COP have grown sharply, though much more is needed. Previous COPs have laid the foundations of a fair system for sharing the cost. Without a doubt, government finances around the world will have been strained by the COVID pandemic; it remains to be seen if the most powerful members will be sufficiently motivated to make sure meaningful action, and money to pay for it, will follow this next gathering.”
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