As major players like US President Joe Biden leave negotiators behind in Glasgow to carry on the summit, COP26 has already born fruit.
Day two of the international climate summit has seen two major deals brokered: One on the limiting of methane gas productions and another on deforestation.
More than 100 nations, including crucial EU countries like Germany which act not only as polluters but as agenda setters, signed up to cut methane gas emissions by 30% before 2030. Led by the EU, the deal was the block’s first major brokerage of the conference and the Von der Leyen commission seek to flex their regulatory muscles at the US.
“Today’s launch of the Global Methane Pledge is also critical to keeping 1.5C alive. I am proud that COP has played host to a historic pledge which will play a vital role in limiting up to 0.2 degrees of warming across the next decade,” says COP26 President Alok Sharma.
In a surprising turn, Brazil was among countries which pledged to end deforestation by 2030. The countries President, Jair Bolsonaro has previously put financial and political weight behind domestic and international logging companies, often at the expense of indigenous land. It is yet to be seen how the agreement will be interpreted in the South American nation’s domestic policy agenda. South America hosts some 27% of the world’s forest coverage so it is no wonder all eyes were on Latin and Hispanic leaders during the deal’s brokerage. Colombian President Duque went further by saying that his country would commit to protecting 30 per cent of its forests by 2022.
With some €16.5 billion raised to make the agreement a reality, it is one of the biggest efforts to tackle deforestation in history.