November 13, 2021
Statement of Kaveh Guilanpour
Vice President of International Strategies, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
On the conclusion of COP26, the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Glasgow:
“The Paris Agreement is working. It was never expected to solve the climate emergency in one go – but to do so over time. In 2014, before the Agreement was adopted, the world was heading toward close to 4 degrees Celsius of global heating. Coming out of COP26, new commitments made mean that we are heading toward closer to around 2 degrees. Glasgow was an important step in keeping open the possibility of limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees.
“Whether COP26 was a success will only be known some time down the road. The test will be whether Glasgow marks the transition from promises made on paper to turning those promises into reality. We need to move from a conversation only about ‘how much?’ toward one that is also about ‘how?’. COP26 has provided the political signal, building blocks, and the solutions to do just that.
“The successful finalization of the guidelines to fully implement the Paris Agreement – including in relation to transparency and carbon markets – is a welcome achievement and lays a solid foundation to further raise climate ambition over time.”
Statement of Nathaniel Keohane
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
On the U.S. role at COP26:
“The United States came to this conference needing to demonstrate renewed global leadership on climate. The importance of that role was on display in Glasgow, where American leadership helped secure a range of commitments including the Global Methane Pledge among more than 100 countries to cut emissions of methane by 30 percent by 2030, and where Special Presidential Envoy John Kerry’s dogged diplomacy paid off in the US-China announcement as well as a strong 2030 target from India.
“But the most important test of U.S. leadership will be in Washington, DC. For America to regain the trust of the world on climate, and persuade others to follow its lead, President Biden and Congress must build on the important, but initial, down payment in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and show that we are serious about delivering on our commitments. That means passing the Build Back Better framework, with its $555 billion investment in climate, clean energy, and resilience – an investment that will create good jobs throughout the country, supercharge America’s competitiveness in the global clean energy economy, and demonstrate that the leadership we saw in Glasgow is backed up by action at home.”
On Article 6
“Importantly, negotiators also reached agreement on the so-called ‘Paris rulebook,’ including guidance on Article 6. In the Paris Agreement, Article 6 is the engine of international cooperation. It is what enables countries to work together to achieve faster, deeper cuts in emissions than they could on their own, while channeling finance to promote truly sustainable green growth in developing countries. But markets are only a force for good when there are guardrails in place to ensure environmental and social integrity.
“While the agreed Article 6 guidance is not perfect, it is strong on the critical issue of avoiding double-counting, and it gives countries the clarity and direction they need to begin working together to raise ambition. To ensure environmental integrity, countries should refuse to use pre-2020 credits from the Clean Development Mechanism to meet their NDCs – instead focusing on new emissions reductions. Civil society will be watching.”
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About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.