The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) was originally due to take place from 9-19 November 2020, in Glasgow, UK. In light of the pandemic, it has now been rescheduled for 1-12 November 2021, same location.
It is understandable that a conference of this scale, which facilitates the worlds most pressing discussions and setting of country targets for climate change cannot be wholly be taken online in a virtual replication.
Although it is taking place a year later, the mixed impacts caused by Covid-19 on global emissions will make this COP the most important one to date to keep the world on track!
We have seen flights, air quality and carbon dioxide significantly reduce in those countries worst hit by Coronavirus, including but not limited to China, UK, Spain and Italy.
In the same vein, we have witnessed a stalling of efforts in international development blocked by the virus, which has slowed progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Achieving these goals by 2030 is paramount to curbing emissions in the developing world, and globally.
It is likely we will also see a drive-in emissions post-Covid-19 as middle-income countries such as China and India attempt to get back to their substantial economic growth of previous years.
Locally, we have seen an increase of single-use masks, gloves, plastics bottles for hand sanitiser/soap etc. On the flip side, we have seen a drop in unnecessary travel which has considerably improved local air quality, wildlife and nature populations.
Considering everything, I think this pandemic has brought climate change to our doorsteps as we all make a conscious effort to reduce our individual carbon footprint more than ever.
CO2balance look forward to and will be present at the COP 26 conference in Glasgow and we hope to see you there!