The climate talks in Glasgow wrapped up over the weekend, where negotiators spent the past two weeks grappling with critical issues to address the climate crisis. I was in Glasgow, where I saw firsthand the energy and passion of leaders of island nations calling for action to save their communities, youth activists demanding governments act with greater urgency, and experts working 18-hour days to find common ground on the details of the agreement.
While the final outcome did not set the world on track to turn back the climate crisis, it did plant seeds of progress that can be harvested.
The Glasgow Climate Pact put in place measures for countries to enhance their climate targets next year and phase down coal power, and it resolved key rules of the Paris Agreement. It fell short in other areas, such as developed countries’ inability to meet their financial commitments and insufficient provisions on carbon markets. Outside the negotiations, we saw encouraging commitments to cut methane emissions, halt and reverse deforestation, and align private investments to net-zero.
More work urgently needs to be done to keep 1.5° C within reach, and especially to support vulnerable countries that are facing an existential threat from climate change.
Now, it’s time to move from commitments to action. We need your help to make this a reality.
I left Glasgow feeling frustrated that we didn’t achieve more, but also more energized than ever. Our team has been working for months toward this moment, and I was struck by how visible our presence was at COP26. Our teams brought deep expertise, analysis and convening power not only to the negotiating floor, but also to dialogues on nature, energy, cities, the ocean and many other areas. It was inspiring to witness the full breadth of WRI at work.
I am on my way back home, determined to make progress on these critical issues. This is no time to rest. Now, we must get to work to quickly convert these promising initiatives into real world action and ensure they are just and inclusive. I hope you will join us.
Thank you for being a part of WRI’s community working to build a better, stronger, fairer future for all.
President & CEO
World Resources Institute