UN Climate Summit Ends With A New Pledge To Combat Climate Change

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The Glasgow Climate Pact was signed by nearly 200 countries (Credit: UN.org)

On November 13, 2021, diplomats from nearly 200 countries vowed to step up their efforts to slow global warming. The Glasgow Climate Pact, signed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, was not as far-reaching as many had hoped. However, there was a clear consensus about the urgency to take action to prevent a catastrophic rise in global temperatures.

The agreement’s highlights include a pledge to reduce global methane emissions by 30 percent in the next ten years. More than 100 world leaders— from countries representing over 90 percent of the world’s forests — also agreed to cease and reverse deforestation by 2030.

Many countries, including the US and China, pledged to get to net-zero emissions in the next few decades (Credit: Climateactiontracker.org)

For the first time at a COP conference, 40 countries made an explicit promise to cut down the use of coal. However, environmentalists were disappointed by India and China’s demand that the agreement call for “phasing down,” rather than “phasing out,” its use. The fossil fuel is responsible for 40 percent of the world's annual carbon dioxide emissions.

The US and the European Union promised to reach net-zero emissions — which means achieving a balance so no greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere — by 2050. China and India vowed to do the same by 2060 and 2070, respectively. The Glasgow Climate Pact also requires countries to announce more substantial pledges and outline concrete plans on how to achieve the goals at the climate change conference in Egypt in 2022.

The Climate Action Tracker's global warming estimates for the next few decades (Credit: climatechangetracker.org)

Experts at the Climate Action Tracker estimate that if all countries keep their pledges under the new agreement, we could possibly limit global warming to 1.8 degrees Celsius by 2100. Though higher than the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit scientists are advocating, it is better than the 2.7 degrees Celsius of warming the planet is currently heading towards.

“Countries still don’t seem to understand that we’re in an emergency situation and we need to cut emissions much faster this decade, or else any hope of staying at 1.5 degrees will be lost,” said Niklas Höhne, a German climatologist and founding partner of NewClimate Institute, which created the Climate Action Tracker.

Resources: Washingtonpost.com, NPR.com, news.un.org,

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113 Comments
  • sunrisesunset
    sunrisesunset11 months
    I agree that saving the earth is VERY important, but I feel like the UN climate summit isn’t going to do anything to help, because they’re letting China (country that uses the most coal) keep polluting the earth until 2030.
    • kate8
      kate811 months
      I agree, but I don't think there is much they can do about the China issue. I think that because there are millions of people who work for china's coal industry and that would be like taking away all of their jobs.
      • lunarwings
        lunarwings11 months
        Yes, but that doesn't mean everyday people can't cut down on energy uses as well. Although I completley am on your side. o.0
      • creampuffcookie
        it wouldn't hurt to use some more renewable resources instead of burning up fossil fuels all the time would it? fossil fuels release a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when it is burned. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas.
        • coi_leray
          coi_leray11 months
          This is important.
          • rendragon
            rendragon12 months
            Everyone can make a difference! Do what you can to get climate change to slow down, there are ways to do it whoever you are. One thing I am doing is entering the One Earth Film Festival, our movie (if we can finish it!) will be about car pollution but also youth activism in general. I personally doubt we will win, but if we do, watch it... though it probably won't win... so... whatever. If you can think of something to do then do it. Maybe post it here so other people can try too. If you can not think of anything to do then ask other people. Larger groups call more attention, in our movie the main character gets together a big group of students to protest.
            • rendragon
              rendragon12 months
              Also, my favorite renewable energy source is solar power, because it produces a lot of energy without polluting the air or messing with the environment. Renewable sources are another way the world can cut down on emissions.
            • rendragon
              rendragon12 months
              It feels like the adults are like "OMG Climate change is a big problem! We'll fix it!" But they are usually lazy and they don't do anything, they just mess things up and then give the problems to the next generation to fix.
              • godzilla47
                godzilla4712 months
                This is important. We really need to do something about it. After all, it is our Earth.
                • creampuffcookie
                  It's probably to late to completely reverse climate change now, but at least we can try to do something to make it better, but we have to act now, so stop just posting "save the Earth" on the internet and do something.
                  • kate8
                    kate811 months
                    Posting things about climate change also helps people get motivated to solve the problem
                    • kate8
                      kate811 months
                      Also I agree that people should be trying to do more for the planet, but posting things on the internet is a great way to get people to notice the problem
                      • godzilla47
                        godzilla4712 months
                        That is so true. Really wish people would actually do something to save the beloved Earth.
                        • imjosh
                          imjosh10 months
                          Agreed, we all live on earth so we should keep it safe.
                      • creampuffcookie
                        if you really want to save the planet, don't just say "stop global warming" on the internet. go and actually do something.
                        • idras
                          idras12 months
                          Well some people can't just go do that due to financial situations but that is why we need billionaires to be the first ones to make the switch to renewable energy,electric cars.investing in carbon capture technology and if they do that than prices will go down and the cheaper solar panels and solar battery's become than more people use solar instead of fossil fuels so people like Elon musk and Jeff Bezos need to stop whining and go out and do something.
                        • creampuffcookie
                          what disappoints me the most is that people always say that we have to stop global warming and save the planets, but their just saying it and not actually doing anything about it. they are just being lazy and sitting around thinking that somebody else is going to save the planet for them but that is not true.
                          • kate8
                            kate811 months
                            I disagree because spreading info about global warming on the internet is a great way to spread news about global warming to other people and motivate other people to help with the issue
                            • rendragon
                              rendragon12 months
                              yes agreed they say they'll do something but they don't
                            • gemini2030
                              gemini203012 months
                              I think we should start taking this seriously. Climate change has a big impact on earth.