The global leaders from around 200 countries that convened for the COP26 summit had a stark warning from scientists ringing in their ears. If limiting global warming to less than 1.5 °C versus pre-industrial levels was to remain within reach, swift and decisive action at COP26 was required. While several new announcements were made in areas including coal, deforestation and methane emissions, progress fell short of the scale and specificity required to give us confidence that disruptive climate outcomes can be avoided.
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
As the practicalities of reaching net zero become clear, governments are finding the short-term economic costs unpalatable. Massive change is required to reach net zero emissions, which in the short term is likely to involve considerable economic cost.
Finding new jobs for many of the roughly 30 million people involved globally in the fossil fuel sector is one clear example. The short-term costs are m…