COP26: Women, Science and Innovation: the cornerstones of climate action

November 11, 2021

It was another busy day at COP26. The main topic wasn’t one, or two, but three issues that are incredibly crucial for bolstering climate action and keeping atmospheric heating below 1.5 degrees.

Countries and non-State actors laid out gender-focused climate commitments, among them, Canada, which promised to ensure that 80 per cent of its $5.3 billion in climate investments over the next five years is targeted towards gender equality.

Bolivia, Ecuador, Germany and others also made pledges for new initiatives that will aim to boost women’s empowerment and participation, including allowing more and easier access to financing.

“The world designed by men has destroyed many things…What would a world be like, designed by women?” asked Angelica Ponce, director of the Plurinational Authority for Mother Earth in Bolivia today at the main plenary.

For young activists like Brianna Freuan, the hope is to maintain a habitable planet for the future. Standing alongside Little Amal, a giant puppet representing a young Syrian refugee girl that ‘walked’ 6,000 miles to be in Glasgow, they sent a message to the world in the name of all women and girls. You can read all about it in our featured story

As for science matters, the news wasn’t very hopeful today. The just-updated Emissions Gap Report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) revealed that with the pledges made last week, the world is on a path to reduce emissions by a mere 8% by 2030, a huge gap from the 55% reduction that is needed to curb global heating. 

The Climate Action Tracker (CAT), the world’s most respected climate analysis coalition, also announced that according to its data, temperature rise will top 2.4 degrees by the end of this century, based on the short-term goals countries have set out at COP26. 

Inger Andersen, the head of UNEP, has called some of the ‘Net Zero’ promises vague and lacking transparency, and she was asked world leaders for real ambition and sound solutions. 

The stage is set for ministers to continue negotiations this week, and considering this worrying new data, the world will be watching closely.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who more than anyone has been calling for rapid and concrete action, is set to be back in Glasgow tomorrow to meet with Ministers and Heads of State, and we will keep you updated. 

Source: UN

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