COP is over – and now, what happens?
Read a brief retrospective of what happened at COP26, the Brazilian performance and the importance of the Brazil Climate Action Hub as an inclusive and diverse space for society
In November 2021, the world gathered in Glasgow, Scotland, for the 26th Climate Change Conference of the Parties. From a Brazilian point of view, the pavilion where the negotiations took place showed two countries: the official one, with little or no space for debate with civil society, and the Brazil Climate Action Hub, which was the sector that received all types from Brazil, from riverside dwellers to big business, from indigenous populations to state governors, from the black and diverse communities to columnists and members of the financial sector.
See, below, brief highlights of the COP:
1. The countries signed an Agreement and closed the rulebook of the Paris Agreement, but left greater ambition for 2022. Glasgow also failed to ensure the consistent funding by rich countries to the developing countries. The final text, for the first time, talks about accelerating the efforts to “gradually reduce” coal. The original expression, before India complained, was “gradually eliminate.”
2. Ana Toni, executive director of iCS, summed up the conference: “This COP should not have been just one more 'diplomatic exercise.' This should have been 'The COP' to position us on the trajectory for 1.5 degrees. Unfortunately, we are still a long way from this goal. It is what Márcio Astrini, from the Climate Observatory, has been saying - I love this phrase of his: fighting climate change and reducing the emission of carbon is not something that happens in negotiations. It takes place in the forest, in the city and in different places. It is not by signing a piece of paper that, as if by magic, emissions decrease."
3. Arayara presented a report at the Brazil Climate Action Hub with the social and environmental liabilities of the coal-fired thermal power plants in the south of Brazil. The governor of Rio Grande do Sul, Eduardo Leite, announced the preparation of an Energy Transition Plan for the state. iCS has committed to support the development of this plan, which should be ready by March 2022.
4. Climate litigation was highlighted in three panels at the Hub, with debates on “Legal strategies to combat deforestation, environmental crimes and human rights violations”; “Litigating the climate crisis: trends and new paths to be explored in the post-AR6 era”; and the judicialization of the climate commitments of the private sector.
5. A press conference marked the international launch of the initiative Climate and Development: Visions for Brazil 2030, which points out paths towards a more ambitious climate goal for Brazil based on three most urgent alternatives: carbon pricing, control of deforestation and the construction of an economy of forest restoration.
6. The black movement had a prominent agenda during COP. One of the main coordinations was the publication of the letter “For the control of global warming – zero deforestation: ownership of the quilombola lands is zero deforestation.” Douglas Belchior, from the Black Coalition for Rights, told the Geledés website: "Debate on the climate is a debate on human rights. It concerns the lives of people who occupy territories and who are, along with the territories, victims of economic interests that suck from nature everything that it has of wealth without bothering to replace it, just as it sucks the life from the people. Climate justice is about the right to life.”
7. More than 140 countries signed the Glasgow Declaration on Forests and Land Use, including Brazil. In the text, the nations commit to “working collectively to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030.”
8. More than 100 countries, Brazil among them, signed an agreement to reduce methane emissions by at least 30% from 2020 to 2030, which would generate a 0.2 °C reduction in warming. If the agreement is complied with, there will be important changes for the agricultural and cattle breeding sector.