Glasgow, 1 October 2021 (TDI): The United Nations Climate Change Conference started on 31 October, in Glasgow. The newly-appointed president of COP26, Alok Sharma, gave a speech at the opening ceremony.
Sharma first thanked the previous COP President, Carolina Schmidt, for her leadership. Then Sharma welcomed the representatives to the conference and Glasgow. He also thanked the representatives of the countries, for their efforts to get to the United Kingdom.
Sharma acknowledged it because due to COVID-19, and its impacts, traveling among other activities has had heavy restrictions. He then added that for almost two years, the COVID-19 has been causing devastation and disruption.
The COVID-19 caused this to the lives, and livelihoods across the world. According to Sharma, pandemics have particularly affected the least developed countries. It has also affected the small island developing states.
Sharma mentioned that COVID-19 forced the UN and the States to postpone it. He then added that the August IPCC report was a wake-up call. The IPCC report was agreed by 195 Governments and made clear that human activity is the cause of global warming.
VISITS OF SHARMA
Sharma warned that the window to keep 1.5 degrees celsius within reach is closing. He remarked that he had the honor to speak with communities devastated by climate change. The first visit that Sharma mentions were to Jomson, Nepal.
In the Hindu-Kush region, Sharma spoke with the displaced communities due to a combination of droughts, and floods. Then in Barbuda, Sharma met communities that are still suffering from Hurricane Irma; four years ago.
Sharma also mentions that he spoke with communities in East Africa, that are fighting plagues of locusts. He also chatted with a group of women in Madagascar. Sharma stated that in each country, we can see the devastating impact of a changing climate.
PARIS AGREEMENT COMMITMENTS
Climate change causes cyclones, wildfires, floods, and high temperatures. Sharma urged the States to address it together and remarked about the Paris Agreement. He mentions that six years ago, they agreed on their shared goals.
In Paris, the States committed to protecting people, and nature from the effects of climate change, and to get finalization for climate actions. States also committed to limiting the rise in global temperature to below two degrees and efforts towards 1.5 degrees.
Sharma urged the States to step up on adaptation, to address loss, and damage; and last to act to keep the 1.5 alive. According to Sharma, that in COP26 is the last hope to keep 1.5 in reach. Then Sharma reaffirmed his belief that the international system can deliver. He also reaffirmed his commitment to promoting transparency and inclusivity.
Sharma stressed the need to develop the solutions, and to seize the opportunities for green growth, for cleaner power. Sharma then stated that the representatives need to ensure that where Paris promised, Glasgow delivers.