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With climate change being a key topic at the moment, we take a look into how 200 countries set out plans to cut emissions by 2030 and how financial organisations direct finance away from fossil fuel burning industries.
Most people know about COP26, but some may ask what and why is it happening? The world is currently warming due to fossil fuels being used by humans such as coal, oil, and gas. The extreme weather events we have been having are linked to climate change. This is including heatwaves, floods, and forest fires. There are all things that are intensifying. With the past decade being the warmest on record, the government agree to urgent action needed. 200 countries have been asked for their plans on how they will be cutting emissions by 2030 and the goal is to keep cutting these emissions until we reach net zero in 2050.
Now again, some of you may ask what is net zero? Net zero means not adding to the current amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. To achieve this, it means reducing emission as much as possible and also to balance out any that remain by removing an equivalent amount. These greenhouse gases such as CO2 are normally released when we burn oil, gas and coal. Another gas in methane. This is produced through farming and landfill. These all cause global warming by trapping the suns energy. With rapid deforestation across the world, this means there are fewer trees around to absorb the CO2.
There has been a big focus on finance and having a group of countries commit to delivering $100bn a year to fund and help develop countries go green. With the House of Commons being presented with the government’s net zero strategy they have pledged that £620m in grants for electric vehicles and charging points plus £350m to help the transition from petrol. They have also offered grants of up to £5000 for homeowners to install low carbon heat pumps.
On the money side of things there has been 450 financial organisations who between them control $130tn, agree to back clean technology. This means they will direct finance away from fossil fuel burning industries. This is an attempt to involve private companies in meeting net zero targets and to commit them to providing finance for green technology.
With all these strategies and commitments made, these may not all be met by these countries. All these pledges will have to be self-policed and only a handful of countries are making their pledges legally binding. However, people are hoping that as more is spoken about with net zero, it will encourage other countries to keep up. The focus of meetings like COP26 is to try to encourage every country to stay involved.
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