Parallel tracks emerged as COP26 kicked off. During the first week, outside the formal negotiations we saw a raft of pledges from different coalitions on phasing out coal, reducing deforestation, cutting methane emissions, eliminating deforestation from supply chains, all new cars and vans being zero emissions by 2040 or earlier and net-zero pledges from the financial services sector. All of these are welcome. But they aren't enough to close the 1.5°C gap.

In the second week at COP, parties worked to reflect some of the pledges in the formal negotiations. On Saturday, 13 November, 2021 consensus was reached on the Glasgow Climate Pact, amid some reservations about a final change to the language on phasing out coal. The decisions adopted in Glasgow delivered on a number of fronts, including finalising sections on transparency and carbon markets provisions in the Paris Rulebook, increasing funding on adaptation for developing countries, recognising the critical role of nature in keeping 1.5°C in reach, and a ten-year Glasgow work programme on Action for Climate Empowerment.

In this article, members of our Sustainability and ESG Steering Committee share their thoughts on eight key themes emerging from conference and what they mean for business.


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