Category: COP26 Analysis

COP26: Some progress, but not nearly enough

After the dramatic final hours of negotiations, the most important issues at COP26 in Glasgow have now been decided. The decisions have led to key steps forward in international climate policy, but they are not enough to achieve the climate goals. (This is a translation of the original Swedish-language post that can be found here)

When it comes to emissions reductions there are clear statements about the importance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, which in practice means a stronger interpretation of the goal from the Paris Agreement. Parties will now sharpen their NDCs more often and in coordination with the pact. Global emissions reductions of 45% from 2010 to 2030 has been quantified, agreed upon and included in the text. The use of coal and fossil fuel subsidies will also be reduced, a first for international climate agreements. The agreements reached at Glasgow also included the implementation of emissions trading schemes in line with the Paris Agreement.

In addition to the Glasgow agreement itself, known as the Glasgow Climate Pact, groups of countries have also agreed on measures relating to, among other things, methane emissions, deforestation and coal power. Several countries have also advanced their positions, the most significant being India’s commitments to Net Zero by 2070. Overall, there was a sense of cooperation and ambition in the negotiations.

These decisions and promises will, at best, mean that global warming will evidently reach at 1.8-1.9 degrees, according to preliminary calculations. This is a great improvement from what it looked like before the start of COP26 and even more so compared to when the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015.

But the progress is not nearly enough to meet the 1.5-degree goal. Emissions reductions must increase and at a significantly faster rate than currently anticipated. The UN decisions in Glasgow also rely completely on implementation at the national level, but this is of course always a given in international agreements. All countries must now do far more.

Implementation in nations and global regions also needs to occur with higher ambitions than that which is expressed in the agreement. For example, the language surrounding coal phase-downs and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and the agreement on emissions trading are clearly weak. Different countries have held up different issues. Coal and subsidies for fossil fuels need to be phased out completely. This is something that all countries can do without need of a UN decision. And rules for emissions trading can also be improved

On the issue of financing for both emission reductions and adaptation measures, more resources have been allocated before and during COP26. Most significantly new commitments have been made to double the financing for climate adaptation. The negotiations also led towards some steps forward to address Loss and Damage, the issue of compensation for climate damage in developing countries that arise even with climate adaptation measures in place.

But even on these points, the agreement is far from sufficient. The target of $100 billion in annual climate funding by 2020 has not been met. That figure is also a whole order of magnitude too little. There was also no effective process for dealing with the issue of Loss and Damage, let alone any financing to speak of. The countries that have the least impact on the climate are seriously affected, while those that primarily cause the damage are not prepared to pay the costs that arise.

It is clear that the Glasgow summit is a step forward. Yet it is also clear that the agreement was weakened on several key issues on the table. And it is even clearer that this progress is not nearly enough. There are plenty of reasons to be critical and, further, it is deeply unethical that developed countries do not offer more. That said, despite disagreements on several issues and despite some countries taking sides on individual issues, the world actually agrees on the importance of accelerating climate work.

Reviewing Loss & Damage at COP26

What is it, what happened and why does it matter?

This article was written by Angelica Johansson as a guest blog for Climate Change Leadership at Uppsala University. Previously a student in the Climate Change Leadership course, Angelica is now a PhD Candidate working on the ERC funded project: the Politics of Climate Change Loss and Damage with the University College of London’s Political Science Department.


If there was one thing clear at COP26, it was that without significant and immediate mitigation measures, atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations will be continue to rise to dangerous levels. Moreover average temperature rise to the present day has already led to irreversible impacts, beyond what we can adapt to. People living in the global South, indigenous peoples and vulnerable communities are less able to adapt to (in essence – to bounce back from) the negative climate impacts. These impacts are often manifested as droughts, floods, storms and cyclones. In the UNFCCC terminology, such catastrophic climate changes impact that push the limit of what can be adapted to are referred to as ‘loss and damage.’ Loss and Damage is understood by some as a third pillar of climate action, together with mitigation and adaptation (Roberts and Huq, 2015).

Loss and Damage was institutionalised as a policy field in the UNFCCC in 2013 through the establishment of the Warsaw International Mechanism (the WIM). Its institutionalisation was further strengthened in 2015 through the inclusion of Article 8 in the Paris Agreement, which called for averting, minimising and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change (UNFCCC, 2015, p. 12). The WIM guides the implementation of Article 8 and is mandated to enhance knowledge, strengthen dialogue, as well as action and support through finance, technology and capacity building (UNFCCC, 2021a). While the work of the Executive Committee of the WIM has focused on the two first parts of its mandate, (that is, the enhancement of knowledge and the strengthening of dialogue), the progress to address loss and damage has been criticised for being too slow. For example, the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition argues that the WIM has failed to address the losses and damages in vulnerable countries and that the WIM lacks the resources to fully deliver its mandate.

At COP26, the Loss and Damage agenda focused on the operationalisation of the Santiago Network; the institutional governance of the WIM (should the WIM be governed under the UNFCCC Convention, the Paris Agreement or both?); and finally (but definitely not the least) Loss and Damage finance.

The Santiago Network was established at COP25 in 2019 and can be described as the operational arm of the WIM. As the Santiago Network is a relatively new institutional addition to the WIM, the negotiating countries used COP26 to decide what the function of the network would be. Discussions on the Santiago Network’s functions started during COP’s first week – at the same time as the World Leaders Summit (UNFCCC, 2021b). As a result, observers were excluded from the negotiation space and were left to watch the negotiation on the COP26 platform – a tool designed for observers to follow the negotiations digitally. The negotiating parties managed to agree on the functions of the Santiago Network, but unsurprisingly with some difficulty. Before an agreement was reached, parties had different preferred options on how to operationalise the Santiago Network. The negotiating block containing mainly developing countries and emerging economies, G77+China, wanted to discuss the Santiago Network’s functions and form separately, based on a logic where one first decides to go from point A to point B (i.e. the function) and then decides how to arrive at point B (i.e. the institutional set-up). While the US and EU initially wanted to discuss form and function together, the outcome ultimately reveled that whilst the functions were finalised, the institutional form of the SN will only be discussed in June at the intersessional meeting.

For many countries, particularly within the Global South, there is a lot riding on Loss and Damage negotiations and, as with many aspects of the COP processes, a strong geopolitical charge underpins these talks. During informal consultations, the spokesperson for G77+China made a notable intervention with political undertones describing the functions as a means of transport. He said that one could go by walking, biking, by tuk-tuk or SUV, and highlighted that SUV’s are a very popular car in countries like the EU and the US. He finished his intervention by suggesting that one could also use a tank and that tanks have been imported in many of G77’s countries in the Middle East. There was an audible gasp in the room as this point was made.

The second Loss and Damage item on the agenda was that of the governance of the WIM. The WIM is currently governed under the UNFCCC Convention – the COP – as well as the Paris Agreement – the CMA. At COP25 in Madrid 2019, some countries proposed that the WIM should solely be governed under the CMA. This proposition was strongly opposed by developing countries and for COP26 they asked for the governance structure to remain jointly between the COP and the CMA (PowershiftAfrica, 2021). In Glasgow, we expected this issue to be further discussed (Calliari, 2021). However, during the World Leaders Summit and the first days of the negotiations, rumours started circulating inside the venue around how ministers had decided to postpone the governance issue until COP27. These rumours proved to be founded as the CMA decision text notes that the governance issue did not reach an outcome and will be further discussed next year.

The final Loss and Damage item discussed at COP26 was that of finance. Developing countries have called for Loss and Damage finance for years (Fielder Cook et al., 2019) and it also remained a priority at this COP (PowershiftAfrica, 2021). G77+China proposed the creation of a finance facility which would provide funds and help address the losses and damages incurred as a result of negative climate impacts (Farand, 2021). The Scottish Prime Minister, Nicola Sturgeon supported the G77+China’s call for Loss and Damage finance and pledged £2m for Loss and Damage specifically in the Scottish Climate Justice Fund and called for other rich countries to follow (ScotGOV, 2021). To build up pressure for Loss and Damage finance further, a group of philanthropists committed $3m to kick-start the finance facility if the negotiating parties agreed to set it up (CIFF, 2021), and Wallonia decided to earmark €1m for Loss and Damage (TheBrusselsTimes, 2021).

Despite these efforts, the proposal did not gain traction in the plenary. Instead, the call for a ‘Glasgow Finance Facility’ faced strong opposition from the US and the EU (Weise and Mathiesen, 2021), and in the final text, the ‘Glasgow Finance Facility’ became a ‘Glasgow Dialogue’ in which negotiating parties and other stakeholders will discuss the arrangement for funding of activities to avert, minimise and address Loss and Damage. Small Island Developing States, such as the Maldives expressed fear over the dialogue being a delaying tactic (Weise and Mathiesen, 2021), where practical and financial assistance to those impacted by climate change will take even longer before it reaches those on the ground.

To conclude, while COP26 progressed the WIM through the agreement of the SN functions, its third mandate -to address loss and damage – remains under prioritised, and important funding decisions have been kicked down the line again. The Glasgow Climate Pact recognises the science and the urgency for action, yet leaves the countries responsible for causing climate change and its attributable impacts free from taking responsibility for their emissions.


CALLIARI, E. 2021. What is at stake for Loss and Damage at COP 26? Available from: [Accessed 16 November 2021].

CIFF. 2021. Philantropies Offer Kick-start Funds for Prospective Glasgow Loss & Damage Facility to Support Vulnerbale Countries Suffering From Climate Change [Online]. Online: Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. Available: [Accessed 12 November 2021].

FARAND, C. 2021. Climate reparations become a crunch issue as Cop26 goes into overtime [Online]. Online: Climate Home News. Available: [Accessed 12 November 2021].

FIELDER COOK, L., MENKE, I., JOHANSSON, A. & ALEKSANDROVA, M. 2019. RINGO report of the 10th meeting of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanisms for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (‘ExCom 10’) [Online]. Online: RINGO. Available: [Accessed 16 November 2021].

POWERSHIFTAFRICA 2021. COP 26: Delivering the Paris Agreement – A five-point pland for solidarity, fairness and prosperity. Online: Powershift Africa.

ROBERTS, E. & HUQ, S. 2015. Coming full circle: the history of loss and damage under the UNFCCC. International Journal of Global Warming, 8, 141-157.

SCOTGOV. 2021. Scotland to boost climate funding [Online]. Online: Scottish Government. Available: [Accessed 11 November 2021].

THEBRUSSELSTIMES. 2021. COP26: Wallonia earmarks one million euros for loss and damages [Online]. Online: The Brussels Times. Available: [Accessed 14 November 2021].

UKGOV. 2021. PM address at COP26 World Leaders Summit Opening Ceremony [Online]. Online: UK Government. Available: [Accessed 08 November 2021].

UNFCCC. 2015. Paris Agreement [Online]. Online: UNFCCC. Available: [Accessed 08 November 2021].

UNFCCC. 2021a. Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM) [Online]. Online: UNFCCC. Available: [Accessed 05 January 2021].

UNFCCC. 2021b. The World Leaders Summit at COP 26 [Online]. Online: UNFCCC. Available: [Accessed 15 November 2021].

WEISE, Z. & MATHIESEN, K. 2021. EU, US block effort for climate disaster funding at COP26 [Online]. Online: Politico. Available: [Accessed 13 November 2021].

COP26 and the importance of frontrunners

COP26 has been flooded by joint group frontrunner initiatives, trying to move beyond the painstakingly slow process of raising ambitions by consensus, from new alliances to tackle methane emissions and deforestation to a number of initiatives to phase out coal and the launch today of a new alliance to phase out oil and gas. From one perspective most of these initiatives only make a small dent to the emission gap to meet the Paris goals. From another perspective group frontrunner initiatives are key to accelerate climate action and push overall ambitions.

The first perspective was highlighted today when scientists and experts in the Climate Action Tracker collaboration presented an assessment on how much the new frontrunner initiatives at COP26 would effect the emission gap until 2030. According to the calculations the new initiatives would close the 2030 emission gap for the 1.5°C target by around 9%. This could be compared to the updated NDC:s themselves, which according to Climate Action Tracker close the gap by 15-17%, arriving at a total number around 24-25%.

These 9% might feel small and unimportant. However, as the scientists behind the new assessment emphasized, the effect of these initiatives are not restricted to the short term impacts on emissions among the current signatories. The broader potential of frontrunner alliances is both to accelerate techno-economical change and to put political pressure on other countries to join in.

“It is not surprising that the effect of the COP26 sectoral initiatives beyond national climate targets is initially small. These initiatives are designed for those that do NOT sign immediately. The pressure of being put on the spot will help to grow the membership of the initiatives and enhance the effect beyond national climate targets in the long run”, professor Niklas Höhne of NewClimate Institute stated in a press release on the assessment.

One example on this are the new and enlarged alliances to phase out coal, finance to new coal power plants, and to support a just transition away from coal. At face value the promises made by the countries only give a small dent to the emission curve up until 2030. However, all in all the countries involved represent a total coal capacity of 267 GW, more than that of US or India, and also include coal dependent countries like Indonesia. Adding promises to dry up international public funding for new coal plants – including from China – the initiatives underline a clear and definite trend: coal is dying. This is the reason why the official language in the cover text of COP26 can – and probably will – include wordings to phase out coal.

From a deeper perspective the death spiral for coal is a prime example on how frontline initiatives in a relatively small number of key countries can initiate an unstoppable global trend. Coal has been the first fossil fuel to take the hit by ever cheaper renewable energy. And the breakthrough for renewable energy, in turn, was pushed by public support for industrial scale up in countries like Germany, Denmark and China. Globally, coal consumption actually reached its maximum already in 2014. And today the death spiral for coal is enhanced by both decreasing costs for renewable energy and sharpened climate policy.

Indeed, as the scientists in the Climate Action Tracker collaboration emphasize, this is not enough. The transition away from coal needs to be speeded up significantly. In order to hold on to the 1.5°C target, coal would need to be phased out around 2040 globally, and probably around 2030 in the developed world. This is a tall order, not the least for countries like China, with a huge fleet of relatively new coal plants. The techno-economical development itself will push the process. But it will not be enough. And this is where frontrunners and new alliances are important. If the EU and US for example could lead by showing that a just transition away from coal is possible in 10-15 years, and financial support for a just transition could be expanded, the chances to close the gap would enhance significantly.

COP26: Som man räknar får man svar

Under FN-mötets första vecka har det florerat vitt skilda budskap om vart dagens klimatambitioner gentligen pekar. På väg mot 2,7℃ eller mer, långt över Parisavtalets skyddsbarriärer – eller för första gången tillräckligt för att hålla uppvärmningen under 2℃. Vad stämmer egentligen?

Inför COP26 konstaterade FN:s egna organ att de nationella åtaganden som rapporterats in till FN-systemet är långtifrån tillräckliga för att begränsa den globala uppvärmningen till 1,5-2℃. Enligt sammanställningen av åtagandena inför COP26 beräknas utsläppen i världen plana ut under 2020-talet, vilket är lång ifrån den halvering till 2030 som exempelvis krävs för att ha en någorlunda chans att begränsa uppvärmningen till 1,5℃. Enligt FN:s miljöorgan UNEP innebär det att världen med nuvarande klimatambitioner är på väg mot en uppvärmning runt 2,7℃ eller mer.

I veckan kom emellertid ett helt annat budskap från den internationella energibyrån IEA. För första gången tyder världens klimatambitioner, enligt IEA, på att den globala uppvärmningen kan begränsas till 1,8-1,9℃. Hur kan IEA och FN-organen komma till så vitt skilda slutsatser? Svaret är att man räknar på olika saker, och att IEA dessutom tagit med nya klimatlöften som presenterats efter FN-rapporterna.

Den avgörande skillnaden handlar om de långsiktiga klimatambitionerna. En stort antal länder säger sig idag ha som målsättning att nå nettonollutsläpp av växthusgaser 2050 (EU, USA med flera), 2060 (exempelvis Kina) eller 2070 (Indien). Inkluderas inte de här långsiktiga målen så tyder de mer närliggande klimatambitionerna fram till 2030 på en utsläppskurva som pekar mot 2,7℃ uppvärmning eller mer. Tas däremot de långsiktiga mål som inkommit i god tid inför COP26 med så blir resultatet ett helt annat. Utsläppen förväntas i så fall pressas ner rejält efter 2030 och den globala uppvärmningen beräknas landa runt 2,2℃. Läggs därtill de nya löften som tillkommit, framför allt från Indien och Kina, så kan den förväntade utsläpps- och temperaturkurvan bändas ner ytterligare, mot 1,8-1,9℃ uppvärmning.

Vilket av de här sätten att räkna man väljer beror inte minst på vilken tilltro man har till att de långsiktiga målen faktiskt kommer att backas upp med handfast politik. Men också på hur man ser på den underliggande tekniska och ekonomiska utveckling som antas realisera målen – många hoppas att den snabba utvecklingen för förnybar energi ska lösa en hel del, andra menar att det krävs betydligt tuffare åtgärder för att få ned utsläppen. Kalkylerna i sig rymmer också en osäkerhet, både när det gäller klimatsystemets känslighet och antaganden om framtida möjligheter att nyttja så kallade minusutsläpp. Räknas möjligheterna för minusutsläpp bort så blir ekvationen betydligt tuffare.

Ur ett optimistiskt perspektiv pekar temperaturskattningarna och de långsiktiga målen på något avgörande: Den snabba utvecklingen för förnybar energi har gjort det möjligt för världens utsläppsjättar att lova att utsläppen ska nå nettonoll 2050-2070. Nettonollutsläpp är ett kodord för att fossila bränslen – kol, olja, gas – ska försvinna. Världens stora ekonomier är med andra ord numera inriktade på att den fossila eran är över inom 30-50 år. Det här är en stor skillnad från hur det såg ut för bara 5-6 år sedan. Har man en god tilltro till att de långsiktiga målen faktiskt kommer att uppfyllas, inte minst genom den tekniska utvecklingen, så förefaller Parisavtalets lägre ribba, tvågradersmålet, numera väl inom räckhåll.

Från ett pessimistiskt perspektiv säger löftena och kalkylerna emellertid något annat. Det är lätt att lova saker som ska inträffa om 30, 40, 50 år, långt bortom nuvarande mandatperioder. Ser man däremot till de löften och åtaganden som gäller här och nu, fram till 2030, så ser bilden annorlunda ut. Även om de mest ambitiösa klimatplanerna för världens länder förverkligas så kommer utsläppskurvan som bäst bändas ner några få procent fram till 2030. Det är helt otillräckligt om världen ska ha en chans att hålla uppvärmningen nära 1,5℃, och ställer dessutom stora krav på snabba utsläppsminskningar och framtida minusutsläpp om temperaturökningen ska hållas väl under 2℃.

Den stora utmaningen idag handlar med andra ord om de politiska ambitionerna i närtid. Det är de som avgör om världen har en rimlig chans att begränsa uppvärmningen en god bit under 2℃ – utan att behöva luta sig mot gigantiska framtida minusutsläpp. Det här gäller världen som helhet. Länder som Kina behöver bända ner sin utsläppskurva märkbart före 2030 – vilket innebär att landets enorma kolkonsumtion måste börja minska på allvar inom några få år. Sverige och EU måste i sin tur vässa sin klimatpolitik, med stärkta ambitioner och åtgärder i närtid. Förmodligen skulle utsläppen i vår del av världen behöva minska med 70-80 procent till 2030. Åtminstone om ambitionen är den som slagits fast i Parisavtalet: att hålla den globala uppvärmningen väl under 2℃ och så nära 1,5℃ som möjligt.

Read more about COP26

Vad Handlar COP26 om?

COP26: Kan vi världen enas om ett pris på koldioxid i Glasgow?

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English summary:

While the costs of climate change is considerable, countries continue to disagree about a standard rate on carbon emissions, write Daniel Lindvall and Mikael Karlsson. Current laws in Finland and Sweden demonstrate that a high tax can be effective in reducing emissions, but the average global rate in 2019 is recorded at only 2 dollars per tonne (compared to Sweden’s over 110 dollars). Some criticisms concern the unfair costs on developing countries or poorer populations.

Full translation to come.

Can Glasgow reach an agreement on an emissions trading scheme?

This is a translation of the article posted on 2050. Läs på svenska här.

On Sunday, the annual COP26 climate summit began in Glasgow. For two weeks, countries from all over the world will negotiate solutions to reduce emissions in line with the goals set in Paris 2015. Daniel Lindvall, researcher at Uppsala Unversity, and Mikael Karlsson, senior lecturer at Uppsala University, and both scientific advisers to the 2050 rganisation, are present during the negotiations and comment on the discussions on Article 6 in The Paris Agreement.

One of the most important issues in the negotiations regards the application of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which is about emission reductions through trade and cooperation between countries. Essentially, it is about how one country may be enabled to take action in another country that lacks the resources to implement action itself. For example, emissions could be reduced through investments in renewable energy replacing fossil energy in resource-poor countries. It also concerns the creation of carbon sinks through afforestation or compensation for protecting forests from unsustainable use. The idea is that these measures are cost-effective, at least in the short term, and should be included in the calculations of the emissions reductions of the funding country.

The issue of cooperation and emissions trade has been discussed at virtually all climate summits and is both complex and controversial. A system of emissions trading was a central part of the Kyoto Protocol. Although this has been widely criticised for being ineffective, a similar mechanism was included in the Paris Agreement. This is regulated in Article 6, which includes both a market mechanism and rules on cooperation. But it is still unclear how the article will be applied and despite intense discussions at the climate summits in both Katowice and Madrid, the issue is not fully negotiated. It would of course be good to have a breakthrough in Glasgow, but there are still several difficult issues to solve.

Emissions trading is controversial
Firstly, parts of the climate movement and some climate change researchers are generally opposed to the idea of emissions trading. The criticism describes emissions trading as a form of climate confession where the sinner can pay for themselves through a carbon offsetting mechanism and then continue emitting as usual. Several companies that state that they are climate neutral – such as Google – do so by compensating for some of the emissions. The criticism is also that many of the measures that are financed and implemented as compensation are not effective. In the light of this discussion, there have been demands for “real” climate neutrality, which would mean that it would be impermissible to include compensatory measures in the countries’ national climate plans, or at least that the reduced emissions are not counted twice. Another part of the criticism is about how these measures can significantly delay the more costly transformative systems changes needed to reduce emissions.

At the same time, there is some research that shows that compensation can actually play an important role in societal transition, especially when new green technology is underdeveloped. During these periods of transition, it may be better for the climate for investments to be made in resource-poor countries where larger emission reductions can be achieved for a smaller cost. It is often easier and cheaper to reduce a tonne of carbon dioxide in a relatively poor and carbon-dependent country than in the opposite. A research study from the University of Maryland shows that an exchange of emissions in accordance with the meaning of Article 6 could save the countries of the world close to 250 billion US dollars per year. According to this study, emissions could be reduced by 5 billion tonnes per year or by a total of 50 percent by 2050.

However, this presupposes a functioning emissions trading, and there is still disagreement on several key issues. The issue that seems most difficult to solve concerns so-called double reporting. Both the country that pays for the measure and the country where the measure is implemented may want to take it into account. This is particularly problematic as several countries concerned are those that lack a developed climate policy with absolute goals and transparent reporting. There are also conflicts between some countries, such as Brazil and India, that do not want an overly strict regulatory framework and the EU, for example, that wants full clarification. Following the first day’s negotiations on Article 6, several hundred pages of text have been written, with a whole 373 parentheses where agreement could not be reached.

Transparency, Previous Actions and an Additive
There is also a discussion on whether previous actions in the system established by the Kyoto Protocol can be counted today. In addition, issues of transparency in the system as well as the assurance that the measures are appropriate and effective are of great importance. The measures included must also be additive, meaning that they would not have been implemented without compensation anyway. The latter is extremely difficult to work with.

All of these may appear to be technicalities, but are central issues because they have a major impact on individual countries’ climate plans. It is also important for the perception of climate justice, as several resource-poor countries are more affected by both the adjustment and climate change itself and thus require some form of compensation.

Who administrates this?
A challenge is also that a stricter regulatory framework could mean that some kind of international administration needs to be established that oversees and reviews the reporting. Some, however, believe that there is no need for bureaucracy around an emissions trade that is already underway and that is under development. With pressure from investors and consumers, more and more companies are paying to compensate for their emissions, while the system for reviewing, calculating and quality-assuring various measures has been developed. Moreover, the costs of compensation are expected to increase as demand increases at the same time as countries that reach closer to zero emissions will provide less and less scope for compensation. That all said, it requires uniform standards, which could be achieved by agreeing on the application of Article 6.

There is still hope
Although challenges remain, both the Chinese and US negotiating delegations have made hopeful statements that it is possible to create a functioning system of emissions trading and cooperation in Glasgow. For a large number of Swedish companies, this could be of great importance. There are therefore good reasons to monitor developments in the coming days.

Daniel Lindvall and Mikael Karlsson

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Klimatambitioner och COP26

Det som har i särklass störst betydelse för den globala uppvärmningen är hur mycket växthusgaser som släpps ut. Allt annat lika så ger ökade utsläpp ökad uppvärmning, och därmed ökad klimatförändring och ökad skada på samhälle och natur. Även om det är fullt möjlighet att skapa sänkor för koldioxid så behöver utsläppen minskas snabbt och rejält. Snart sagt varje scenario för samhällsutvecklingen som leder till att ambitiösa klimatmål med hög sannolikhet kan nås innehåller en nära nog fullständig minskning av utsläppen, även om stora sänkor skapas.

Mot denna bakgrund är det avgörande att alla länder i världen minskar sina utsläpp ytterligare. De mål och planer som finns dagsläget innebär en uppvärmning på omkring 2,7 grader, vilket är långt över Parisavtalets mål. Därför finns en stor förväntan på klimatmötet i Glasgow om att länderna ökar sina ambitioner. Länder och regioner med stora utsläpp – både totalt sett och per person – som USA, Kina och även EU har visserligen skärpt sina åtaganden inför Glasgowmötet men ambitionerna är fortfarande alldeles för låga.

Det största nyheter i Glasgow när det gäller klimatambitioner kom den 1 november, när Indien annonserade sitt nationellt beslutade bidrag (kallat NDC, nationally determined contribution). Siktet ställs in på nettonollutsläpp vid 2070. Begreppet nettonoll syftar på att utsläpp som kvarstår i exempelvis ett visst land vid ett visst årtal ska kompenseras genom åtgärder som binder koldioxid, eller genom att landet genomför åtgärder som minskar utsläppen på annat håll. Det är i grunden en bra idé, särskilt eftersom ambitiösa klimatmål förutsätter att stora mängder koldioxid i ökad grad binds upp under hela detta århundrade, men fel tillämpad blir nettotanken problematisk. En risk är att åtgärder som kan minska utsläppen skjuts på framtiden, en annan att de kompensatoriska åtgärderna inte är verksamma eller ändå skulle ha genomförts.

För att säkerställa att kompensationen inte blir dålig förhandlas regelverk om detta på Glasgowmötet. Det är ur klimatsynpunkt viktigt att förhandlingarna kan slutföras men ännu viktigare att resultatet blir bra.

Viktigast är dock att klimatambitionerna skärps. Inget är så viktigt för klimatet som minskade utsläpp.

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Klimatfinansiering och COP26

På det tidigare klimatmötet i Köpenhamn (COP 15) år 2009 fanns stora förhoppningar på en stark global överenskommelse om klimatet. Tanken var att komma överens om minskade utsläpp och En ram för minskade utsläpp var utlovad och Obama skulle som relativt nyvald president ge ny energi till en överenskommelse. Men mötet blev ett misslyckande.

Utfallet från Köpenhamnsmötet blev en text som kallas Copenhagen Accord. Den antogs aldrig och fick inte unisont stöd på konferensen, vilket annars är det önskvärda och vanliga. Överenskommelsen är inte legalt bindande. När det gäller klimatförändringen omnämns endast ett vagt formulerat mål om att hejda uppvärmningen vid 2 grader.

Däremot innehåller texten ett politiskt förpliktande löfte om ekonomiskt stöd till klimatarbetet i utvecklingsländer, först i form av 30 miljarder USD inom tre år, en siffra som ska ökas till 100 miljarder USD vid år 2020.

Det är denna finansiering som spelar en central roll på klimatmötet i Glasgow. Om löftet infrias kan det bli ett viktigt smörjmedel i förhandlingarna under kommande veckor. Om det inte infrias riskerar det motsatta ske.

Läs mer om COP26

Vad handlar klimatmötet i Glasgow om?

Toppmötet i Glasgow i Skottland handlar i grunden om hur länderna i världen ska samarbeta för att hantera klimatkrisen. Det som räknas ur klimatsynpunkt är storleken av de samlade utsläppen. Ju mer utsläpp, desto större global uppvärmning och klimatförändring. Varje kilo utsläpp som kan undvikas är en lönsam affär. Därför behöver världens alla länder utarbeta och genomföra planer för snabbt minskade utsläpp. Störst ansvar faller på de som har störst utsläpp idag och genom historien.

Men för att utsläppen ska kunna minska snabbt måste det ske rättvist och de rikare länderna i världen har sedan tidigare lovat att finansiera en del av de åtgärder som behöver ske i fattigare länder. Det är ganska självklart eftersom de rikare länderna står för merparten av utsläppen.

På tidigare klimatmöten har de flesta länder förbundit sig att minska utsläppen och de rikare länderna har, som en miniminivå, utlovat 100 miljarder dollar varje år i global klimatfinansiering (klicka för mer om klimatfinansiering). Målsättningen är att i bästa fall begränsa den globala uppvärmningen till 1,5 grader, något som världen enades om på klimatmötet i Paris 2015. Exakt hur ländernas genomförande av avtalet ska ske och redovisas är inte bestämt. På Glasgowmötet ska länderna därför förhandla fram ett regelverk.

Men trots stora positiva klimatinsatser på senare år störs förhandlingarna av att inget land har gjort den hemläxa som krävs för att klara Parisavtalet. Allvarligast är de rikare ländernas finansiering i skrivande stund till enbart omkring 80 miljarder dollar per år. Det skapar spänningar mellan de förhandlande länderna. Därför kan det politiska spelet runt mötet blir avgörande för resultatet.

Mötet kallas COP26 (Conference of the Parties, COP), vilket syftar på det 26:e mötet mellan parterna till FN:s ramkonvention om klimatförändringar.


Är Glasgow verkligen den bästa sista chansen för klimatet?

Daniel Lindvall skriver om betydelsen av globala avtal för klimatpolitiken i Expressen Kultur

Daniel Lindvall argues that the climate crisis is a global tragedy, but to deal with it we do not have to wait for a global consensus. If China, the United States and various oil and gas nations are not ready for action, other states, regions and cities should form a coalition of the willing and take the lead. They could introduce a common EU emissions trading scheme, while phasing out fossil fuels, banning new oil and gas exploration and setting a deadline for coal use. The best last chance for the climate is simply that each of us begins to act.

COP: The Inside Story, with Isabel Baudish

Isabel Baudish, Coordinator of Zennström Professorship in Climate Change Leadership, is a member of the newly launched independent podcast Signal Switch. Ahead of COP26 they have released a 2-part special that takes a deep dive exploration of the COP history and process, particularly in relationship to Climate Justice. The episode explores why COPs, as challenging, overwhelming and problematic as they are, they still remain the key way to respond to climate change.

Follow Isabel Baudish at COP26 in Glasgow along with the rest of Climate Change Leadership on twitter or our blog as we report back live!

Climate Change Denial: A Workshop at COP26

The academics from Climate Change Leadership at Uppsala University will host a workshop at the Nordic Pavillion about ways to engage with – or disengage from – climate denial debates. Science denial is a serious bottleneck for climate policymaking. The aim of this workshop is to more fully describe climate denial and develop counteractive strategies with researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders.

Image mapping how science denial plays a role in science and policy delay in Karlsson’s 2020 paper. Read more here

A transdisciplinary workshop at COP26

We are delighted to have the opportunity to work through the questions of denial together with colleagues from across the Nordics to understand how the tricky information landscape can be worked with in order to transcend denial and misinformation during public discussion and debate. It a growing concern here within Uppsala University that there is a challenge engaging the public online and in person with questions about climate change. We see this very often, for example, in comments below our social media posts about climate science. This is not an isolated concern, however, with many actors involved in the conversation around the world about the role of social media in the age of information and misinformation saturation. We will host this workshop at the global meeting for climate negotiations in order to explore new ways of working through this challenge.

What can we scientists do?

One of the goals in post-graduate education is to equip young academics with the skills to contribute their scientific output in societal development and debate. But how to do so in a world of polarising information and misinformation? Our workshop will pilot a method for developing counteractive strategies with colleagues from across the Nordics and provide them the opportunity to pose their questions, to share their practises and to deepen their understandings of the ways in which denial can limit public debate. Together with policymakers and other stakeholders we anticipate a discussion that will develop concrete proposals for action and deepened understandings of the experiences of denial across the public sector. We will asses this method with feedback from participants at COP26 and then follow this up with a workshop at Uppsala University.

You can read more about the work of Mikael Karlsson and Science Denial here. At Uppsala University we also have scholars engaging with this and related issues at the EU level: Conspiracy in Europe, and Responding to Disinformation in the EU.

Contact Us

Science communication and climate change misinformation is an area of key concern for us at Climate Change Leadership. We welcome your reflections and thoughts, so please do not hesitate to connect with us about our future work in this area and questions for this workshop in particular! You can tweet @CCLUPPSALA or email

Climate Change Leadership at COP26

Mikael Karlsson, Isabel Baudish, Jens Ergon and Daniel Lindvall are gearing up for an intense few weeks at COP26 in Glasgow in November. They are joined by members of the Uppsala University delegation, listed below, to follow the negotiations and push for more focus on the issues of science-based climate governance, societal transformation and overcoming climate denial.

While at COP26 in Glasgow we will be reporting back regularly on the key activities from that day. You can follow us here on the blog or directly connect to us on twitter @CCLUPPSALA

What is COP26?

COP26 is held in Glasgow November 2021. COP stands for Conference of the Parties through which governments negotiate the ways they want to collectively tackle climate change. You can read more about the COPs and the agenda for Glasgow on the official website or check out this visual explainer.

The EU has published their position for the climate summit at COP26, which you can read here.

What will CCL be doing while there?

Climate Change Leadership have three main tasks at Glasgow. Firstly, we will be presenting our recent research activities to drive forward the conversations about just climate governance and societal transformations. Secondly, we will be working with journalists and decision makers to ensure that science-based decision making processes are reflected upon in the public sphere. Thirdly, we will be coordinating a number of events with our Nordic colleagues at the Nordic Pavilion. You can read more about these events here.

Uppsala University’s COP26 Delegation

The researchers from Climate Change Leadership will be joined by other Uppsala University delegates.

Uppsala University delegates followed the negotiations behind the Paris Agreement.

In Marrakesh the Uppsala University delegation pushed for climate justice perspectives.

Connect with us directly on twitter as we report back from the negotations live.