Climate Ambition Summit

In categories:  Published by:  Dom Jaramillo, 21, and Phoebe Hanson, 19

Mock COP26 reactive to UN Climate Ambition Summit on 12 December 2020

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate agreement. The 2015 agreement, at COP21,  was a massively symbolic breakthrough in tackling climate change. After over 20 years of increasingly desperate warnings by climate scientists, and increasingly desperate lobbying against by the fossil-fuel industry, 2015 was the first time the nations of the world committed to a legally binding global climate change agreement. 

Although the agreement was seen as remarkably ambitious at the time, knowing what we know now, the Paris agreement sets countries to deliver far too little too late, effectively committing our generation to runaway global heating and massive climate injustice. 

All signatories to the Paris agreement are required to publish their updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) ahead of COP26. The more ambitious their commitments are now the better the global agreement will be at COP26 next year. For that reason Mock COP26 is pleased to support the UN Climate Ambition Summit today, which has led to a number of new, more ambitious NDCs, including 68% of 1990 by 2030 for the UK, 55% for the EU and peak emissions before 2030 for China. 

Although these commitments constitute definite progress, they fall a long way short of what the 330 delegates from 140 countries at our Mock COP26 are calling for. Mock COP26 Resolution 5.1 calls for nations to ‘align their NDCs to limit global warming to below 1.5°C’, which would require zero carbon by 2030, not net-zero by 2050. 

In the wake of COVID-19 there has never been a better time to be more ambitious! The conditions are perfect for national-scale low-carbon infrastructure projects. Interest rates remain low, so you can borrow money cheaply, and unemployment rates remain high, which is costly to your economies. Now is the time for massive ambition, not incremental progress. 

We thank all nations that made speeches at today’s Climate Ambition Summit but request you meet with your Mock COP26 delegates as soon as possible so you can hear the impassioned but frightened voices of your young people. We would very much like to work with you to substantially increase your ambition in the run-up to COP26. Because our futures, and our lives, depend on it.