December 4, 2021

What’s different about this world climate summit

1 min read

World leaders are gathered in Scotland at a massive and consequential United Nations climate change summit known as COP 26.

Countries acknowledge the danger of climate change and say they’re committed to doing something about it. But there is increasing alarm that countries won’t do enough to hold world temperatures below the key threshold most scientists have set. I’ve borrowed most of what’s below from CNN’s climate team, which covers this topic on a daily basis. The grim takeaway is the growing skepticism over the world’s ability to meet key benchmarks in time to avert catastrophic effects.

It’s the 26th annual conference of parties brought together by the United Nations to address climate change. You might recall the Paris Agreement in 2015, which then-President Donald Trump withdrew the US from and current President Joe Biden subsequently re-entered? That occurred at COP 21, which was held in Paris.

They’re going to set new goals of what they’ll do to help slow climate change. The prevailing scientific consensus is that temperatures can rise 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels before the most catastrophic changes — increasingly devastating fires, floods and droughts — begin to occur. There’s a growing consensus that temperatures may rise beyond that level no matter what corrective action is taken. As a result, you’ll also hear scientists and policymakers refer to the more attainable goal of limiting temperature increases to 2 degrees over pre-industrial levels.

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