Delaying COP26 is not a reason to delay climate action

By the time COP26 was originally scheduled to begin, countries were expected to propose new commitments to bring emissions to net zero. And, at the conference, extra finance for less-wealthy countries was due to be proposed, making good on decades of promises that have not been kept.

The role of carbon markets was also to be discussed, along with nations’ responsibility for damages caused by global warming. The meeting had a full agenda, and a delay of a year will have consequences — ultimately making it even harder to limit temperature increases to 1.5–2 °C above pre-industrial levels, the main goal of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

But countries do not need to wait until COP26 to take further action. Indeed, there are signs that some are planning to focus more public investments on green infrastructure and clean energy, rather than doubling down on a past marked by polluting fossil fuels. It is the least they can do.

The climate clock is still ticking and by delaying emissions reductions, all countries have done is borrow against the planet’s future.

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