Image Credit: White House Press
June 1st 2021
Sustainability advisory panel and certification board, and official partner of Includability, Planet Mark, recently responded to discussion of further delay to the COP26 climate conference hosted by the UK government currently scheduled to take place in Glasgow this November.
The UN climate conference in which nations across the world would be expected to sign up to a new international agreement to further cut carbon emissions, originally scheduled for summer 2020, has already been rescheduled twice due the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Talk of further possible delays came as there was some recent indecision as to whether the conference should insist everyone attend in person or should be turned into a virtual event due to ongoing travel restrictions and uncertainty with the virus.
Steve Malkin, Founder and CEO of Planet Mark responded to rumours of further delay stating, the ongoing pandemic crisis and subsequent recovery should be reason for the conference to ahead as planned in November and called for other businesses and individuals to speak out against further possible delays. He said:
“Like many around the world, we were disappointed to hear of further possible delays of COP26 due to Covid-19. But we also know that without cohesive, global action the climate crisis is worsening.
“If the pandemic has taught us anything it is that the current systems in place needs to be better prepared to tackle our global challenges. It is now crucial that COP26 goes ahead in 2021, in whatever form that may be to keep everyone safe - whether digitally or at a reduced capacity. Our experience with organising virtual events and managing communities online is that it’s a practice that encourages inclusivity and collaboration, as everyone can have a seat at the table that’s not defined by geographical boundaries.
“It is a critical time for world leaders to be talking as we build back from Covid-19 – these efforts to rebuild need to centre on inclusivity, equality and sustainability. The past year has taught us that uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and this shouldn’t stop us from wanting to protect the future of our planet and plan ahead. The decisions made about this going ahead or not impact the entire world.
“We ask all businesses and individuals to put their voice to this, to ensure COP26 goes ahead this year.”
The feasibility of a fully virtual conference was given a positive boost on Earth Day as over 40 world leaders, including the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, attended a virtual summit hosted by the United States. President Biden used the conference to announce the US is pledging to cut carbon emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030 (main image). China, the world’s largest carbon emitter*, reiterated a promise to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 but did not increase its ambitions.
The UK reiterated its most recent plan to cut carbon emissions by 78% compared to 1990 levels by 2035. Prime Minister Johnson told world leaders, “we can build back better from this pandemic by building back greener.”
He also said the UK would take a jobs creation approach to decarbonising stating the economic benefits from fighting climate change while recognising the integrated crisis of habitat loss for many species.
The event was described as a “promising start” on the road to COP26 where every country is hoped to make a similar pledge on cutting emissions.
*from 2020 data