What happened at COP26 and why it’s not just government commitments that matter

There are mixed feelings coming out of the COP26. On the one hand, there were multiple new agreements and declarations that progress in the fight against climate change. On the other, they do not yet go far enough: we’re only just keeping the 1.5°C scenario alive. Pre-COP 26, we were on course for 2.7°C warming and the announcements during the conference put us somewhere between 1.8 °C and 2.4°C, depending on which study and organisation you believe. Of course, the devil is in the detail and the implementation. There is an enormous amount of work to be done to convert these commitments into action and to work out how these commitments will be policed.

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