COP26 sets path to under 2°C of global warming, CCC says

3rd December 2021

Limiting global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels is possible following COP26, but only if all new mid-century net-zero targets are delivered alongside national 2030 emissions goals.

That is the conclusion of the Climate Change Committee's (CCC) new independent assessment of COP26, which warns that current climate policies still “do not come close” to what is required.

The UK government's official advisors said that only “concrete steps” by 2030 will close the gap between ambition and real-world delivery, with global temperatures still set to rise by around 2.7°C.

It has published a series of new recommendations for action at home and internationally, arguing that the next 12 months will be “crucial” in the run up to next year's summit in Egypt.

“The UK must not walk away after COP26,” said CCC chair, Lord Deben. “Glasgow was a step forward in global efforts to address climate change, including a genuine increase in ambition to reduce emissions worldwide.

“We also saw important technical advances, with new rules agreed for reporting emissions and on international carbon trading, and multiple initiatives and sector deals. This is real and welcome progress, but success depends on what happens now.

“The next year is critical for climate action in the UK and internationally. At home, we need to walk the talk and urgently deliver actions in the Net Zero Strategy.

“Globally, the UK must continue to encourage stronger action on climate and insist on rapid emissions reductions and stronger adaptation through all diplomatic channels.”

The CCC recommends that the UK:

  • Focus on strengthening delivery of its Net Zero Strategy, including a robust plan to tackle emissions from agriculture and land
  • Initiate a review of the role of the tax system in delivering net zero, including the role of tax in achieving a higher and more consistent carbon price across the economy
  • Tackle its wider carbon footprint by introducing stronger product standards applied equally at home and to imported goods, carbon border adjustment mechanisms and trade levers, and encouragement of stronger corporate actions to decarbonise supply chains
  • Strengthen its NDC prior to COP27 by making it legally-binding, clarifying that emissions targets will be met without use of offsets, confirming a limited role only for CO2 removal, and including sector targets from the new Net Zero Strategy.

The CCC also said that the UK must maintain its strong COP team with high-level leadership throughout the next 12 months, and that the country has an important role in putting the completed Paris rules into action

Moreover, key climate finance commitments made at Glasgow must also be delivered transparently, including a doubling of funding for adaptation, establishing a constructive dialogue on loss and damage, and restoring its commitment to spend 0.7% of GDP on aid as soon as possible.

“The ultimate success of the Glasgow Climate Pact will be measured in climate risks averted, not words on a page,” Lord Deben added.

The CCC will publish a comprehensive assessment of UK progress in summer 2022.

Image credit: iStock


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

UK off track for net zero by 2030, CCC warns

Only a third of the emission reductions required for the UK to achieve net zero by 2030 are covered by credible plans, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has warned today.

18th July 2024

Read more

Almost three-fifths of UK environmental professionals feel there is a green skills gap across the country’s workforce, or that there will be, a new survey has uncovered.

4th July 2024

Read more

Climate hazards such as flooding, droughts and extreme heat are threatening eight in 10 of the world’s cities, new research from CDP has uncovered.

3rd July 2024

Read more

Ahead of the UK general election next month, IEMA has analysed the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Green Party manifestos in relation to the sustainability agenda.

19th June 2024

Read more

Nine in 10 UK adults do not fully trust brands to accurately portray their climate commitments or follow the science all the time, a new survey has uncovered.

19th June 2024

Read more

Just one in 20 workers aged 27 and under have the skills needed to help drive the net-zero transition, compared with one in eight of the workforce as a whole, new LinkedIn data suggests.

18th June 2024

Read more

With a Taskforce on Inequality and Social-related Financial Disclosures in the pipeline, Beth Knight talks to Chris Seekings about increased recognition of social sustainability

6th June 2024

Read more

Disinformation about the impossibility of averting the climate crisis is part of an alarming turn in denialist tactics, writes David Burrows

6th June 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close