COP26 - Are World Leaders Copping On Or Copping Out?

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

#COP26 came to a close on Friday and here at Considerate Beauty, we’ve been watching closely at the goings on in Glasgow. We are on a mission to make beauty more sustainable and friendly for our planet; there is no planet B. We have this one and we must protect it at all costs. So, are world leaders finally copping on to this?

For those of you not in the know, ‘COP’ stands for Conference of the Parties, and this was the 26th meeting. COP26 was to revisit the climate pledges made in the #ParisAgreement back in 2015, where world leaders united in a shared approach to try and keep global warming ‘well below’ 2C, with the main aim being 1.5C.

OK, so now we’re all on the same page with what COP26 is, let’s talk about what has come out of it.

Let’s begin with some notable ‘highlights’:

  • Countries committed to meet again next year to specifically focus on making pledges to cut emissions of CO2

  • A focused plan has been made to reduce the use of coal. This is particularly important because coal use contributes to 40% of CO2 emissions.

  • A fund is being created to support developing countries cope with the effects of climate change and invest in clean energy

  • Countries agreed to stop subsidies that artificially lower the price of coal, oil and natural gas

  • US-China agreement where the two biggest producers of CO2 emissions have agreed to cooperate more

  • More than 100 countries pledged to stop deforestation and to cut 30% of methane emissions by 2030

So, do we believe that world leaders have grasped the severity of the climate crisis?

In a nutshell, no. This doesn’t feel like the drastic action that we need.

The outcome seems to be pledges of more meetings (which no doubt will require attendance from 100’s of delegates who will all fly to a single location for a few days) and vague numbers with no concrete plans of action.

The Paris Agreement, made in 2015, included pledges around ending deforestation and things have got worse, not better. One notable issue is that this COP26 agreement is not legally binding and will be largely self-policed within each country.

Last minute drama also occurred when China and India objected to wording that said countries would commit to ‘phasing-out’ coal usage. The agreement wording was changed to ‘phasing-down’ coal usage. What a way to fill us all with confidence that disasters are being diverted here.

Scientists tell us that a climate catastrophe will occur if temperatures rise above 1.5C. Current pledges look set to limit the rise to 2.4C. A catastrophe is defined as an event causing great and usually sudden damage or suffering; a disaster. Non-legally binding agreements and pledges for ‘better cooperation’ and vague words around ending deforestation don’t feel like the catastrophe-diverting action that we need.

At Considerate Beauty, we’ve got a whole lotta love for those #climateactivists out there who are speaking up, speaking out and getting us all to face up to the realities of what is really happening to our planet. One of our faves, #MikaelaLoach, spoke last week about how we need to face the facts that we are not being saved here by our world leaders. The agreement from COP26 is not going to save our planet… we must take our own action.

So, we don't really need to tell you what we think about whether it was a ‘copping on’ or a ‘copping out’ from our world leaders at COP26. I think you might be able to tell what we're thinking…

You may remember some words spoken by another kick-ass hero, actress and activist, Emma Watson (which she took from rabbinic sage Hillel the Elder):

‘If not me, who? If not now, when?’

Reflect on these in light of COP26. We all need to play our part in saving our planet. Please, don’t be a cop out.

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