All eyes were on the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), deemed by many leaders as the world’s “last best chance” to get runaway climate change under control. Governments, businesses and institutions from around the world gathered in Glasgow in November to advance the commitments of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and limit the global temperature rise below 1.5°C.
Despite the commitments in the 2015 Paris Agreement, nearly all nations have fallen short on their plans to cut emissions and generate the policies and finances needed to avoid the consequences of >1.5°C warming. To make matters worse, recent studies have found that the world is moving towards warming above 3°C, which could mean devastating consequences for our ecosystems, communities, infrastructure and economy.
This spring, the Government of Canada announced its enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 40‑45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The government also recently proposed several other commitments to accelerate climate action, such as increased carbon pricing, clean electricity standards, and targeting for all new cars sold after 2035 to be zero-emission vehicles. Canada’s progress on these and other commitments will be determined following COP26, further heightening Canadians’ anticipation around the event.
More aggressive action on decarbonization and climate adaptation is needed from governments, industry, businesses, and communities alike, including more stringent net-zero targets and policies, to address the global climate emergency. Another priority in Glasgow will be to secure the funding needed to support poorer nations to tackle climate change. In 2009, wealthy countries pledged $100bn per year in climate finance from 2020 to 2025. However, a recent analysis found that funds only reached $80bn in 2019 and that current pledges are also short by several billion dollars. How the funding is used will also be essential for meaningful action on climate change.
Learn more about our climate change, resilience and sustainability services
WSP’s climate change, resilience and sustainability experts closely followed the proceedings from COP26 to provide our Canadian clients and stakeholders with insights that will help prepare for the transition to a low-carbon future.
In addition, understanding the importance of climate change in everything we do, we have made our own commitment to achieving net zero emissions across our value chain by 2040 using science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets. Whether we are delivering low-carbon and resilient infrastructure projects, supporting asset owners and communities in the low-carbon transition, or helping organizations adapt to change risks, we are determined to lead the way towards a healthy and resilient low-carbon future.
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