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UN climate summit concludes with carbon-cutting pact

John Kerry, the U.S. climate envoy, appears at a news conference at the end of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, on Saturday. Associated Press/Photo by Alberto Pezzali

UN climate summit concludes with carbon-cutting pact

A two-week United Nations conference in Glasgow, Scotland, ended on Saturday with nearly 200 countries signing an agreement meant to limit global warming—including the United States, European Union, China, India, and Russia. The agreement emphasizes that nations must cut carbon dioxide emissions nearly in half by 2030 to keep warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius (or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), and it calls for a wind-down of coal power. But the pact lacks an enforcement mechanism that would hold countries to their climate commitments.

Did the COP26 climate summit produce any other pledges? Early in the conference, the United States announced commitments from more than 100 nations to slash emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Additionally, more than 100 nations pledged to end deforestation by 2030. The pact on Saturday also outlined a carbon credit–trading mechanism that would allow nations to meet their emissions reduction targets by funding projects to reduce greenhouse gases in other countries. The pact calls on the largest greenhouse gas–emitting nations to meet again in 2022 to establish stronger commitments for carbon cuts.

Dig deeper: Read my report on the Biden administration’s plan to eliminate 75 percent of methane leaks from U.S. oil and gas industry operations.

Daniel James Devine

Daniel is managing editor of WORLD Magazine. He is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a former science and technology reporter. Daniel resides in Indiana.



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