UN counts down to COP26 in 75th anniversary year
Established 75 years ago on this very day, to maintain peace and foster cooperation between nations after a generation of war, the United Nations isn’t letting COVID-19 get in the way of its plans to combat climate change. COP26 may have been delayed by a year, but 2020 is still the Year of Climate Action.
The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the willpower and resolve of the UN, as it tries to keep issues including climate change firmly on the agenda. The UN celebrates its 75th anniversary today, at a time when the environment is front and centre of its concerns. Scientists recorded that eight of the hottest years occurred in just the last decade, highlighting the increasing urgency of ensuring that nations resolve to keep emissions under control.
COVID-19 has disrupted the way of life of millions, and yet the UN continues to lead the charge in ensuring that tackling climate change is central to our bounce back from the disruption.
UN asks how to sustain a green recovery
The UN Charter, signed and entered into force in 1945, was intended to ensure that signatories would uphold some core values. These were designed to improve living standards for people all over the world and protect their freedoms after the world wars.
Now, the world faces a new crisis. COVID-19 and the economic dislocation it has caused require a united front. The UN has asked how nations can work to ensure that the recovery from the pandemic is not only long-lasting but sustainable as well.
Keeping the green agenda top of national dashboards, the UN has designated 2020 the Year of Climate Action. It also highlighted a review conducted by Vivid Economics, a UK-based consultancy, which carried out a Greenness of Stimulus Index (GSI). This new index assessed the G20 economic stimulus package unveiled over the past few months, to assess its sustainability.
The GSI found that 16 out of 20 G20 states had stimulus measures which would have a detrimental impact on the environment.
Year of Climate Action counts down to COP26
COP26 was due to be held in Glasgow in November 2020. It’s been pushed back to November 2021, with the primary event still intended to be based in Glasgow. In the meantime, the UN is working to ensure that 2020 is still a year of meaningful action by its members.
The move towards a more sustainable recovery from COVID-19 will be just one step in the long-term carbon-neutral aspiration of many nations. The UN reported some encouraging news from China, one of the UN’s charter members and a permanent member of its Security Council.
China has made a pledge to ensure its economy is carbon-neutral by 2060. This is significant, as China is expected to be the largest economy for the remainder of the century. The UN offers an opportunity for nations to come together and tackle climate change with a single, unified voice. Let’s see how much action we can all take in the next 12 months.