The COP26 Climate Summit Begins

Source: Number 10 (via Flickr)

By Beth Williams | News Editor

The COP26 Summit is underway in Glasgow. Around 30,000 are set to attend the climate change conference over the next two weeks. The discussions will include around 200 nations, making it the largest meeting of world leaders in history.

            As climate change impacts devolved issues such as housing, farming and transport, Wales will be attending as its own delegation.  Wales will use the opportunity to highlight all that they are already doing to combat the issue. The country’s recycling initiative means that Wales rank third globally when it comes to reprocessing their rubbish.  Discussing Wales’ intentions, Julie James, The Senedd’s minister for climate change, said, “We must all work together across Governments, across the public sector, with businesses, our communities and society at large and I will call upon our science community for help, advice and support. I am keen we follow the science, understand the evidence and make robust decisions – some of which there is no doubt will be difficult choices. As I will continue to emphasise, this cannot be done in isolation.”

            A recent study showed that the yearly temperature in Wales has increased by 0.9c on average since the 1970s. Wales has already experienced extreme weather, in particular floods. Strom Dennis in 2020 is only one of the many floods that devastated communities across the country. Claire Instrell, who lives on the banks of the river Taff in Pontypridd, was shocked at the speed her home was destroyed, “I ran to my window and I saw it coming over my garden wall. Within minutes of us going back upstairs and carrying things back and fore, the towels were then floating. She said that she makes sure she always has a bag ready in case she needs to evacuate again. . The weather in Wales is predicted to get hotter and wetter in the future.

            Many have raised concerns that it’s too late to act now. Professor Gareth Wyn Jones, a scientific advisor to the Welsh government, believes it’s “highly unlikely” to stop global warming from reaching dangerous levels. Professor Jones said, “We have created a society that’s dependent on consumerism, on capitalism and it’s very difficult to reconcile that with cuts that are necessary.” Wales are currently responsible for 20% of all carbon emissions in the UK. The average carbon emission per person, yearly in Wales is double the world average.

            Despite Wales’ own worrying statistics, the U.N will be focusing closer on the world’s worst climate offenders, such as China, the U.S and India with UK leaders also predicted to lobby them for action.  The U.N will continue to ask developed nations to keep their promise in spending at least £72.5 billion pounds a year to finance a greener future. It is certain that the next two weeks will be crucial for the future of this planet.

Beth Williams News 

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