It’s less than six weeks until the world’s leaders are due to meet in Scotland to decide the fate of the planet. If that sounds melodramatic, we recommend some background reading in the shape of the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Alternatively, just look back at some of the horror stories and graphic images relating to so-called extreme weather events that the world is increasingly witnessing.
The road to Glasgow is paved with good intentions, but the ultimate destination has to involve deeds not words. It’s imperative not only that we have joined-up thinking about nature and climate during the discussions and debate that will inevitably characterise COP26, but also that this leads rapidly to collective action compatible with the climate commitments enshrined within the Paris Agreement.
For the uninitiated, this agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change that was adopted by 196 countries in 2015 and entered into force some five years ago. Its goal is to limit global heating – let’s not call it warming – to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and preferably to 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels.