Glasgow Climate Pact: How Effective will it be? 

In November 2021, the delegates representing the 197 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change came to Glasgow to negotiate the new climate pact. The aim was to reduce the worst impacts of climate change by achieving three main goals. Firstly, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Secondly, to decrease the use of coal. Finally, the delegates aimed to increase money transfer to low-income countries to help them shift away from the consumption of fossil energy. 

Key Judgement 1: By 2030, it is highly unlikely that states will cut greenhouse gas emissions so as to not exceed the 1.5°C global average temperature increase limit. 

  • Since the Paris agreement, the 1.5°C increase in the global average temperature limit has become of utmost importance for two main reasons. Firstly, a report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2018 highlighted how damaging climate change would be if temperatures were to rise above the 1.5°C limit. Secondly, many studies indicate that multiple island nations would not survive the sea-level rise that would result if temperatures were to further increase. [source]

  • During the Glasgow summit, governments agreed to enhance their national plans to reduce green gas emissions over the coming decade. [source]

  • Prior to the Glasgow Climate Pact, there was a gap of 23 to 27 billion tonnes between the emission reductions needed by 2030 to avoid a 1.5°C increase in temperatures, and what governments were planning to reduce based on their then environmental commitments. [source]

  • The national pledges agreed upon in Glasgow reduce this gap by 4 billion tonnes. According to experts, further cuts of approximately 17 to 20 billion tonnes of green gas emissions must be made before 2030 to not exceed the 1.5°C aim. However, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, even if those cuts were made, there is only a 50% chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C global temperature increase. [source]

Key Judgement 2: By 2030, it is likely that the global use of coal will be reduced significantly as a result of the Glasgow Climate Pact.

  • The power sector accounts for a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Coal is the single biggest contributor to human-created climate change. According to many studies, in order to not exceed the 1.5°C limit, several steps need to be taken to reduce the consumption of coal. For instance, by stopping the construction of new coal power plants and by scaling up clean power production.  [source]

  • As part of the Glasgow Climate Pact, 65 countries have committed to phasing out coal-fired power by 2030. The agreement includes 18 countries promising to phase out or stop investments in new coal power plants domestically and internationally. The list includes major coal national consumers such as Canada, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Poland. [source]

  • However, several of the world’s largest coal consuming states, such as China, India, and Australia have failed to sign up for the pledge. These states have only committed to reducing the use of coal, meaning that they will not stop using coal completely by 2030. [source]

Key Judgement 3: By 2030, it is likely that countries will significantly increase funding to assist low-income countries to phase out the use of fossil fuel energy.

  • During the Glasgow summit, governments pledged to increase the lending to low-income countries. This financing will help poor countries to shift away from fossil energy. This funding will ultimately be used to build societies that are better equipped to face the impacts of climate change and to be more resilient to damage caused by extreme weather events. [source, source]

  • Prior to the Glasgow Climate Pact, these countries were promised US$100 billion annually. However, only US$80 billion a year have materialised. [source]

  • In Glasgow, governments committed to reaching the goal of delivering US$100 billion annually by 2023. Moreover, nations also agreed to further increase the level of finance mobilized beyond US$100 billion annually by 2030. [source]

Intelligence Cut-Off Date: 10th May 2022

Arianna Sparviero
Arianna Sparviero
Arianna Sparviero is a graduate student at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. She is currently enrolled in the first year of the master course in International Affairs.

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