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Germany, Canada and United States Make New Climate Commitments at COP26

16 November 2021


COP26 in Glasgow came to a close on 13 November 2021, ending a two-week long marathon of climate negotiations and sweeping commitments from United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Member Countries. Seen by many as the most important Conference of Parties since the signing of the Paris Agreement at COP21 in 2015, this year’s climate conference came at a time when climate policy hopes were historically high and our window of time to act historically narrow.

Though disagreement abounds as to whether COP26 will bring about the necessary changes to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, one thing is certain – this conference ushered in an impressive haul of climate commitments involving transatlantic nations. This article provides an exhaustive summary of the climate declarations to come from COP26 that involve mitigation efforts in Canada, the United States and/or Germany.

 

 

Pledge to stop financing foreign fossil fuel projects by 2022

 

 

The United States, Canada and Germany joined 25 signatory countries, along with several development banks, to commit to ending international public support for the unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 22 and instead prioritizing support for the clean energy transition.

 

 

Declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans

Canada; Canadian regional governments of British Colombia and Quebec; and US regional governments of Atlanta, California, Charleston, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Seattle, and Washington (state) joined over 30 signatory countries in pledging to achieve 100% zero-emission car and van sales globally by 2040 and no later than 2035 in leading markets.

 

 

Clydebank declaration for green shipping corridors

 

19 signatory countries, including Canada, Germany and the United States, committed to enable maritime trade routes and port infrastructure to be used for ships running on zero-emission fuels. The goal is to establish six such corridors by 2025.

 

 

Agreement to phase out coal-fired power

Canada Minister Steven Guilbeault; EU Comissioner Kadri Simson; Germany Minister Svenja Schulze; and US regional governments of Hawaii, Governor Ige, and Oregon, Governor Brown joined over 40 countries in agreeing to cease issuance of new permits for new unabated coal-fired power generation projects (not yet reached financial close); cease new construction of and end new direct government support for such projects.

 

 

Declaration on forests and land use

Over 130 signatory countries committed to end and reverse deforestation by 2030, including Canada, Germany and the United States. Signatories comprise around 85% of the world’s forests. The commitment also included over USD 19 billion of public and private funds.

 

 

Global Methane Pledge

Launched by the United States and the EU, the pledge includes over 100 countries, among them Canada and Germany, who committed to take voluntary actions to reduce global methane emissions by 30% by 2030, using a 2020 baseline. The signatories represent approximately half of anthropogenic methane emissions.

 

 

First Movers Coalition

This coalition brings companies from around the world together to make purchasing commitments for innovative technologies in hard-to-abate sectors. It was created through a partnership between the U.S. State Department’s U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and the Office of Global Partnerships, and the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Energy. Over 25 Found Member companies made commitments to spur the commercialization of emerging technologies in one of these sectors: steel, trucking, shipping or aviation.

 

 

Net Zero World Initiative

Led by the US Department of Energy (DOE) as part of the Build Back Better World initiative, this initiative was created with partners including US federal agencies (US DOE, US Department of State, US Agency for International Development, US Trade and Development Agency, US International Development Finance Corporation), governments (Argentine, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria and Ukraine), various philanthropies and several US national laboratories. The initiative serves as a partnership between countries working to implement their climate ambition pledges and accelerate transitions to net zero, resilient and inclusive energy systems.

 

 

U.S.-China Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s

With this declaration between China and the United States, the two countries reaffirmed their commitment to work together to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and agreed to cooperate on a range of issues, including establishing regulatory frameworks and green standards to reduce GHGs, methane, forests, clean technology transfer, decarbonization and electrification, CCUS, renewable energy, phasing down coal, and establishing a “Working Group on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s.”

 

 

International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition

23 signatory countries, including Canada and the United States, committed to, with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), reduce aviation emissions, ensure maximum effectiveness of CORSIA, promote the development and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels and low- and zero-carbon aircraft technologies and promote capacity building in this area.

 

 

Green Grids Initiative                          

The United States and Germany joined over 80 signatory countries in committing to better take advantage of renewable energy by creating a more inter-connected global electricity grid. The initiative seeks, among other goals, to invest in renewable energy in locations with ample renewable resources; build long-distance, cross-border transmission lines; develop and deploy technologies to modernize power systems; and facilitate financial and technical assistance to attract low-cost capital for grid infrastructure. 

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Mary Hellmich

Mary Hellmich

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Co-lead of the Transatlantic Climate Bridge team at adelphi