/ 03 November 2021

Pledges galore at COP26

High Angle View Of Multiracial Businesspeople Stacking Hands Over Each Other
High Angle View Of Multiracial Businesspeople Stacking Hands Over Each Other

The world leaders’ segment of the United Nations’ COP26 climate conference in Glasgow (not Edinburgh…) is in full swing. Heads of government (including PM Scott Morrison) continue to put forward their proposals to limit greenhouse gas emissions and keep the 1.5C global warming target within reach. In addition to that parade, 2 pledges that seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have received widespread support – and Australia has signed up to one.

The one to end and reverse deforestation by 2030. Trees play an essential role in sustaining life on Earth by providing oxygen and absorbing 30% of carbon dioxide emissions. And Dame Judi Dench loves em’ which is reason enough to care quite frankly… Every year the world loses around 5 million hectares of forest (for context, Tassie is almost 7 million hectares), and three-quarters of that is down to land clearing for farming. It’s an issue across the world, but it’s a major problem in Brazil and Indonesia. Both countries are on board, along with nations that account for 85% of the world’s forests, including Oz. Experts say it’s a step forward – but there is scepticism because a deal from 2014 wasn’t delivered on.

Overnight, US President Joe Biden and the European Union’s Ursula von der Leyen have launched a global partnership to slash methane emissions by 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels. While carbon dioxide usually steals the spotlight, methane is more powerful, and experts say it’s responsible for a third of current warming from human activities. About 40% of methane comes from natural sources, but the majority comes from agriculture (hello farting cattle and sheep) and natural gas production. More than 100 nations have signed up – but not Australia. For one, the Nationals’ made it a condition of their support for the net zero emissions by 2050 target. Not a fan: Deputy PM/Nats leader Barnaby Joyce told farmers they would need to “go out and start shooting your cattle” to reach the target. For its part, Meat & Livestock Australia has a goal to reach net zero emissions across the industry by 2030, and the gas sector is also looking to make improvements.

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