Cop26, Rare earth Metals & The Rise of CORPORATE CLIMATE ACTIVISM
By Berit Anderson
Some of you may be looking forward to the COP26 meetings in Glasgow next week - the first check-in for global leaders on national targets since the Paris Climate Accords. You needn't. As in the past, this year's official meetings will have little measurable effect on global climate outcomes.
Still struggling to pass a meaningful infrastructure bill at home, the US will have nothing concrete enough in place to establish itself as a global leader on climate. China, unable to care about anything other than extracting global resources as quickly as possible for its own gain, will make more hollow promises and continue to increase its own global carbon footprint.
The meetings themselves will once again cause a net increase in global carbon emissions as thousands of leaders from around the world make unnecessary flights in order to physically be in the same place at the same time.
And all this in the face of the unfortunate news that, even during a global pandemic, we have accelerated our global CO2 concentration. As reported by NPR:
The United Nations body said Monday that carbon dioxide had risen by more than the 10-year average in 2020 to 413.2 parts per million, despite a slight decrease in emissions due to the coronavirus pandemic. Methane and nitrous oxide, two other potent greenhouse gases, also showed increases, the WMO said in the latest issue of its Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.
Stepping into this leadership void, however, is a new and unlikely force pushing slow-moving governmental bodies to accelerate their climate leadership: