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Rathbones’ Crossman: COP26 – “not a good or a bad COP, but a just barely good enough COP, for now”

In his latest report on COP26, Rathbones’ stewardship director, Matt Crossman, analyses the outcome of the Glasgow negotiations.

“Taken in aggregate, balancing the possibilities and retaining the right to check on progress, we consider COP26 to have been just barely good enough for now.

“When it finally came to a conclusion, a visibly emotional COP president Alok Sharma spoke for many, expressing regret over the necessity to bow to last minute demands in order to save all the work contained in the rest of the agreement.

“Though the watering down of the wording on coal was disappointing, it was still the first ever reference to a specific fossil fuel in a COP text. This further signals the realities of the low-carbon transition and its relevance for financial markets. The statements on coal and methane alone will breathe new life into hard discussions, with many high emitting companies and give fresh impetus to every dialogue we have with them.

“Taken in aggregate, the statements and commitments coming out of the COP process can serve as a powerful market signal. And they matter for the investment world’s engagement work on climate change.” Matt Crossman, Stewardship Director, Rathbones. 

The report, which can be found here, covers the following areas:

  • Commitments – India’s net-zero pledge; US and China cooperating to cut greenhouse emissions and the final decision text of the Glasgow Climate Pact urged countries to “revisit and strengthen the 2030 targets in their nationally determined contributions as necessary to align with the Paris Agreement temperature goal by the end of 2022, taking into account different national circumstances”;
  • Cooperation – pledges on coal, methane, deforestation and financing;
  • Cash – developed countries need to deliver on promises to invest in climate finance in developing countries. Specifically, to step up on attaining a pledge by developed nations to send $100 billion a year to the developing world by 2020.

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