Dec 12th 2020

The Climate Ambition Summit 

The Climate Ambition Summit 2020 marked the fifth anniversary since nearly every nation signed the Paris Agreement at the 21st Conferences of the Parties (COP21).

What is the Paris Agreement? 

The Paris Agreement is a binding agreement bringing all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects. Its central aim is to respond to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It also agrees that wealthier nations should provide finance and technology support to poor and vulnerable countries to take action. 

Why does it matter? 

The Paris Agreement works on a 5- year cycle of increasingly ambitious climate action carried out by countries. This year 2020 is significant as countries submit their pledges to implement the Paris Agreement through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). These set out national targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared with a 1990 baseline. The UK has announced its commitment to reduce emissions by at least 68%, in line with the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee (CCC). 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the UK’s NDC“Today, we are taking the lead with an ambitious new target to reduce our emissions by 2030, faster than any major economy, with our Ten Point Plan helping us on our path to reach it. But this is a global effort, which is why the UK is urging world leaders as part of next week’s Climate Ambition Summit to bring forward their own ambitious plans to cut emissions and set net-zero targets.” 

When and where is COP26? 

The Climate Ambition Summit was dubbed “the sprint to Glasgow” by the UN. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the UK was due to host this year’s COP in Scotland. Instead, the UK will host the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 1 – 23 November 2021 and hopes to inspire similar commitments from other countries. At COP26, delegates including heads of state, climate experts and negotiators will come together to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change. There will also be space for countries, international organisations and other delegates to showcase climate action, highlight diverse climate change issues and share knowledge. 

What are we doing? 

In the context of COVID-19 and recovery from the global recession, climate change continues to impact everyone around the world. For this reason, The Conservation Foundation is committed to contributing towards UN SDG 13 Climate Action through its projects 

Kenya Tea Project:  supporting local entrepreneurs to market simple alternative energy solutions and assesses the feasibility of a sustainable biomass energy market 

GeoFutures GreenInvest: supporting the creation of 600 MW of low cost, reliable geothermal power in Kenya and Ethiopia – supplying more than 31.5 million people with power and avoiding almost 3.1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. 

Growing Abaca: recycling bio-fuel as a source of energy in the Philippines 

NCAAN: supporting Nigeria to transition away from an economy reliant on the oil & gas industry 

The Great British Elm Experiment: fostering a new generation of elms trees throughout the UK