Updated Nov 3, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on COP26 as it unfolds

On Wednesday, November 3rd, Axios World editor Dave Lawler and energy reporter Ben Geman discussed the COP26 United Nations climate conference as it unfolds, featuring UN Foundation President & CEO Elizabeth Cousens and UN Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner.

Elizabeth Cousens highlighted environmental agreements from the conference that had stood out to her so far, how to transform climate-related conversations into tangible action, and how she would ultimately measure the success of the conference.

  • On advancements made at the conference so far: “We’ve already seen important advances in Glasgow this week...the direction of travel continues to be the right one. Everyone’s point of reference now is net zero. 90% of the global economy has made net zero pledges, that’s a critical development. Now all the focus is turning to delivery, to implementation, to how do we get to the goal of net zero as countries and others have set them.”
  • On defining successful climate action moving forward: “There are things we should have done 10, 20, 30 years ago that we didn’t do. We didn’t do them, but we can do them today, we can do them tomorrow, we can do them the next day. I think we’re going to get quite far in this COP, however far we get, we need to go farther the next day.”

Achim Steiner illustrated the environmental concerns of developing countries, how to address climate-related issues amidst the continuing pandemic, and how to improve financing processes for countries adapting to climate change.

  • On the economic barriers to investing in climate during the pandemic: “We are still in the midst of a pandemic, and for many developing countries, it’s not just the health crisis that it triggered, but it is really a social and economic crisis also...so that is an enormous constraint on them being able to invest in really making these transitions in the energy sector, in the mobility sector, in agriculture and land use.”
  • On the need to shift climate financing discussions: “International climate financing discussions have to move from this notion that this is some form of philanthropy or perhaps some short-term donations. We need to take a mindset of co-investing in one another because the vulnerability of hundreds of millions of people exposed to the risks of climate change will affect the global economy, will affect us all.”

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

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