Nov 2, 2021 - Energy & Environment

What COP26 pledges could mean for investors

Animated illustration of Earth wiping away to reveal a coin

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Bolder action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, to mobilize development financing and to potentially design a carbon trading deal are on the agenda for COP26 underway in Glasgow, Scotland.

The big picture: What global leaders actually commit to could signal investors as to the upcoming pace of change and the regions where it'll happen.

Catch up quick: India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, pledged the country would reach net-zero emissions by 2070 (10 years later than China), and that half of its energy would be powered by renewable sources by 2030.

  • That's a big move forward, as India's the world's fourth-largest carbon dioxide emitter.

Also worth noting, Brazil’s environment minister, Joaquim Leite, said the country plans to end all illegal deforestation by 2028 — and over 100 world leaders in total committed to actions reversing it. 

  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally committed to a cap on oil and gas emissions.
  • President Biden said the United States will help developing countries move to clean energy faster. 

What we're watching: COP26 will also draw a massive number of corporate giants, with CEOs including Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Salesforce's Marc Benioff and BlackRock's Larry Fink (scheduled to speak today about mobilizing private capital) expected.

Why it matters: “[T]he outcome of COP26 is consequential for long-term investors given the rise in sustainable investing,” Meera Pandit, global market strategist, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, tells Axios.

The bottom line: This year’s United Nations summit is seen as crucial. Severe impacts of climate change, like extreme weather events, are worsening faster than expected as the world quickly warms toward the Paris Agreement's temperature targets.

Go deeper: Axios’ Ben Geman, David Lawler and Andrew Freedman are reporting from COP26 in Glasgow over the next two weeks. Follow their coverage by subscribing to the Axios Generate and Axios World newsletters.

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