Skip to content

COP26 Day 10 and 11

A US-China deal, Transport Day announcements, the UK Environment Act finally passes into law, a new UK study on social and behaviour on the net zero pathway and announcements on the transition of the built environment.

US-China deal announced

The US-China Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s was, unexpectedly, announced on Day 10. The Declaration commits the countries to work together to achieve the Paris Agreement ambitions through concrete actions in this decade. In particular, the countries intend to cooperate on:

  • enhancing methane emissions reduction, including a new National Action Plan on methane by China and additional measures at national and sub-national level before COP27 (China did not sign the Global Methane Pledge announced last week);
  • regulatory frameworks and environmental standards related to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in the 2020s;
  • maximising the societal benefits of the clean energy transition;
  • policies to encourage decarbonisation and electrification of end-use sectors;
  • key areas related to the circular economy, such as green design and renewable resource utilisation; and
  • deployment and application of technology such as CCUS and direct air capture.

China has also committed to phase down coal consumption during its 15th Five Year Plan and to make “best efforts” to accelerate this work.

The countries have also committed to cooperating on the completion of the Paris Rulebook, and to establish a Working Group on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s.

Road, maritime and aviation transport

Transport Day saw a number of announcements, including the following from governments:

  • 100+ state and private sector actors have pledged to end the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles in leading markets by 2035 and globally by 2040. Business fleet owners or operators within the signatory group have committed to 100% emissions-free fleets by 2030. The US and China are not amongst the signatories.
  • 12 countries have committed to end the sale of fossil fuel powered HGVs by 2040.
  • Bogotá, Cuenca and Salvador have pledged to decarbonise public transport fleets by 2035.
  • The Transport Decarbonisation Alliance, a coalition of 30 regions and companies, committed to accelerating charging infrastructure.
  • The Clydebank Declaration, supported by over 20 countries, was announced. It sets out an aim to establish at least 6 green maritime corridors by 2025, with more to follow thereafter, and with an “aspiration to see many more corridors in operation by 2030”.
  • The International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition was announced. The Coalition of 22 countries aims to support promoting the sustainable aviation fuels and the effectiveness of International Civil Aviation Organization’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

UK Environment Act passes into law

The UK’s Environment Act finally passed into law this week. The Act will create, amongst other things, a new environmental regulator, a new “comply or explain” requirement on import of deforestation-risk commodities and bans on some single-use plastic items.

Urban Climate Action Plan

The UK launched a new programme to support regional centres in Africa, Asia and Latin America develop low carbon infrastructure projects. This will include public transport systems, renewable energy generation, sustainable waste manager, new building codes that take climate change into account and urban climate risk planning.

C40 Clean Construction Declaration

The C40 Clean Construction Declaration aims to reduce carbon emissions in the construction of the built environment, committing to have emissions from initial construction by 2030 with a 30% reduction by 2025. Signatories already include Los Angeles, Mexico City, Budapest and Amsterdam, the latter of which has also pledged to become a circular city by 2050 with an interim target that public procurement in the building environment to be circular by 2023. San Francisco joined the Declaration today.

New UK study into social and behavioural changes

The UK’s independent body advising on climate change had advised that the path to net zero would require change in some consumer behaviour. This element was missing from the government’s Net Zero Strategy published just before COP however.

The UK Government has today launched a research project to consider how social and behavioural changes will affect the net zero transition. The project will include an expert evidence view and a set of future scenarios exploring different models of societal and behavioural change. The evidence will be used to stress-test transition strategy.

A final report is expected to be published in 2022.

Negotiations close tomorrow so we should see the announcement of the final Glasgow deal.

Author: Kelly Sporn