COP26: Information, Analyses, Successes, Shortcomings

The November 2021 global climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, generated a lot of news.  Some news sources thought COP26 made progress.  Other news sources criticized it from several perspectives.  Here — in no particular sequence — are a variety of reports about what COP26 did and did not accomplish, and what we need to do now:

(I have a few more articles, but this is enough for now.)


COP26 Brought progress but also disappointment: 

The United States released a slew of new climate commitments at COP26, last month’s international climate conference in Glasgow. Climate advocates view the results of the conference with a mix of triumph and disappointment.  Among the U.S. commitments were a renewed resolve to reduce emissions, a long-term strategy for climate action, the Global Methane Pledge, and the introduction of the PREPARE plan, created to help developing countries adapt to climate change.  Unfortunately, the United States did not commit to stop burning coal. Although the U.S. delegation set many goals, they are only that—goals. They are a good first step, but many advocates don’t see these commitments as being nearly ambitious enough to keep our planet well under 2 degrees Celsius of warming. Now is the time to push Congress to uphold these commitments in legislation, and take further steps.


A great many lobbyists from the fossil fuel industry infected COP26:


This was posted on Nov. 18, 2021:  COP26: Climate pledges don’t match up with policies-or consumer behavior. COP26 kicked the can down the road.


This was posted on Nov. 26, 2021:  COP26 failed to deal with the dysfunctional food system, even though it is a huge source of emissions:

Our broken and inhumane food system is a huge source of emissions, so why isn’t it a major part of the climate solution?


At COP 26, A Bigger, Stronger Climate Movement Made Its Mark:

The new focus on equity in the climate movement will keep the pressure where it belongs: on the Global North.


COP26 did not devote even one day to food and agriculture, the source of 1/4 of global emissions:

The UN’s Big Climate Summit Is Ignoring a Giant Red Flag

Not a single day is devoted to food and agriculture, the source of a quarter of global emissions:


The progress (and failures) of COP26, in 3 charts:  Gaps remain on emissions, finance, and fossil fuel production. posted this:

COP26 Agreement Fails to Address Climate Emergency, Take Necessary Steps to Protect Amazon and Respect Indigenous Peoples’ Rights attended COP 26, was disappointed, and will continue working.  See this:

We Will Continue to Unite and Organize for the Amazon and Climate Justice, Despite COP26 | Amazon Watch

The organization also said this:

Considering the daunting reality that the Amazon is at the tipping point, we attended COP26 in Glasgow in solidarity with our partners to support the urgent call to permanently protect 80% of the Amazon by 2025.  We went to amplify Amazonian Indigenous voices, solutions, and resistance, in particular women and youth defenders; denounce false solutions, including forest-carbon offsets and net-zero commitments; and to call for banks to exit Amazon oil and gas.  While the Glasgow Pact does not meet the action needed to address the climate emergency, the civil society presence was truly inspiring. Indigenous peoples, frontline communities, women, and youth attended in full force organizing for climate justice and against the fossil fuel industry, which held significant influence over the official negotiations at COP26.


At COP26, a Consensus That Developing Nations Need Far More Help Countering Climate Change: 

The world’s wealthiest nations pledged $100 billion at COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009. Getting there hasn‘t been simple, or easy.


World leaders failed us at COP26 but the climate movement is becoming stronger and more powerful:

After COP26 What? Tim Pluta tells us in this article and this podcast.


As the World Burns, Glasgow’s COP26 Deemed a Failure

“We should call it the ‘Glasgow suicide pact’ for the poorest in the world.”

Amy GoodmanDenis Moynihan November 19, 2021 by Democracy Now!


The UN Climate Summit Is Over—and Nobody’s Happy

Conference president had aspired to “consign coal to history.”


This was posted on Nov. 3, 2021: COP 26: Can a singing, dancing rebellion save the world?

The climate movement in the streets of Glasgow is informed by the recognition that the science is clear and the solutions to the climate crisis are readily available. It is only political will that is lacking.


While COP26 failed inside the halls, there was great momentum outside of those walls.   The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) ( posted this on Dec. 14, 2021:

Last month, CIEL staff traveled with hundreds of civil society partners to Glasgow, Scotland, for the much-anticipated 26th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26). Despite prior commitments to climate ambition and equitable participation, this COP was a failure on nearly all accounts. It was the most exclusionary such global climate summit in decades, with unprecedented hurdles to participation by those from countries most affected by the climate crisis, due to both vaccine apartheid and access restrictions on site. Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry enjoyed outsized presence and influence, pushing global climate politics that are increasingly and dangerously out of step with climate science.

The shortcomings of the climate negotiations cannot, however, deter the growing movement for climate justice, or slow the legal and financial momentum for a just transition to a fossil-free future. Dozens of civil society events outside of the formal talks in Glasgow fostered people-powered strategies to amplify this movement and accelerate the transition. CIEL continues to advocate for human rights in key negotiations and ensure frontline communities and Indigenous Peoples can have their voices heard adequately in climate-related policy making. The powerful Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance and the visionary Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty initiative are signs of where things are headed and must go to avoid further escalation of the climate catastrophe. The fossil fuel era is ending, and if global leaders won’t summon the courage to help make that happen, then the people will. And the CIEL team will continue to be right there with them. We’ll keep pushing for climate justice and striving to ensure that the full range of human rights, including the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment, can be enjoyed by all.


On Dec. 5, 2021, posted this about COP26:

The Glasgow Climate Talks concluded last month. Although there were some small steps forward, the talks accomplished nowhere near enough. Even if every pledge made in Glasgow is kept―which is a big if―the world will still be on track for truly catastrophic levels of warming.

Here are some of the highlights of what was (and was not) achieved in Glasgow:

Although some of these steps forward are notable, the failings of COP26 are clear to anyone paying attention. Major financial institutions that have supposedly committed to net zero are still spending billions funding new fossil fuel projects. The failure of the US, China, India, and Australia to sign on to the deal to phase out coal is a major setback. And when it comes to cutting methane emissions and stopping the public financing of fossil fuel projects, far too few of the major polluters signed on. Meanwhile, some nations are already walking back their pledges to end deforestation.  In the years ahead, more than ever, our work is cut out for us.


After Glasgow: Now what?

This was posted on Nov. 17, 2021, by

The Glasgow Climate Talks concluded last week. Although there were some small steps forward, it is hard not to be disappointed. Even if every pledge made in Glasgow is kept ― which is a big if ― the world will still be on track for truly catastrophic levels of warming.

Here are some resources and links for you to learn more about what happened in Glasgow, as it relates to our work to end the funding of climate chaos:

Only one major US financial institution, Morgan Stanley, came out with any sort of new climate targets during COP26 ― and those targets fail to do the most important thing: commit to phasing out financing for new fossil fuel projects. It’s clear that we have a lot of work ahead of us.

As we begin to look forward to 2022, Stop the Money Pipeline will be going into a period of reflection and planning. We’ll be having discussions with our 200+ coalition partners and starting to make campaign plans for the year ahead. As part of our planning, we want to know what you think ― and next week we’ll share a survey so we can get your input into our planning.

But the Glasgow Climate Talks made one thing clearer than ever. We need to keep doing everything in our power to ensure that every bank CEO and every insurance executive knows: Net zero plans that fail to end fossil fuel financing will be called out for the empty greenwashing they are.


Forget Any COP26 Promises Your Heard. Just Look at the $6 Trillion in Fossil Fuel Subsidies:

Governments spend trillions of taxpayer dollars to subsidise fossil fuels that can only aggravate the ongoing climate emergency.


Alexandria Ocasio Cortez posted her take-away from COP26 on Nov. 16, 2021:

If you’ve been following Alexandria’s Instagram over the last week, you know that she’s been sharing a lot of “behind the scenes” footage from COP26 – the UN climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.  Now that COP has officially concluded, we wanted to share some of Alexandria’s thoughts about how we should view the outcomes of the summit. We know some folks are understandably disappointed, so we want to break it down – because there is some good news here, as well as areas where we need to keep pushing.  This is a longer than usual email, but we hope you take the time to read it –  because your activism is critical to what happens next.

Before we start…what is COP?  COP is short for the “Conference of Parties,” but essentially it’s the international climate summit hosted by the UN each year. This is the 26th year, which is why this year is COP26.1

Is COP a joke? Is it useless?  This is an important question. You might have heard some people say COP is a waste of time or just a lot of talk.  But Alexandria’s experience boils down to this: COP is important even if we are disappointed by it.

Here’s why COP is important:   If we write off COP as useless and choose to ignore it – the consequences will be huge. Because the truth is, the pressure from grassroots organizers is working.  The commitments that came out of COP were much stronger than they would have otherwise been because of the pressure from the outside.  In the negotiations, Alexandria saw global leaders at the highest levels being very concerned and nervous about public sentiment and opinion. In prior COPs and climate summits, many of these leaders were not as worried because they didn’t think people were watching.

So what happened at COP? Tell us the good, bad, and the ugly.   There’s good news and bad news. We’ll start with the bad news.  The ambition and timelines for action are not good enough – especially if you are under the age of 40 and will live to see the consequences. The commitment to “net zero emissions by 2050” is simply not enough.  “Net zero” does not mean zero emissions. What it means is that by 2050, we will still be emitting fossil fuels. The “net” theory goes that we will be investing in so much drawdown technology and practices that the amount that we drawdown will be equal to what we’re emitting.  That is not acceptable if we want to stick to 1.5 degrees of warming. What we are seeing in terms of climate impacts is only just the beginning. It will only get worse. This is just science.  If the pace of emissions continues, we would reach 4 degrees of warming by 2100. At that point, half of all landmass on Earth will be uninhabitable to human life due to floods, drought, wildfires, sea level rise, etc.  Governments have had 30 years to address this problem. About half of all emissions on Earth have all been emitted since the first episode of Seinfeld aired. We’re tired of waiting.

Here’s the good news:  There’s obvious signs the pressure from advocates is working. Much of the news from COP may feel underwhelming, but there is also some that is really promising. Consider the agreement reached by the U.S. and China. Together, these two countries account for 40% of total global emissions – yet, until COP26, we’d never agreed to work together to address climate emissions. Often, the U.S. and China are at odds on global policies. The agreement to work together is a significant step toward taking “concrete actions” to reduce global emissions.

If governments won’t step up enough, what can we do?  If the world is relying on governments to stop climate change, that is not going to happen. Governments are a critical aspect of solving climate change, but they are not the only ones.  Grassroots organizing is going to be very important – and not just protesting. There’s other kinds of organizing that we need to engage in to change the systems that are driving this crisis.  For example, we need to organize new ways of operating in our communities that both address climate and systemic inequities. This can look like creating working co-ops or community solar power, which we saw take off in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.  These examples are crucial to providing models for how alternative and cooperative models can work, and it takes organizing to build them.  Naming the positive structures that we want to see – cooperative economies vs competitive, extractive ones – helps visualize the world we are fighting for and what we want.

Any other key takeaways?  The worst powers-that-be are relying and counting on us giving up. But, things are working. There is a commitment. There are many complications and challenges that threaten our transition, but it is worth it to keep going. We must keep going. Just. Don’t. Give. Up.  We can win the world that we know is possible because the world that is possible is already here. It’s just about taking the world we’re fighting for and scaling it up.


Green America — — posted this on Nov. 16, 2021:

COP 26 is over, but the world is still far from keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius or less that scientists assert is necessary to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.  And poorer countries are particularly at risk. At the same time, thanks to the hard work of protestors and representatives of poor countries holding wealthier nations accountable, progress was made. Read Green America’s key takeaways from COP 26

In the spirit of the activists who turned out at COP 26, we all need to keep pressure on our governments and corporations in the coming year to make sure that pledges to reduce emissions are kept and strengthened. We also highlight urgent actions that you can take with Green America to accelerate the US response to the climate crisis and cut our emissions in half by 2030.  


On Nov. 15, 2021, posted this about COP26 and the need to relieve Third World nations’ debts:

This weekend the global climate summit, COP26, ended with a complete betrayal of the countries on the front line of the climate crisis.

Here’s a summary of what was agreed on debt and the climate crisis:

  • Demands from lower income countries for a loss and damage fund to pay for climate damages were shamefully blocked by the UK, US and EU.
  • There were no commitments from rich polluting countries to deliver the promised climate finance to the global South, most of which will be in new loans. And no plan to increase the climate finance needed for the global South to fight the climate crisis.
  • You can read more detail on the outcome here.

There was one piece of good news –  debt was mentioned in the final COP26 text as a key issue for lower income countries. This is significant because it gives us a platform to keep putting on pressure for concrete action and it couldn’t have happened without thousands of us calling for more to be done.

Your contribution to sign petitions, join marches and help to amplify global south voices on social media all helped to raise the problem of debt during COP26.

What happens next?

We are going to keep fighting for grants not loans to be used for climate finance and for compensation. After all, compensation to the global South is not about donations or aid, but an obligation for rich polluting countries that created the climate crisis. It’s an issue of responsibility and reparations.

Without compensation, climate vulnerable countries already saddled with unpayable debt will have no choice but to take on more debt to fight a crisis they did not cause.

Country after country talked about their very survival being at stake as people across the global South are losing their lives, livelihoods and their homes to extreme storms, floods and hurricanes.

In the words of our partner Abu Bakkar from the Budget Advocacy Network in Sierra Leone:

“Without debt relief and no concrete commitment on climate finance in the form of grants, the objective of the COP26 will not be achieved.”

Although we are bitterly angry at the outcome of the climate summit and the utter disregard for black and brown lives across the world, we will not stop exposing the multiple injustices of forcing global South countries into more debt to tackle the climate crisis.

Take a look at this blog to see fellow Jubilee Debt Campaign activists calling for debt cancellation on the streets of Glasgow. The collective actions of our campaigners and activists give me hope in the fight for debt justice.


The Grassroots Global Justice Alliance ( posted information about COP26 at their website.


COP26: ‘Walking Inches When We Must Move Miles’: 

Climate vulnerable countries were bitterly disappointed with the watering down of language on coal and lack of finance to cover permanent losses from climate change they are already suffering.


David Roberts said we should not be too bummed out by COP26:


Here is what’s in the Glasgow Climate Pact that was approved late at night on Sat. Nov. 13, 2021, according to Global Warming Problem Solvers,

Late Saturday night, the Glasgow COP26 was finally completed. It wasn’t without its trials and tribulations. In the eleventh hour, scientists issued a dire warning and video calling for mobilization and bold climate action.

Despite everyone being disappointed that their “red lines” had not been met, they all were pleased with the collaborative work achieved after long hours. The Glasgow Climate Pact was approved, Glen.

This is the first global roadmap to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. In Paris, they had struggled to bring it down to 2 degrees. In Poland, there was great reluctance to go below 2 degrees. In Glasgow, however, demonstrators and scientists made their voices heard. Nobody spoke to anything greater than 1.5 degrees.

The Glasgow Climate Pact is the first COP to follow up on plans with action and to commence implementations. If all commitments are met, we may see a rise of 1.8 degrees. If there are spin-off benefits, limiting it to 1.5 degrees is possible.

One of the biggest disappointments from COP26 is that financing for damages and loss, and climate-resilience, is woefully inadequate for smaller nations. Pacific Islanders have changed the dialogue declaring: “We are not victims, we are warriors!”

But America and other countries did make some substantial commitments in the fight against climate change:

Ending deforestation. More than 100 world leaders, covering about 85% of the world’s forests, have promised to end and reverse deforestation by 2030.

No more financing international fossil fuel projects. The US and 20 other countries will stop spending $18 billion a year supporting international fossil fuel projects and direct the funds toward clean energy projects in developing countries.

Ending support for overseas coal projects. The world’s 20 biggest economies agreed to end public financing of overseas coal projects. Without government assistance, these investments become less attractive to private investors.

18 countries agreed to phase out coal by 2031. Eighteen countries, including Poland, Vietnam and Chile, committed to phase out coal by 2031.

Reducing Methane Emissions. Methane/natural gas was addressed for the first time at a COP. 100 countries promised to cut methane emissions 30% by 2030, and the US pledged a 30% reduction by 2050.

Implementation of the Action for Climate Empowerment. Respecting, promoting and considering their respective obligations on human rights, as well as gender equality and empowerment of women.

The Glasgow Climate Pact falls short of all that is needed to address the climate crisis and related social justice issues, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere. To address those shortfalls, next year the COP will be held in Africa, where Egypt will host.

Still, the Glasgow Climate Pact is a bold roadmap complete with actions to address social justice, pollution, nature, food, energy and the economy. The work must now be done by nations, states, municipalities, and communities in concert with one another.

Are we warriors or will we become victims? The choice is up to us.


This was posted two days after COP26 ended:  COP26 made real progress. It also isn’t enough.

The final agreement is the most significant global climate pact since the Paris agreement, but it’s far from perfect.


What did COP26 accomplish?  See this:


On Nov. 14, just after COP26 ended, George Monbiot wrote that there’s only one last hope for our survival:













About GlenAnderson 1515 Articles
Since the late 1960s Glen Anderson has devoted his life to working as a volunteer for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and progressive political issues. He has worked through many existing organizations and started several. Over the years he has worked especially for such wide-ranging goals as making peace with Vietnam, eliminating nuclear weapons, converting from a military economy to a peacetime economy, abolishing the death penalty, promoting nonviolence at all levels throughout society, and helping people organize and strategize for grassroots movements to solve many kinds of problems. He writes, speaks, and conducts training workshops on a wide variety of topics. Since 1987 he has produced and hosted a one-hour cable TV interview program on many kinds of issues. Since 2017 he has blogged at He lives in Lacey near Olympia WA. You can reach him at (360) 491-9093