In the Press

COP 26: A global attempt at preventing climate disaster

Summer 2021 was a great testament to the urgent need for the world to step up its efforts to combat climate change before our planet runs out of time. The extreme weather events which were experienced across the continents and the damning scientific evidence which came out of the IPCC report issued last August served to build up greater momentum for the world to expect bolder action from world leaders and governments at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) which is being held this month in Glasgow. Apart from last year’s postponement of the Conference in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, these two-week summits have happened every year since 1995 and have served to create a global approach to the discussions and negotiations surrounding the climate crisis. Beyond the increased climate urgency stimulated by the events of this Summer, the COVID-19 pandemic has also served to enhance the significance of this annual conference. The pandemic has forced the world to rethink its priorities and has made it ever more clear that human health and the health of our environment and biodiversity are inherently interlinked and co-dependent. The pandemic has therefore led to a renewed commitment to the preservation of our environment and the need to build back our economies in a way which stirs the course of our futures towards a different more sustainable path for the benefit of our planet, and in turn our health. Moreover, the COP26 is being perceived as the successor of COP 21 which was held in Paris in 2015 and which is considered as the most significant Climate Change conference in recent years. COP 21 is where the Paris Agreement was signed and where the goal to limit global warming to well below 2, ideally to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels, has been set. COP 26 is being viewed as the last chance for the world to commit to the steps which have remained unaddressed since 2015 and the lack of which is stifling our chances to meeting this target. As the situation stands, if global annual emissions remain at the present level, the amount of CO2 which can be emitted whilst still keeping global temperature rise below 1.5°C will be zero by the end of this decade. Keeping faithful to the Paris target will therefore imply a significant and rapid reduction in our carbon emissions. This will require world leaders and governments to come through in a way which has yet been lacking in negotiations which have taken place in past Climate Change conferences since the Paris Agreement. The first week of COP 26 brought together world leaders to announce their renewed and increased ambitions for the climate agenda. Perhaps the most striking aspect which marked this first week in Glasgow was the substantial myriad of pledges and announcements made by world leaders and organizations on the most pressing issues surrounding climate change. From a pledge to end deforestation by 2030 made by more than 130 countries to a multitude of pledges relating to increased climate funding. Although such pledges have created the right momentum for the COP negotiations, they lack the binding nature desired for true accountability to be enforced. As echoed by Prime Minister Robert Abela in his speech addressing the Climate Change Conference, if COP26 is to truly be a turning point for mankind, we need to walk the talk and we all have to be committed to do our part and to show solidarity with the most vulnerable countries. In this regard, the announcement made by Prime Minister Robert Abela with regard to Malta’s plans to double its financial contribution to the Green Climate Fund is truly commendable and is a testament to Malta’s commitment to a green and just global transition. The Green Climate Fund was created to support the efforts of developing countries in responding to the challenges of climate change. The call for concrete action, global ambition and increased solidarity have also been my main message and priority during the last week spent in Glasgow as part of the European Parliament delegation to the COP 26. During this week I had the opportunity to meet with the delegations of different countries across the world; from the most powerful economies to the most vulnerable islands across different continents. I have used this experience to recall Malta’s efforts in the fight against climate change notwithstanding our limited resources and our limited capacity in reducing carbon emissions. The only way to achieve effective results is through effective commitments and if a small island state like Malta can lead by example, so can the rest of the world!

MEP Cyrus Engerer


MaltaToday

My EP Work

Dashing from one meeting to another, to debating groundbreaking legislation with colleagues, stopping to give interviews to the media, or drafting resolutions - there are truly no two days which are identical at the European Parliament. However, our goal remains constant: to work for a stronger Europe which is just and equal, a Europe which we all are proud to call our home.

In the Press

Summer 2021 was a great testament to the urgent need for the world to step up its efforts to combat climate change before our planet runs out of time. The extreme weather events which were experienced across the continents and the damning scientific evidence which came out of the IPCC report issued last August served to build up greater momentum for the world to expect bolder action from world leaders and governments at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) which is being held this month in Glasgow. Apart from last year’s postponement of the Conference in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, these two-week summits have happened every year since 1995 and have served to create a global approach to the discussions and negotiations surrounding the climate crisis. Beyond the increased climate urgency stimulated by the events of this Summer, the COVID-19 pandemic has also served to enhance the significance of this annual conference. The pandemic has forced the world to rethink its priorities and has made it ever more clear that human health and the health of our environment and biodiversity are inherently interlinked and co-dependent. The pandemic has therefore led to a renewed commitment to the preservation of our environment and the need to build back our economies in a way which stirs the course of our futures towards a different more sustainable path for the benefit of our planet, and in turn our health. Moreover, the COP26 is being perceived as the successor of COP 21 which was held in Paris in 2015 and which is considered as the most significant Climate Change conference in recent years. COP 21 is where the Paris Agreement was signed and where the goal to limit global warming to well below 2, ideally to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels, has been set. COP 26 is being viewed as the last chance for the world to commit to the steps which have remained unaddressed since 2015 and the lack of which is stifling our chances to meeting this target. As the situation stands, if global annual emissions remain at the present level, the amount of CO2 which can be emitted whilst still keeping global temperature rise below 1.5°C will be zero by the end of this decade. Keeping faithful to the Paris target will therefore imply a significant and rapid reduction in our carbon emissions. This will require world leaders and governments to come through in a way which has yet been lacking in negotiations which have taken place in past Climate Change conferences since the Paris Agreement. The first week of COP 26 brought together world leaders to announce their renewed and increased ambitions for the climate agenda. Perhaps the most striking aspect which marked this first week in Glasgow was the substantial myriad of pledges and announcements made by world leaders and organizations on the most pressing issues surrounding climate change. From a pledge to end deforestation by 2030 made by more than 130 countries to a multitude of pledges relating to increased climate funding. Although such pledges have created the right momentum for the COP negotiations, they lack the binding nature desired for true accountability to be enforced. As echoed by Prime Minister Robert Abela in his speech addressing the Climate Change Conference, if COP26 is to truly be a turning point for mankind, we need to walk the talk and we all have to be committed to do our part and to show solidarity with the most vulnerable countries. In this regard, the announcement made by Prime Minister Robert Abela with regard to Malta’s plans to double its financial contribution to the Green Climate Fund is truly commendable and is a testament to Malta’s commitment to a green and just global transition. The Green Climate Fund was created to support the efforts of developing countries in responding to the challenges of climate change. The call for concrete action, global ambition and increased solidarity have also been my main message and priority during the last week spent in Glasgow as part of the European Parliament delegation to the COP 26. During this week I had the opportunity to meet with the delegations of different countries across the world; from the most powerful economies to the most vulnerable islands across different continents. I have used this experience to recall Malta’s efforts in the fight against climate change notwithstanding our limited resources and our limited capacity in reducing carbon emissions. The only way to achieve effective results is through effective commitments and if a small island state like Malta can lead by example, so can the rest of the world!

MEP Cyrus Engerer


MaltaToday

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My EP Work

Dashing from one meeting to another, to debating groundbreaking legislation with colleagues, stopping to give interviews to the media, or drafting resolutions - there are truly no two days which are identical at the European Parliament. However, our goal remains constant: to work for a stronger Europe which is just and equal, a Europe which we all are proud to call our home.