Recapping COP26

The UN’s consequential climate change conference ended Sunday—here’s what happened and why biotech solutions are important factors in the discussion.

We have a deal. Nearly 200 countries (including the U.S.) agreed to the Glasgow Climate Pact, which includes a commitment to “accelerating efforts” to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and “phasing down” coal, explains New Scientist.

The positives: It’s the first COP text to specifically address coal and countries agreed to “revisit and strengthen” 2030 plans by the end of next year.

But: “Pledges at COP26 are expected to see Earth warm 2.4°C this century, better than the predicted 2.7°C predicted before the summit but still a rise that would bring extreme climate impacts and see countries overshoot their shared goals of 1.5°C and “well below” 2°C,” continues New Scientist.

On methane: “More than 100 countries agreed to cut emissions of methane, a potent planet-warming gas, 30 percent by the end of this decade,” reports The New York Times.

On carbon markets: Negotiators came to an agreement on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which covers carbon markets. “Crucially, negotiators agreed to limit the use of pre-2020 credits from the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism in the Paris architecture, avoiding a wholesale flooding of the market for carbon credits that could have sent their price plummeting,” explains S&P Global.

BIO was front and center in the conversation—announcing our role as Knowledge Partner in the USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM), while Dr. Michelle joined international leaders across the supply chain to discuss how we can reduce emissions across the health care sector.

BIO sought to make it clear: If we want to achieve our climate goals, we need biotech—low-carbon and zero-carbon biofuels, fossil-fuel-free alternatives for plasticsand chemicals, and agriculture technology that can reduce emissions, help farmers and landowners participate in carbon markets, and make our food supply more resilient.

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