The U.N. summit has seen temperatures, tempers and hyperbole rise.
All participants to the 26th U.N. Conference face the possibility of failing. The Climate Change Conference (also known as COP26), begins Sunday and continues until November 12.
Six years ago, almost 200 countries signed individual plans to combat global warming in accordance with the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Leaders will gather in Glasgow over the next two weeks, starting Sunday, to follow the pact's next steps: Do more and do so faster
Except for a small drop due to the pandemics, carbon pollution caused by the burning of coal and oil is rising, not falling.
The world will emit 28 billion metric tonnes (31 billion U.S. tones) of greenhouse gases between now and 2030. This is more than the amount required to keep the planet below or at the limit set by Paris.
Vanessa Nakate, a Ugandan climate activist, stated that "everything is at stake" if leaders fail to take climate action. We cannot eat coal. We can't drink oil and we can't breathe the so-called natural gas.
A man was tasked to steer one of the most powerful economic blocs in the world through the climate transition, his words echo hers.
Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the European Commission, stated that "We are fighting to save humanity." "The greatest threats to humanity are climate change and the threatening ecocide."
Climate change is causing heat waves, flooding and drought, as well as nastier tropical storms. According to AIR Worldwide, extreme weather causes economic losses of $320 billion per year. And people die.
"The unhealthy choices that are killing the planet are also killing our people," Dr. Maria Neira (director of public health at the World Health Organization) said.
Scientists say that global warming won't cause humanity and the Earth to crash on the cliff. What happens in Glasgow will determine whether the world is able to avoid the most dire scenarios or if it goes downhill with perilous curves. This is a situation in which even a tenth of a degree can lead to increased risk.
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres stated Friday that "(the world) is still caringening towards climate disaster," despite some countries' recent emission pledges. "There is a risk that Glasgow won't deliver," Guterres said.
Since months, U.N. officials had set concrete goals to ensure that these negotiations would succeed.
-- All countries must pledge to cut carbon emissions by 45% by 2030, compared to 2010.
Contributions from rich countries to aid poor countries should be at least $100 billion per year
The adaptation to the worst effects of climate change must receive half of this amount.
The Paris pact requires nations to review their pledges to reduce carbon pollution every five year and then to announce plans to do more. This year's meeting, delayed by the pandemic for a year, will be the first to include the necessary ratcheting-up of ambitions.
It is hoped that world leaders will work together to do more and that the financial support for poorer countries that are struggling with climate change will be available.
Paris set a goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degree Fahrenheit) in preindustrial times. Yet, the world has warmed by 1.1 degrees Celsius (2° Fahrenheit).
All analyses of the current climate-change promises by governments show that they aren't enough to stop global warming at this point, but will instead cause at least another degree of warming or a degree and half Celsius (about 2 to 3-degree Fahrenheit).
In August, all five emission scenarios were examined in a huge UN scientific assessment. They show that the world will exceed the 1.5-degree Celsius threshold by 2030s. However, several researchers have told the AP that technically it is possible to either stay below that limit or temporarily increase it.
In 2015, small island nations and vulnerable communities claimed that 2 degrees would kill them. They insist on 1.5 degrees.
Tina Stege (climate envoy for Marshall Islands), stated that "our way of living is at risk." "Our ability provide for our children a secure and safe future is at risk. Marshall Islands and other Atoll Nations are not able to retreat to higher ground.
On Friday, environmental protesters attacked big banks in London's Financial Centre. Parts of Scotland were experiencing unusually heavy rain, which scientists believe is increasing due to global warming.
Glasgow is divided between nations and trust is difficult because of it.
The carbon-belching energy was developed by rich countries, such as the United States and European countries. They are now asking the poor to reduce or eliminate their use of fossil fuels. They have promised to pay $100 billion per year to assist developing countries in switching to clean energy.
The funding has been far below that amount so far.
Guterres stated that failure to honor this promise is a major cause of erosion of trust between developing and developed nations.
Major emerging economies may be the key to success, but China, the largest carbon emitter in the world, has submitted a revised national target this week that is only slightly stronger than its prior proposal.
China is so vital that every nation must follow the 45% global emission reduction, and China does not, the world's total emissions will fall only 30% according to Claire Fyson (a top analyst at Climate Action Tracker), a group that analyses emission pledges.
U.N. said that every country would be asked to contribute more in Glasgow at the end. Environment Programme Director Inger Andersen. She said that China and the U.S. make up the majority of the effort.
Andersen stated to the AP that "We need these powers to put aside all else and show true climate leadership because that is what it will require."