The UN’s upcoming climate conference, COP26, has been billed by many as the world’s last chance to agree the ambitious commitments required to limit global warming to +1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, the temperature increase which scientists agree would avoid the worst effects of climate change. The conference has many important issues to consider, but the overarching measure of its success will be whether steps are taken to cut global emissions to net zero by the middle of the century and so keep 1.5°C within reach. At the time of writing this looks like a pipedream, but a lot could yet change before the end of the conference. So, what credible steps consistent with 1.5°C could we see? And what else should we look for at COP26 — and beyond?
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