The European Union has agreed to back 5-year climate targets at the upcoming COP26 climate change conference in which countries will try and iron out burrs in rules which will put the Paris Agreement into effect.
COP26, which is to be held in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12, will see countries attempting to unblock years of negotiations on technical rules. One issue which will be addressed is whether their climate targets under the Paris 2015 accord should follow a “common timeframe”.
Environment ministers from EU countries agreed to support the view that countries should set climate targets every five years.
The EU will express its preference for five-year targets “only in the case all parties would be required to do so and in a manner consistent with the European climate law,” said EU ministers in a statement.
The EU move will boost the negotiating position of small island states, African countries as well as that of the United States.
The 5-year target, as opposed to a 10-year target, will maintain some pressure on countries to set ambitious targets, and help track whether emission cuts are fast enough to avert catastrophic climate change. There is also the worry that long term pledges will allow countries to set weak climate goals which will allow them to fly under the radar for a whole decade.