Climate change has become the buzzword when it comes to humanity on earth. COP26 and its predecessors (previous COP numbers, i.e., 23, 24, 25) aim to correct the wrongs of the past and protect the future for our children.
If either Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos had it their way, future generations would be living on either Mars or the Moon, based on their visions. Farfetched as it may sound, I would not bet against the pair of them; they are outliers!
Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. There are many theories if these shifts are natural or manmade; however, since the 1800s, human activities have been considered the main driver of climate change, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels (like coal, oil and gas), which produces heat-trapping gases. So I am guessing ND’s blog post on worries associated with flights is not a great advocate of carbon neutrality?
What Does COP26 Mean?
COP is an abbreviation for ‘Conference of the Parties’. It brings together almost every country on earth for global climate summits (almost every country, for COP26, both Russia and China did not send their leaders). The United Nations have been doing this for nearly the past three decades. As a result, climate issues are now a global priority.
This year was the 26th annual summit, hence the name COP26. The UK acted as the President (host), the summit took place in Glasgow.
COP26 – What We Learned
The COP26 summit was a big step for international cooperation in healing the planet!
All the countries of the world sat down together and worked out a plan for stopping climate change. This plan was called the Glasgow Climate Pact.
However, what were the key things we learned from the COP26 summit?
Saving the Trees!
Deforestation is a big part of climate change worries. This is because trees absorb a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2), which humans and machines produce all the time.
100 countries have agreed to stop deforestation by 2030. These 100 countries have 85% of the forests in the world.
By stopping deforestation, we also protect natural ecosystems and ensure that kids have places where they can see nature. So hopefully, the family trips to the forest for a nature walk can continue longer.
Cutting CO2 Emissions
CO2 emissions are the heart of the problem, so the COP26 summit tackled the problem at the source. Many countries will meet next year to talk more about stopping CO2 emissions.
This probably means that we will see less plastic in our homes. This might mean returning to wooden toys and plastic-free food packaging for kids. Obviously, this is better for the environment, but it’s also better for families.
Clean Energy for Homes to Improve Climate
The way we power our homes makes a difference to climate change. A lot of your electricity, gas and other household necessities come from fossil fuels – non-renewable energy sources that harm the environment when they’re used.
However, there’s been a staggering $130tn pledged to create clean, renewable energy sources. So, instead of powering the home with fossil fuels, we might start to see solar power or wind power become more common.
Not only does this make sure that we practice clean living right now, but our children and their future families will hopefully grow up in a better world too.
No More Coal?
One of the final big announcements from COP26 was a pledge to reduce how much coal we use in the world. Coal is responsible for 40% of annual CO2 emissions all by itself.
By cutting coal out of the equation and reducing how much we use, many people will have better air quality, and the planet will get a chance to breathe.
Final Thoughts for Children
So ultimately, there were some pretty big takeaways from the COP26 summit. First, we learned that a lot of action is being taken to undo the climate change damage we’ve seen so far.
It’s definitely essential to get your kids to think about the environment, even if it’s just in small ways. For example, you can teach them about recycling and ensure they don’t waste electricity. These lessons have a significant impact on how they move through the world.
We all have to come together to ensure that the planet is nursed back to health. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, but if we all pull together, we’ll be able to make sure that future generations can live on a healthy, thriving planet.
- Corey S. Powell (15 May 2019) “Jeff Bezos foresees a trillion people living in millions of space colonies. Here’s what he’s doing to get the ball rolling”, NBC News [Accessed 7 December 2021]
- Michael Sheetz (23 April 2021) “Elon Musk wants SpaceX to reach Mars, so humanity is not a ‘single-planet species”, CNBC [Accessed 7 December 2021]
- United Nations “Climate Action”, UN Website [Accessed 7 December 2021]
- United Nations “What Is A Cop?”, UkCOP26 Website [Accessed 7 December 2021]