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Glasgow Chronicles: EU and the US announce a global pledge to slash methane  

​We are pleased to share the second of the COP26 Glasgow Chronicles series, bringing you updates on the activities and key messages that the members of the European Committee of the Regions are delivering at COP26. This second issue includes major COP26 developments and new pledges and additional press coverage.

Let's first start with a short recap on the conclusions of the World Leaders Summit which took place on 1 and 2 November. More than 100 world leaders promised to end and reverse deforestation by 2030, in the COP26 climate summit's first major deal. The countries who have signed the pledge - including the EU, most EU Member States, Canada, Brazil, Russia, China, Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the US and the UK cover around 85% of the world's forests. The full list of countries having joined the end to deforestation pledge can be found here. This commitment will be backed by public and private funding, which amount to $12bn and $7.2bn respectively.

The second major takeway of the COP26 opening is the EU and the US announcing a global pledge to slash methane. EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden made the announcement on Tuesday. The Global Methane Pledge has been signed by 103 countries so far, including major emitters such as Brazil, Nigeria and Canada. The objective is to limit methane emissions by 30% compared with 2020 levels. You can find out all details in this BBC report. 

It must be noted that none of both pledges are actually binding.  Nevertheless,  it seems COP26 is bringing new hope since 'Pledges to limit greenhouse gas emissions made so far at the Glasgow climate conference could keep world temperature rises to below 2C', writes The Times.

DAY 4. Wednesday 3 November the COP26 has been the Finance Day in which a sticking number of central bank governors, senior industry leaders, head of multilateral financial institutions, and finance ministers have discussed the potential of public and private funding for the race to a net zero, climate resilient world. Countries have agreed to the disposition of $130tn of private finance in order to create, develop and implement science-based solutions to climate change. Furthermore, commitments were also made to support developing countries in facing the various challenges that climate change poses on their countries. The main aim of these initiatives was to facilitate developing countries' access to funds in order to unwrap their climate plans. In addition, to create and ensure common standards, 36 countries favored the creation of a new international body, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB)

DAY 5.  End of Coal in Sight at COP26. The 4th of November has been the Energy Day in Glasgow. The focus is on accelerating the global transition towards green and sustainable energy sources. The UK COP26 presidency reports that 'at least 23 countries have made new commitments today to phase out coal power, including five of the world’s top 20 coal power-using countries'. Read the press release here.

Local Governments and Municipal Authorities Constituency (LGMA) Daily Briefings.

The members of the LGMA constituency can follow daily updates on the progress of the negotiations at COP26. For that, you must register to the Multilevel Action Pavilion.

The first daily briefing took place on 2 November. Click here to watch it.   The second one took place today, 4 November. The image above summarises the key milestones of the LGMA constituency as the representative group of cities and regions in the UN system. LGMA has three main areas of focus. First, multilevel must become the new normal, where national or supranational bodies work hand in hand with local and regional authorities and actors. Second, the localization of appropriate financial means to foster sustainable, integrated urban and territorial development. Third, action must be just for all, not leaving anyone behind.

Rural areas have also been on the spotlight on November 4 at COP26 as the OECD organised the event 'Rural Regions – realizing the net-zero opportunity'. The objective was to demonstrate that rural areas are central to the green and just transition and assess how rural regions can benefit from the opportunities of the transition towards a net-zero economy. National rural policies must adapt to the different needs within the large variety of rural, remote and mountain areas in order to develop six key areas including the deployment of renewable energies, capacity-building, land-use and ecosystem services, circular and bio-economy, decarbonising transport, and evidence based policy making.

On press coverage today November 4, Spanish Europa Press publishes the first statement of Juan Espadas on COP26. The Mayor of Seville, Chair of the CoR’s ENVE commission and Green Deal Going Local working group, and one of the members of the European Committee of the Regions’ (CoR) official delegation to COP26 stressed that “The climate crisis is here, and it is an existential threat to humanity. At COP26, we must bring the voice of the many cities and regions that are working tirelessly to fight the climate emergency”.

Also, the Czech Republic's environmental web portal Ekolist shares an opinion article by  the Mayor of Prague, Zdeněk Hřib, who stresses the city's will to move towards carbon neutrality, making the city greener, reducing waste production, increasing waste recycling rates and developing sustainable modes of energy production. The Mayor of Prague announces his participation at COP26 and the presentation of a resolution of the Pact of Free Cities together with the Mayor of Budapest, in an event that is to take place on November 10 in Glasgow where the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, will also be present. The Pact of Free Cities is a cooperation agreement between the mayors of Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw, and Budapest - Zdeněk Hřib, Matúš Vallo, Rafał Trzaskowski, and Gergely Karácsony respectively - signed on 16 December 2019 at Central European University in Budapest.

DAY 6 Preview. On 5 November, the CoR will have two members speaking at COP26.

Markku Markkula (FI/EPP) will speak at the 'Climate Adaptation Event' at 11:30 (Brussels time) organized by Westphalia.

Emma Nohrén (SE/Greens) will participate to the event 'The Role of Academies of Science in Climate Change Policy Action' which will take place at 12:00 (Brussels time) in the South Africa Pavilion in Glasgow. Please click here to register for this virtual Zoom event

Do not forget to click here to download the CoR official delegation and key messages to COP26 and visit our COP26 web portal.

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