Reflections on COP26

COP26 has concluded: 195 countries have agreed to new measures to keep average global temperature change below 2°C and as close as possible to 1.5°C. However, while many commitments made steps in the right directions, AVERE feels more needs to be done:

 – The declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans, although non-binding, is a positive step in the right direction. But it does not go far enough with its ambition to phase out internal combustion by 2040 only, and by 2035 in leading markets. The IEA estimates that in order to keep the Paris agreement alive, a global phase-out will be needed by 2035. It is also highly regrettable that key nations – notably Germany and France – and key European industry players are absent from the list of signatories.

 – We must set the scene today to ensure a mass shift to decarbonised transport. Governments must be ready to commit resources and pass policies to shape up the full ecosystem that enables the use of clean vehicles, from a fossil-free energy value chain to user education to a network of charging infrastructure adequate to answer the needs of electric drivers.

 – The upcoming global mass uptake of EVs must be powered by clean energy. Future climate summits need to go beyond a “phase-down” of “unabated” coal subsidies and beyond abolishing “inefficient” fossil fuels subsidies, building a truly decarbonised and future-proof energy system.

We will continue to campaign in Europe and beyond to help make sure that actions will follow on the COP results and that policymakers commit to more and more profound efforts to stave off the worst consequences of climate change.