go to top
John Kerry, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, speaks with Alok Sharma, president of summit John Kerry, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, speaks with Alok Sharma, president of the COP26 summit, during a stock-taking plenary session at the COP26 U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 13, 2021 (AP photo Alberto Pezzali).

COP26 Exposed the Sorry State of Climate Diplomacy

Monday, Nov. 22, 2021

As former U.S. President Barack Obama once mused, there are times in global diplomacy, as in baseball, when “hitting singles” is adequate. This month’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow was not one of those moments. With the fate of the planet on the line, world leaders should have been swinging for the fences. Instead, they played small ball, chalking up only incremental gains rather than the historic breakthrough the occasion demanded. 

Going into the Glasgow summit, the United Nations Environment Program had delivered some blunt news: The world’s emissions reduction pledges before COP26 accounted for only one-seventh of the reduction actually needed to limit the rise in average global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. In fact, emissions were on track to increase by the end of the decade, with global temperatures slated to rise a catastrophic 2.7 degrees Celsius. Given the high stakes, COP26 was, in the words of U.S. climate envoy John Kerry, “the last best hope for the world.”  ...

To read more,

enter your email address then choose one of the three options below.

Subscribe to World Politics Review and you'll receive instant access to 10,000+ articles in the World Politics Review Library, along with new comprehensive analysis every weekday . . . written by leading topic experts.