What is the COP-26 Summit and why was Joe Biden there?


Katy Clark

The conference is held in a new location every time and features countries from all around the world. The first conference was held in Berlin, Germany.

Katy Clark, Senior Staff Writer

Countries from around the world met in Glasgow, Scotland for the COP-26 summit to discuss climate change and actions nations can take to go green. This year Joe Biden made an appearance, representing the United States interest in protecting the environment.

“Anytime there is a global event like a COP event, representation from all countries is I think necessary. I would say it is important that the United States has a player at the table, especially if there are going to be global decisions being made, as the United States is impacted by global decisions, so I would say it is important politically for the United States to be there,” said Micheal Boone, Civics and Economics teacher.

President Biden has shown his interest in protecting the environment by instituting sustainable policies and devoting a portion of the Infrastructure Bill, a bill for more than a trillion dollars, to clean energy.  

 “I would say [climate change] is definitely a focus for Biden in comparison with president Trump. His social program trying to get passed is also focusing on the environmental side,” said Boone.

The conference’s main goals align with the Paris Agreement, started in 2016 at COP-21, that seeks to curb the rise of global warming and come up with sustainable activities that nations can implement in their society.

“Change has to come from above in order to be meaningful. We can all do our own individual things to impact the climate but really it’s the government and regulations and businesses that are going to make the monumental change,” said Robyn Fewster, Ap Environmental teacher.

This conference is important in promoting global unity among nations, uniting the world under a global issue that affects everyone on the planet, global warming and the lack of nonrenewable resources.

“I was listening to a couple of podcasts on this and so in terms of the main leaders, your US’s, your Great Britains, the EU countries, Germany etc are doing their statements saying how important climate change is. The past week was where you saw the protests, the individuals who they were  focusing on, especially the youth because you know obviously climate change is going to have more of a direct impact on them whether that is economically or in terms of their quality of life, said Boone.

The goals of the summit also include providing aid to less developed countries to help them modify their economy to use new forms of renewable energy instead of coal, oil, and natural gas. These changes would help to protect their environment, creating a cleaner country with a higher standard of living.

“The United States and China, together,  are the top two polluters. That is obviously having a disproportionate effect on let’s say any sub Saharan African country. Those Sub Saharan African countries are disproportionately impacted  and of course would be poorer countries so they can not obviously spend the money on the infrastructure to move past using fossil fuels ie coal, oil methane etc and so it is up to the United States, China and other rich wealthy countries to put the money where the mouth is, said Boone.

However some individuals are skeptical whether this conference will produce successful attempts at curbing global warming. The first COP event was held in 1995 and 25 conferences have followed, but the threat of global warming is still imminent as people continue to overuse fossil fuels and practice unsustainable acts.

“Of course I am hopeful that it will have a positive impact but I worry that it will be a lot of talking but no action like it has been for the last 30 or 40 years so I hope they actually put some teeth into some of these agreements,” said Fewster.