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Turning Point Glasgow? An Assessment of the Climate Conference COP26

Wolfgang Obergassel, Christof Arens, Christiane Beuermann, Victoria Brandemann, Lukas Hermwille, Nicolas Kreibich, Hermann E. Ott, Meike Spitzner


The Glasgow climate conference marked a symbolic juncture, lying half-way between the adoption of the UNFCCC in 1992 and the year 2050 in which according to the IPCC special report on the 1.5°C limit net zero CO2 emissions need to be reached, globally, in order to maintain a good chance of achieving the 1.5°C limit. This article undertakes an assessment of what the UNFCCC and in particular the Paris Agreement and its implementation process have actually achieved so far up to and including the results of the Glasgow conference. The article discusses efforts at ambition raising both within and outside the formal diplomatic process, the finalization of the implementation rules of the Paris Agreement, as well as progress on gender responsiveness, climate finance, adaptation and loss and damage. In summary, the Paris Agreement and its implementation can be considered a success as it is having a discernible impact on the behavior of parties as well as on non-party actors. However, significant further efforts will be required to actually achieve the objectives of the Agreement.

Wolfgang Obergassel, Co-Head of Research Unit, Wuppertal Institute; Christof Arens, Senior Researcher, Wuppertal Institute; Christiane Beuermann, Vice-Director and Co-Head of Research Unit, Wuppertal Institute; Victoria Brandemann, Researcher, Wuppertal Institute; Lukas Hermwille, Senior Researcher, Wuppertal Institute; Nicolas Kreibich, Senior Researcher, Wuppertal Institute; Hermann E. Ott, Head of German office, Client Earth; Meike Spitzner, Senior Researcher, Wuppertal Institute, Hanna Wang-Helmreich, Researcher, Wuppertal Institute. For correspondence: Wolfgang Obergassel <>, Christof Arens <>, Christiane Beuermann <>, Victoria Brandemann <>, Lukas Hermwille <>, Nicolas Kreibich <>, Hermann E. Ott <>, Meike Spitzner <>.


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