Before the COP26 summit: these are the targets of the four biggest climate offenders

Before the COP26 summit: these are the targets of the four biggest climate offenders

Will the course be set for climate protection in Glasgow? At least that is the ambitious plan of the participants.

Starting Sunday, representatives from 197 countries will meet at this year’s World Climate Summit (COP26) in a Scottish city to find a common way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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The four largest climate sinners are also present in COP26: China, the US, the European Union and India.

BILD shows, in some cases, the four ambitious goals announced before the summit begins and how feasible these goals are at the moment:


The most populous country in the world produces by far the most greenhouse gases.

China is the largest consumer of coal in the world. Despite the massive expansion of alternative energy and nuclear power, the second largest economy bases about 60 percent of its energy supply on coal.

State and party leader Xi Jinping has officially promised that China’s emissions will only increase by 2030 and fall from this year. China also wants to become carbon neutral by 2060.

But: China is in a dilemma. The demand for electricity in the country continues to grow – so fast that the country is currently facing an acute energy crisis due to rationing of electricity and shutdown of production. The country’s economic growth is already suffering.

That’s why China is currently moving in the opposite direction of its own plans. Because: Currently more coal has to be extracted and imported than before so that there is enough energy for the summer season in winter.

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United States

US President Joe Biden ordered America’s withdrawal in the 2015 Paris Agreement as one of his first acts.

His ambitious goal: The United States should generate electricity without carbon dioxide emissions by 2035 and reduce its CO2 emissions to near zero by 2050, at the latest.

He also announced that the US intends to cut emissions of climate-damaging greenhouse gases by at least half compared to 2005 levels by 2030.

It is uncertain whether Biden can actually deliver. A large part of his climate agenda is being crushed in internal party disputes among his Democrats. Their “Clean Energy Payment Program” (CEPP) program is in jeopardy.

Meaning: Biden travels to Glasgow with weak negotiating position. However, he is bringing reinforcements with him: Foreign Minister Tony Blinken, Transport Minister Pete Buttigieg and Energy Minister Jennifer Granholm are also traveling with Biden to Scotland.

The European Union

EU member states want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent from 1990 levels by 2030. Earlier, a target of only minus 40 per cent was set. With the most recent climate legislation, the goal of greenhouse gas neutrality was set by the year 2050.

In other words: by 2050, all emissions in the EU should be avoided as far as possible. Everything that is released even then must be balanced.

However, the EU has some gripes in terms of implementation: although the EU Commission submitted specific proposals in the summer, these will be negotiated at the earliest – after the French presidential election in April 2022.

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And: a number of measures result in increased costs for consumers: stricter carbon dioxide limit prices for cars and a different emissions trading system for road traffic and the construction sector: the latter is expected to result in increased fuel prices and costs. Chances are. Heating with coal, natural gas or oil.

Ahead of the summit, Chancellor Angela Merkel and her EU allies called for more engagement in the fight against global warming. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has called for more efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “We have to get better, there’s no question about it,” she said of the “Augsburger Allgemeine” (Saturday edition). “If we stop trying, the results will be dramatic.”


As the second most populous country in the world after China, the United States and the European Union, India is the fourth largest producer of carbon dioxide.

India’s official target is to achieve about 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030, of which only 100 GW has been achieved. India is yet to commit to climate neutrality.

And: the country will need much more energy in the future than it is today. Millions of people have yet to get electricity. The country is increasingly dependent on renewable energy for growth – but also on coal, which currently provides most of the energy in India.

The Indian government is also of the opinion that the country is already doing enough for the climate.

What is the COP World Climate Summit?

The World Climate Conference meets once a year, always in a different country.

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At the invitation of the United Nations, nearly 200 countries will debate for two weeks how global warming can be controlled. COP stands for “Convention of the Parties”, which means Conference of the Parties – meaning the states that have signed the so-called Framework Convention on Climate Change.

This year they meet for the 26th time in Glasgow – hence COP26. About 25,000 people are expected to arrive – not only government officials, but also thousands of journalists and climate protection activists.


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