4 of the biggest deals you should know about this Black Friday

For Black Friday, here’s a breakdown of some of the big deals made at COP26 for the climate and environment. Because there’s no planet BOGOF.


Black Friday means deals, deals, deals for consumers (and massive overproduction and senseless waste for corporations).

But this year, some of the biggest and most important deals were the ones just made by governments at COP26, covering how to stop climate change.

Plenty of big-ticket deals were made at COP26 in Glasgow, including the Glasgow Climate Pact and the Declaration On Forests And Land Use. 

Here’s the essential guide to some of the deals that matter most this year, to show you exactly where people and planet are being shortchanged.

1. The Paris climate agreement: still a hot deal – just please no hotter than 1.5ºC

COP26 in Glasgow was the big opportunity for countries to set out their plans and deliver on the ambition of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

The Paris agreement established that vital target of keeping global warming below a 1.5°C increase in temperature, and definitely way under 2ºC. 

It also saw wealthier nations reaffirm their 2009 pledge of $100 billion annually by 2020 to help the rest of the world with finance and technology to deal with the crisis.

This deal was seen as a significant moment for the climate in 2015. And there’s no doubt that the Paris agreement sparked a huge new wave of “net zero” commitments across companies and governments. 

But just like that Black Friday online order that might seem okay, what’s actually been delivered so far is disappointing.

This is clear from the main deal made at the very end of COP26: The Glasgow Climate Pact.

2. The Glasgow Climate Pact: coal gets a phase-down, but finance still needs a phase-up

Some progress was made at COP26. For example, there is a new obligation on countries to update their climate targets next year in order to inch emission cuts closer to the 1.5ºC goal.

But Glasgow showed that rich countries are failing to make good on their pledges to most-affected nations.The $100-billion-a-year target still hasn’t been reached, and the high-emitting rich world is still short-changing more vulnerable countries. 

These countries desperately need finance to protect themselves against climate impacts which are getting worse around the world

In terms of fossil fuels, the Glasgow deal was significant for being the first time “coal” or “fossil fuels” was ever mentioned in a UN climate deal. This was thanks to the sustained pressure of Indigenous leaders, young people and activists. But it does raise the question – what have they been talking about at the previous 25 COPs?!

So is the Glasgow Climate Pact a good deal? Yes and no. There’s still a huge financial burden on poorer countries on the frontlines of a crisis they did very little to cause – which is making it hard to build trust in these meetings. 

And overall, the plans agreed at this conference don’t put the world on a path to 1.5ºC.

But what was agreed – the requirement to come back next year with updated plans and clearer processes and mechanisms for richer countries to show more solidarity with poorer countries – means there’s still a lot to fight for. This will be especially important in the run-up to and at COP27, which will be in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt.

Phew – the 1.5ºC goal could still be within reach.

3. The COP26 carbon markets deal – a scam deal?

Another deal agreed by nearly 200 countries at COP26 was the rules for Article 6 of the Paris agreement

Article 6 is about countries working together to take climate action, but it’s become narrowly focused on carbon markets – which is basically trading the right to pollute, and includes carbon offsetting.

You’ve probably heard about carbon offsetting, and you might be confused as to what it is. You’re not alone. 

Offsetting is essentially countries or companies paying other countries – often in the Global South – to “offset” the climate pollution they generate rather than reducing it directly.

A big problem with carbon offsetting is that it doesn’t really work – so if you are still confused, you’re probably getting it.

This deal on Article 6 going through at Glasgow is almost certainly bad news, because carbon offsetting is almost certainly a colossal scam that will delay reducing emissions. 

It effectively puts a big “SALE” sign on big bits of nature like rainforests, and isn’t a great deal for anyone, really – especially Indigenous Peoples. 

The only “green” this guarantees is the money in CEOs’ pockets.

4. The COP26 Forest Deal – the failure to make a meat-free meal deal

This was a deal between 100 nations to supposedly stop deforestation around the world by 2030. Unlike previous deals on global forests, Brazil signed up – in itself a bit of a red flag. 🚩

There’s a clear reason Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro felt comfortable signing on to this new deal. It allows another decade of forest destruction, it isn’t binding, and doesn’t address one of the primary causes of deforestation: industrial meat and dairy production.

Any claims that we can stop deforestation without a reduction in global meat consumption (and support for farmers to transition to sustainable agriculture) are simply false.

The best bit of this deal could be the money – countries pledged almost £14 billion to end deforestation by 2030, and a £1.1 billion fund to protect the world’s second-largest tropical rainforest, the Congo Basin. But the sums being brought forward are still a tiny fraction of what’s needed, and there’s still major questions about whether this money will actually go towards protecting nature and Indigenous rights, rather than lining the pockets of forest destroyers.  

But how good is a deal that doesn’t focus on one of the biggest causes of deforestation and is clearly going to be very low on enforcement? 

UK prime minister Boris Johnson said that consumers would be key to holding companies and financial institutions to account on deforestation “even if governments do break the pledges that they’re making”. 

We’re tired – do we have to do everything around here?

*Sigh* At least Veganuary is just around the corner.



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