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President Joe Biden shakes hands with President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen

President Joe Biden shakes hands with President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen

World Leaders Head to Glasgow for 'COP26' Climate Summit

November 5, 2021

World Leaders Head to Glasgow for 'COP26' Climate Summit

Ask students: Who is interviewed in this piece, and what is her background? What is the reason global leaders are meeting in Glasgow, Scotland this week?

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Summary

World leaders made a climate pledge on coal and recognized the importance of reaching carbon neutrality ‘by or around mid-century’ on the final day of the G20 summit in Rome. Meanwhile, the United Nations’ climate summit COP26 officially began in Glasgow, Scotland amid dire warnings by scientists on the time left to cap global warming to 1.5 celsius. New York Times climate reporter Somini Sengupta joins.

COP26 marks the 26th “conference of parties,” or all the countries that have signed on to international climate change action starting with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and later the Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement was the last major international agreement on climate change designed to reduce key countries’ greenhouse gas emissions to keep global average temperatures from rising 2 degrees celsius or more. It was adopted in 2015.

The G20 or “group of 20” is a forum for diplomacy and economic agreements made up of the 19 largest national economies and the European Union (economic and political alliance of European countries). The forum represents leadership of two-thirds of the world population and more than 75% of international trade.

Discussion Questions

  1. Who is interviewed in this piece, and what is her background?
  2. What is the reason global leaders are meeting in Glasgow, Scotland this week?
  3. When did world leaders last sign a major agreement on climate, and how successful has it been, according to this piece?
  4. Why are experts eager to commit to keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius due to climate change?
  5. How are the actions of leadership in the so-called “G-20” nations important to avert the most serious problems of climate change?

Focus Question

Why do you think world leaders are so reluctant to impose caps on carbon production in their own countries despite acknowledging the importance of reducing carbon emissions across the globe?

Media Literacy

What terms or organizations did you hear about in this report that you didn’t know about or don’t fully understand? Write them down and then discuss as a class.

Additional Resources

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Extra.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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