Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development

COP26 Climate Summit: IGSD experts available to comment

October 29, 2021

Climate emissions are accelerating and the 1.5°C barrier for keeping the climate relatively safe could be breached within a decade or less, accelerating self-reinforcing feedbacks where the Earth starts to warm itself and risking passing irreversible tipping points with potentially catastrophic impacts. At COP26 governments must commit to speed and scale up climate action to avoid the most warming in the shortest period of time and to protect the most vulnerable people and ecosystems. Their action this November will decide the fate of billions of people, for years to come. IGSD experts are available to comment.

Durwood Zaelke, with four decades of climate negotiation experience, is the founder and president of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development. His focus is on fast mitigation strategies to protect the climate, including reducing the short-lived climate pollutants–methane, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), black carbon, and tropospheric ozone. Over the past two decades, Zaelke helped craft climate policies under the Montreal Protocol and is now focused on methane mitigation at the global level. Zaelke is an adjunct professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, where he co-founded the Program on Governance for Sustainable Development.

“We are out of time to continue slow-walking climate solutions. Taking President Biden and John Kerry’s lead we must refocus climate policy on 2030 and make this decade the decade of climate action.”

Cutting methane is the only strategy we have that can reduce near-term warming fast enough to slow the self-reinforcing feedbacks where the earth warms itself and humans lose the chance to control their fate. At COP26 methane action must be given top priority.”

Contact: zaelke@igsd.org

Dr. Gabrielle Dreyfus is Senior Scientist at the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development. She is a climate scientist and policy expert with over a decade of experience working in the U.S. government to advance international climate and clean energy policy. Dr. Dreyfus is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. This year, she served as a technical reviewer of the IEA report Curtailing Methane Emissions from Fossil Fuel Operations, the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, and UNEP and the Climate & Clean Air Coalition’s Global Methane Assessment, and led the 2020 UNEP and IEA Cooling Synthesis Report. See the full publication list here.

“In 2021 climate disruption has been kicking down our door. The frequency and intensity of these extremes are frightening, and if we don’t want to face an even more punishing future, governments must commit to climate action at COP26 at the speed and scale of the climate emergency. This means committing to reduce methane emissions, which is the best and fastest lever to bend the temperature curve and give us time to decarbonize by 2050.”

Contact: gdreyfus@igsd.org

For additional press inquiries, contact IGSD Media Coordinator Giselle Gonzalez, ggonzalez@igsd.org