# Did COP26 deliver?

Jaspreet Duhra, S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI), explores the opportunities that came out of the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, and why S&P DJI will continue to produce rules-based indices that align with a 1.5° Celsius scenario

The dust has now settled on the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). Did the gathering of almost 200 nations succeed in putting us on a path towards limiting warming to 1.5°C?

COP26 concluded with the signing of the Glasgow Pact, which agreed to “keep 1.5°C alive”. Some of the agreements made include strengthening 2030 emissions reduction targets, annually revising these targets and a “phase-down” of coal.

However, post-COP26, many felt an air of deflation. Alok Sharma, president of COP26, said: “We’re all well aware that, collectively, our climate ambition and action to date have fallen short on the promises made in [the Paris Agreement on climate change].”

### Some areas of concern

There was a lack of visible commitment and priority from some of the world’s largest polluters. Notably absent were national leaders from China and Russia, the largest and fifth-largest contributors, respectively, of national carbon dioxide emissions. However, China did issue a surprise declaration on Enhancing Climate Change Action in the 2020s in partnership with the US.

### What does this mean for indices?

As a provider of climate benchmarks, we closely follow developments at all UN Climate Change Conferences and evolving investor requirements. Increased demand from asset owners and commitments made by asset managers to account for climate change in their portfolios result in more interest surrounding net-zero-aligned indices.

The S&P PACT indices (S&P Paris-Aligned & Climate Transition Indices) are 1.5°C-aligned and available in several regional exposures, with the S&P UK Net Zero 2050 Paris-Aligned ESG Index being the most recent addition.

S&P DJI is committed to providing transparency on the methodology of its indices and regularly discloses how the sustainability objectives of its S&P PACT Indices are met.

Time will tell if COP26 will be remembered as a success. In the meantime, S&P DJI will continue to produce rules-based indices that align with a 1.5°C scenario to help investors on the path to net zero.

Jaspreet Duhra
Managing director, global head of ESG indices, S&P Dow Jones Indices

Jaspreet Duhra is involved in the design, methodology and strategic direction of S&P DJI ESG Indices globally. S&P DJI caters to a diverse spectrum of ESG investing needs, from best-in-class approaches such as ESG Elite to broad-market ESG alternatives to mainstream indices such as the S&P 500 ESG Index.

ESG strategies – Special report 2021