Glasgow COP26: climate deal sealed after late play on coal

Glasgow COP26: climate deal sealed after late play on coal

UN climate talks ended with a deal targeting fossil fuels as a major driver of global warming for the first time, even as coal-dependent countries led by India raised objections at the last minute. advocated.

While the agreement drew applause for keeping alive hopes of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C, many of the nearly 200 national delegations wished they had brought more.  The negotiators at the COP26 summit here recognized India's intervention for the world to "phasing out" instead of "phasing out" fossil fuels.  The clause was hastily amended to ask countries to "phase out" their coal use, following a flurry between envoys from India, China, the United States and the European Union.

“This has been decided,” said COP26 president Alok Sharma, as he announced the new agreement after marathon talks, which began earlier this month and concluded with an extra time full on Saturday. That we can leave this convention united, delivering something important together for people and the planet.”

Several countries criticized the shift on fossil fuels encouraged by India, even as Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav asked at the Glasgow climate summit whether to make promises to "phasing out" coal and fossil fuel subsidies from developing countries. How can hope, when they still have to tackle their development agenda and poverty alleviation.<span style="display: block;margin-bottom:13px;margin-top:13px;"/> <span style="display: block;margin-bottom:13px;margin-top:13px;"/> 

Earlier, in the Stocktaking Plenary, India made a significant intervention to express its dismay over the draft text of the agreement.  The minister pointed to climate-friendly lifestyles and climate justice, as enshrined in the Paris Agreement, as keys to solving the climate crisis caused by "unsustainable lifestyles and dysfunctional consumption patterns".

Fossil fuels and their use have enabled some parts of the world to achieve high levels of wealth and welfare, and targeting a particular region is unnecessary, he said.  Yadav stressed that every country will reach net-zero according to its national circumstances, strengths and weaknesses.

The delegates also approved a business framework for carbon credits, breaking the six-year deadlock.

The Glasgow Agreement was a more ambitious deal than many long-time COP observers expected, especially considering the coal commitment was a significant success.  But it rests on the huge assumption that the biggest polluters – notably China, the US and India – will follow through on their promises to cut their emissions to zero over the next decades. 

Reaching carbon neutrality would require investments of trillions of dollars in clean energy and stringent restrictions on fossil-fuel activities, including combustion engine cars and polluting factories.

The agreement was also criticized by activists for not doing enough to raise financial aid from wealthy countries to help developing countries transition to clean energy and prepare for more extreme weather. He also warned that concessions on carbon market regulations could stifle efforts to cut emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases.

“Glasgow has been an important gateway to a 1.5°C world, but we now need quick action to get there,” said Emily Schuckberg, director of the research center Cambridge Zero. “COP26 ends by reaffirming the fact that the science of climate change is crystal clear – we are running out of time.”

US climate envoy John Kerry said at the last meeting: “If it’s a good conversation, then all sides are uncomfortable. And it, I think, has been a good conversation.”

UN climate agreements are, by their very nature, messy agreements because they have to balance the competing interests of more than 190 countries. In the final hours, countries including low-lying island nations like the Maldives and carbon powers like the US complained that it didn’t go far enough. The delegates also expressed displeasure that India was allowed to make changes in the final draft.

Sharma’s voice broke with emotion in response to the outrage expressed by sensitive countries over the last-minute changes. He told the assembly. “I am deeply sorry.”

What’s in the Climate Agreement

fulfill the ambition

Commitments made by countries to cut emissions of planet-heating greenhouse gases are not enough to prevent planetary warming of more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures.

targeting fossil fuels

The treaty includes language that calls on countries to reduce their reliance on coal and withdraw fossil fuel subsidies, moves that would target energy sources that scientists say are the primary drivers of man-made climate change.

Payment to poor and vulnerable nations

The deal made some progress on the demands of poor and vulnerable countries, which pay the rich countries responsible for most of the emissions. It urges “parties of developed countries to at least double their collective provision of climate finance for adaptation to developing countries from 2019 levels by 2025.”

Rules for the global carbon market

Negotiators also locked down rules setting a deal for carbon markets, potentially unlocking trillions of dollars to protect forests, build renewable energy facilities and other projects to tackle climate change. . Certain measures will be implemented to ensure that credits under national emissions targets are not recalculated side deal

The United States and the European Union spearheaded a global methane cutting initiative, with nearly 100 countries pledging to reduce methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030.

The US and China announced a joint declaration to cooperate on climate change measures, a deal that has convinced observers of Beijing’s intention to accelerate its efforts to combat global warming after a long quiet period.

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