COP26 climate summit .. Draft agreement softens its language on coal and fossil fuels And calls for an increase in the level of climate pledges

  • 12 November, 2021
  • 5:30 pm EET

The draft COP26 climate summit agreement urged countries to be more ambitious in their plans to tackle global warming, but softened their language on coal and fossil fuels.

The draft retains an explicit reference to fossil fuel subsidies and a coal phase-out, which – if agreed – would be a first for any UN climate conference.

However, it differed from the previous text by saying that all parties should adopt policies that “accelerate the relentless phase-out of coal energy and ineffective fossil fuel subsidies.”

Several countries – many of them major oil and gas producers – objected to the wording of the previous draft, which called for “accelerating the phase-out of coal and fossil fuel subsidies,” Reuters reported.


A “Politically Sensitive” Call

The question of how to tackle the continued use of fossil fuels responsible for much of global warming has been a major sticking point in the two-week COP26 climate summit talks, the Economic Times reports.

Scientists agree that it is essential to end its use as soon as possible to achieve the 2015 Paris Agreement’s goal of capping global warming at 1.5°C.

However, explicitly including such a call in the blanket declaration is politically sensitive, including for countries that fear oil and gas may be targeted in the future.

It should be noted that the updated assessment of all climate commitments still leads to a temperature increase of 2.4°C.


Raising The Level Of Climate Pledges

The COP26 climate summit has not yet made enough pledges to cut emissions to meet the 1.5°C target, so the draft asked countries to raise their climate targets in 2022.

However, the summit formulated this demand in weaker language than the previous draft, and failed to deliver the annual rolling review of the climate pledges some developing countries had pushed for.

She said that raising the level of climate pledges should take into account “different national circumstances”, a phrase likely to satisfy some developing countries, which say their demands to abandon fossil fuels and cut emissions should be lower than in advanced economies.

The draft also explained that scientists say the world must cut greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, and to carbon neutrality by 2050, to reach the 1.5°C target.

This would effectively set the standard against which countries’ future climate pledges will be measured, as confirmed by Reuters.


Climate Finance..A Stumbling Block

Climate finance remains a stumbling block; Poor countries are angry; Because rich nations have yet to fulfill a 12-year promise of $100 billion a year by 2020, to help them cut emissions and adapt to the worsening effects of climate change.

The new draft COP26 climate summit agreement expressed “deep regret” for the lost target, which rich countries now expect to meet in 2023, but did not provide a plan to make sure this is achieved.

Starting in 2025, she said, rich countries should double the funding they currently devote to helping poor countries adapt to climate impacts; This represents a step forward from the previous draft, which did not specify a date or baseline.

The draft also touched on the controversial topic of compensating for the increased losses and damages climate change is inflicting on countries that had little role in causing it, but it does not specify whether this would include new funding.


Summit Results So Far

The COP26 climate summit is set to end on Friday, and negotiators are working around the clock to try to strike a deal that nearly 200 countries can agree on.

If officials cannot reach an agreement by Friday’s official deadline; The conversations will likely continue overtime.

So far, the United States and China have agreed to work together this decade to limit warming to 1.5°C, and more than 100 world leaders have promised to end deforestation by 2030.

The United States and the European Union announced a global partnership to reduce greenhouse gas methane emissions by 2030, as well as more than 40 countries committing to move away from coal.

A new coalition was also launched that obligated countries to set a date to end the use of oil and gas, and stop granting new exploration licenses, the BBC reported.



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