Glasgow, Scotia (CNN) – Nearly 200 countries reached a climate deal on Saturday at COP26, which includes for the first time a reference to fossil fuels’ role in the climate crisis, even after a last-minute objection from India toned down language about limiting coal use. .
The COP process has tried and failed for years to include recognition that the climate crisis resulted from burning fossil fuels. Coal is the main source of greenhouse gases and its removal has been one of the main priorities of COP26 chief Alok Sharma.
But despite this progress, the text does not reflect the urgency expressed by international scientists in their Climate Report.”A red symbol of humanity “issued in August. Instead, he is delaying further action to reduce fossil fuel emissions until next year. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stated that the world needs to cut emissions by nearly half over the next decade.
The final text refers explicitly to coal, which is the largest contributor to climate change. In the 25 COPs before Glasgow, no deal mentioned coal, oil, gas, or even fossil fuels in general, as the driving forces – let alone the main cause – of the climate crisis.
Success in Glasgow will ultimately depend on whether countries bring COP27 next year with more ambitious commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Alok Sharma, the apparently emotional head of COP26, announced with hammer strikes. It orally amended the latest draft text by toning down language about fossil fuels after India and Iran raised objections to it. The final agreement now refers to a “phasing out” of coal rather than a “phasing out”.
The text also includes language about moving away from fossil fuel subsidies.
Sharma previously told delegates he was “extremely grateful” for keeping the 1.5-degree commitment alive. Sharma’s overall goal was to strike a deal that would push the world to contain global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and no more. Scientists say cover is needed to prevent the effects of the climate crisis from worsening and to avoid catastrophic climate change.
The world needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 27 billion metric tons per year to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030, according to projections by the Climate Action Tracker. But current pledges, including those made at COP26, take about a quarter of the way through.
Glasgow’s promises fall short of global warming goal
Deep divisions over major issues persisted Friday night and even after an agreement was reached, several countries expressed their opposition to the major parties.
Swiss Environment Minister Simonetta Sommaruga has complained that the last-minute adjustment of fossil fuel signals was not transparent enough.
“We don’t need to phase out subsidies on coal and fossil fuels, but rather phase them out,” said Sommaruga, who represents the Environmental Integrity Group (EIG), which includes six parts of the Climate Change Agency, from ONU.
He added that the environmental safety group decided not to stand in the way of an agreement, but that the group was “disappointed”.
“This will not bring us closer to 1.5, but it will make it more difficult to reach,” Sommaruga said.
Seif Payneu, climate envoy for Tuvalu – a low-lying atoll nation threatened by rising sea levels – told reporters before the last session that he was encouraged by progress, but those words must be followed by action.
“There is a lot of commitment to take action. So between now and the next COP, countries just need to meet those commitments. So there is a lot of work now. And I think Glasgow has provided a platform for ambition. The challenge is now and countries have to bow to that.”
But he added that he was disappointed that there was no stronger decision on the loss and damage fund. A US official told CNN that his country was opposed to this, while a source told CNN that the European Union was also resisting. An EU spokesman declined to comment.
“First of all, small countries make our voices heard, but in a negotiating room like this, you have the big countries. So it’s a ‘take it or leave it’ type of deal issue,” he pointed out. There was another choice. We just want to work with this and hopefully That some conclusions come out of this dialogue.”
Nick Mabe, co-founder and chief executive of the E3G Climate Research Centre, said leaders had arrived in Glasgow with “real progress” in the lead-up to this, but realized they needed to do more to deal with the moment of the climate crisis.
“By accepting this emergency package, they responded to mounting climate damage with an action plan to keep 1.5°C within reach,” he told CNN. “But the real task begins now, as all countries have to go home and deliver on Glasgow’s promises.”
One of the major achievements of the agreement is an article calling on countries to improve their ambitions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2022, for COP27 in Egypt. Countries were not originally supposed to improve their pledges until 2025.
A United Nations report in August and extreme weather events in the northern hemisphere this summer raised the alarm that climate change was happening at a faster rate than even scientists previously understood.
But there are many critics of the Glasgow Convention, particularly from the developing world for the lack of concrete decisions on loss and damage.
“This finding is an insult to the millions of people whose lives have been torn apart by the climate crisis,” said Teresa Anderson, climate policy coordinator for ActionAid International. “The rich nations responsible for warming our world, particularly the United States, have covered their ears and hung those most affected to dry,” Andersen said.
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