It was supposed to be the summit that would stop global warming. But now there’s deep disappointment, with environmentalists saying COP26 fell far short of the urgent action that’s needed. Negotiations in Glasgow went on beyond the deadline, as draft after draft came closer to producing a global agreement to restrict greenhouse gases. But the final document was met with anger after India scuppered its key provision – to phase out coal power.
Delegates did manage to come to an agreement at the end of the conference, which has been seen as a final hour, last ditch effort to stop catastrophic climate change.
Most countries agreed on new and more ambitious targets for reducing emissions. But the pledges fell short of what science says is needed to stop the world from heating beyond a dangerous 1.5 degrees Celsius.
India insisted on a last minute watering down of the final text, changing references of a coal phaseout to a phase down. And wealthy nations resisted calls to create a mechanism to compensate poor countries suffering the worst effects of climate change. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged countries to do more.
Leaders agreed to reconvene for talks in Egypt next year, where major emitters will be asked to present new targets. But with the goal of 1.5 degrees now on life support, activists say COP27 is already dead.
Meanwhile, New Delhi shuts schools as government considers ‘pollution lockdown’ over noxious smog »
France 24 »
New Delhi authorities announced Saturday a one-week closure of schools and said they would consider a “pollution lockdown” to protect citizens from toxic smog.
The Guardian »
Alok Sharma, the president of the Cop26 climate summit, offered an emotional apology on Saturday evening as a package was agreed with last-minute changes to its wording on coal. A commitment to ‘phase out’ coal, which was included in earlier drafts, was changed to ‘phase down’ after China and India led opposition to it. Sharma said he was ‘deeply sorry’ for how the negotiations had ended ‘The pressure for change is building’: reactions to the Glasgow climate pact Glasgow climate pact: leaders welcome Cop26 deal despite coal compromise Cop26 ends in climate agreement despite India watering down coal resolution
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