The United States and China have pledged to increase cooperation on climate action at COP26, Beijing's envoy said on Wednesday.
Xie Zhenhua told reporters Wednesday that the two biggest carbon polluters would outline their efforts in a joint statement based on the guidelines of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
The announcement came as COP26 entered a new phase of negotiations on Wednesday after a first draft of the summit's final decision was circulated early this morning.
Here is what you need to know as Day 10 wraps up:
- Delegates from almost 200 countries have started reviewing and negotiating the text of the draft decision on Wednesday.
- The draft calls on countries to strengthen their climate plans by the end of next year, "accelerate the phasing-out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels." It also urges developed countries to "urgently scale-up" financial support for developing nations.
- "Not good enough," say environmentalists. A Greenpeace executive compared the draft decision to a "polite request that countries maybe, possibly, do more next year."
"We know what needs to be done but we just need the courage to get on and do it," said UK PM Boris Johnson as he spoke from COP26 on Wednesday to urge climate action at the summit.
As COP26 marks Transport Day, a group of countries and companies has signed a pledge to switch to emissions-free cars by 2040 and by no later than 2035 in leading auto markets.
Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, has denied accusations that it was working to slow negotiations and water down climate commitments at COP26.
If you weren't able to follow along on Tuesday, here are five takeaways from COP26 Gender Day.
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UK PM speaking at COP26
COP26 chair urges negotiators to make compromises
“My big, big ask of all of you is to please come armed with the currency of compromise,” said COP26 Chairman Alok Sharma. “What we agree in Glasgow will set the future for our children and grandchildren.”
Sharma also said he still intends to conclude the two-week talks Friday.
“I request us all collectively to please roll up our sleeves and get to work,” he added.
The European Union’s climate chief, Frans Timmermans, echoed the sense of urgency. “Consider my sleeves rolled,” he told Sharma.
In a swipe at major polluters like China, Russia and Saudi Arabia, whose commitments are seen as being far below what’s needed, Timmermans insisted that “major emitters have a major responsibility.”
Ahmadou Sebory Touré of Guinea, speaking on behalf of 77 developing countries and China, said they were “extremely concerned with the lack of progress” on the issue of financial aid for poor nations to cope with climate change.
'Near-final text to be published overnight': COP26 chair
Draft decision 'needs to be strengthened', say small island nations
The Alliance of Small Island States said in a statement that the draft COP26 decision released on Wednesday "provides a basis for moving forward but needs to need to be strengthened in key areas."
Saudi Arabia denies it's slowing down negotiations
Saudi Arabia’s energy minister has denied allegations that his country was working to slow down negotiations and water down commitments at COP26.
It is “a false allegation, a cheat and a lie,” Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman al Saud told reporters on Wednesday at the UN climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
Delegations of about 200 countries face a Friday deadline to negotiate consensus on next steps to cut fossil fuel emissions and otherwise combat climate change.
Saudi Arabia’s team in Glasgow has introduced proposals ranging from a call to quit negotiations at 6 p.m. every day to what climate negotiation veterans allege are more complex efforts to block agreement on tough measures.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, and a handful of other countries long have been accused of seeking to block measures that would crack down on fossil fuels.
“Other governments now need to isolate the Saudi delegation if they want this” conference “to succeed for everyone, not just fossil fuel interests,” said Jennifer Morgan, executive director of the Greenpeace environmental group.