COP26: Governments adopt Glasgow Climate Pact after watering down language on coal

Delegates from different countries pose for a group photograph together on stage in the plenary room at the COP26 UN Climate Summit, in Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 13, 2021.
Delegates from different countries pose for a group photograph together on stage in the plenary room at the COP26 UN Climate Summit, in Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 13, 2021. Copyright AP Photo
By Euronews with AP
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Almost 200 nations adopted a climate deal on Saturday, including a last-minute amendment from India weakening critical language on coal.


After two weeks of contentious talks, almost 200 countries adopted on Saturday a compromise climate deal aimed at keeping a key global warming target alive.

But the final agreement of COP26 included a last-minute amendment from India watering down critical language on coal.

Here is what you need to know as COP26's last day wraps up:

What was India's last-minute change?

  • As the plenary session to adopt the deal started, India proposed a last-minute amendment replacing coal "phase out" with "phase down".

  • The text now reads as follows: "including escalating efforts to phase down unabated coal power, and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies."

  • Earlier, India, Iran and a few other countries voiced their opposition to references to phasing out coal and fossil fuel subsidies.

  • Many delegates expressed their deep disappointment at India's proposal. Negotiators from Switzerland and Mexico called the coal language change against the rules because it came so late.

  • But all said they had no choice but to accept it.

What else is in the deal?

  • The deal says big carbon polluting nations have to come back and submit stronger emission cutting pledges by the end of 2022.

  • It urges rich nations to "at least double their collective provision of climate finance for adaptation to developing countries."

  • The text does not set up specific financing facilities for Loss and Damage, a crucial demand of developing countries. But Guinea, speaking on behalf of the G77 countries, said the bloc could "live with it."

  • It also solves a long-standing problem to pave the way for carbon trading.

What are the reactions so far?

  • Conference President Alok Sharma said the deal drives "progress on coal, cars cash and trees'' and is "something meaningful for our people and our planet.''

  • "Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread," United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe.”

  • “It’s painful that diplomatic efforts have once more failed to meet the scale of this crisis," said Gabriela Bucher, Oxfam International Executive Director.

Check out our blog for more details:


Deal has been adopted with India's amendment 


'It's vital that we protect this package,' says Sharma

After apologising for the latest developments, COP26 chairman Alok Sharma said he was also "disappointed" by the new wording on coal and fossil fuels but added: "it's also vital that we protect this package."
A new written version of the Glasgow Pact with India's amendment will be submitted shortly, he said. 

Countries react to India's proposal 

Switzerland says it is disappointed but will not oppose India's proposal. 
"We know full well that coal has no future," says the EU climate chief. "But this should not stop us from deciding today on a historic decision," he added. 
"For the greater good, we must swallow this bitter pill," said Lichenstein. 
"We accept this change with the greatest reluctance," said the Marshall Islands. 

India seeks to water down paragraph on coal exit and phaseout of fossil fuels subsidies

India just took the floor to propose last-minute changes to the paragraph on coal exit and phaseout of fossil fuels subsidies.
Among other changes, it suggests coal should be "phased down" and not "phased out."

Watch live: Formal plenary to adopt final COP26 agreements 

The formal plenary has just started. Watch it live here:

Climate group says fossil fuel phase-out in Glasgow Pact 'tiny' but 'significant' step

"For the first time in 27 years of negotiations, COP’s final agreement even mentions fossil fuels. This is a tiny step - but a significant one," said Namrata Chowdhary, Head of Public Engagement at, an umbrella of climate groups, in a statement released on Saturday evening. 
"There is hope, and hope is in the people, in the climate movement," she added. 

Greenpeace chief reacts to Glasgow Pact proposal 

"The text is meek, it’s weak and the 1.5C goal is only just alive, but a signal has been sent that the era of coal is ending. And that matters," tweeted Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director of Greenpeace International. 

COP26 presidency has uploaded new proposal for Glasgow Pact 

The latest text can be downloaded here

Formal plenary to convene 'shortly', says Sharma 

"What we've seen in this room is a great deal of consensus for this text," said COP26 chairman Alok Sharma as he wrapped up the informal stocktaking plenary. 
He said delegates will reconvene shortly for a formal plenary where COP26's final texts will be adopted. 

Cuba unhappy but won't veto deal 

"There is no real balance in the document," the Cuban envoy told fellow delegates, "but it's a small step forward."
Therefore, she said, the Latin American country will join others in "not expressing objection" to its adoption.  

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