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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
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.

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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:

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