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COP26 Climate Agreement reached in Glasgow with unprecedented references to fossil fuels
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COP26 Climate Agreement reached in Glasgow with unprecedented references to fossil fuels


The last text refers explicitly to coal. single biggest contributor to climate change. Never has any agreement, in all 25 COPs, mentioned coal, oil or gasoline, or even fossil fuels, as drivers or main causes of the climate crisis.

Alok Sharma, COP26 President, made the announcement in tears with the help of a gavel. After Iran and India raised objections, he orally amended the latest draft of the text to reduce the use of fossil fuels. The final agreement now refers not to a phasing “out” of coal but to a gradual “down” of it.

As deep divisions remained over key issues on Friday evening, the conference went into overtime. A key issue was not only the language about fossil fuels but also the amount of money that the developed countries should pay the Global South for help with the climate crisis.

Sharma told delegates earlier that he was “infinitely humbled” for 1.5’s survival. Sharma’s ultimate goal was to reach a deal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. Scientists agree that this limit is necessary to avoid the climate crisis’ worsening effects and to prevent catastrophic climate change.

Several countries opposed some of the results.

Simonetta Sommaruga, the Swiss Environment Minister, complained that the process of amending language regarding fossil fuels at the very last minute was not transparent.

“We don’t need to phase down, but to phase out fossil fuel subsidies,” Sommaruga, who is a representative of the Environmental Integrity Group which includes six parties to UN climate change agency.

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She said that while the EIG had not obstructed an agreement, she was “disappointed” by the group’s decision.

Sommaruga stated, “This will not bring me closer to 1.5, but make it harder to reach it,”

Seve Paeniu was the climate envoy for Tuvalu, a low-lying nation atoll under threat from sea level rise. He told journalists before the last session that he was encouraged by the progress, but that actions are needed to follow.

“There is a lot of commitment for countries to take action. The next COP is just a matter of time before countries have to fulfill those commitments. There’s a lot to do. I think Glasgow provided a platform for ambition. He stated that it is now up to countries to deliver on those promises.

However, he was disappointed that there wasn’t a firm decision on a loss-and-damage fund. This would have seen wealthy countries pay for the climate crisis impacts in less vulnerable countries like Tuvalu.

“First of all, small countries made their voices heard. But in a negotiation room such as this, you have the big countries. He said that it was a matter of “take-it-or leave-it” type of deal. “So we had no other choice. We are willing to work with this, and we hope that something positive will come out of the dialogue.

This is breaking news. More to follow.


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