Cop26 draft agreement: Cutting greenhouse gases by next year and phasing out coal and fossil fuels

12th November, 2021.      //   Climate Change  // 

Cop26 draft agreement: Cutting greenhouse gases by next year and phasing out coal and fossil fuels - Phil Noble/Reuters

Countries have been urged to bring new plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions as soon as next year, as well as phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and coal, in an early draft agreement from the Glasgow Cop26 climate summit.

It would be the first time that a fossil fuel phase-out is explicitly mentioned in an agreement at the end of the annual climate summit, if it makes it to the final text.

The draft agreement was released in the early hours of Wednesday morning, some six hours later than expected, in an indication of the difficulty of negotiations.

Boris Johnson will arrive in Glasgow today, and call on countries to “pull out all the stops” in the negotiations, over concerns that the final agreement will not go far enough.

The draft comes a day after researchers said 2030 targets submitted by countries for the summit would put the country on track for 2.4C of warming, well above the most ambitious aim of the Paris Agreement of 1.5C.

The draft text “urges Parties to revisit and strengthen” their targets to cut emissions by 2030, seen as the crucial date for limiting warming.

John Ashton, a former UK climate negotiator said countries were likely to try and “fudge” the final text, but would be under intense scrutiny from climate campaigners.

The text also calls for developed countries to at least double their collective provision of climate finance to help developing countries adapt to climate change, a key area of tension during the talks.

It will likely go through several revisions before a final document is released over the weekend, when it will become more clear whether the UK Government has achieved its aims at the summit to “keep 1.5C alive”.

Before he left for Glasgow, Mr Johnson said: “Negotiating teams are doing the hard yards in these final days of Cop26 to turn promises into action on climate change.

“There’s still much to do. Today I’ll be meeting with ministers and negotiators to hear about where progress has been made and where the gaps must be bridged.

“This is bigger than any one country and it is time for nations to put aside differences and come together for our planet and our people.

“We need to pull out all the stops if we’re going to keep 1.5C within our grasp.”

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