At COP26 climate conference, agreement reached to accelerate fight against warming

Representatives of almost 200 countries of the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow last night reached an agreement to accelerate the fight against global warming, without ensuring that warming will remain at 1.5 degrees Celsius and without a response to the demands for help from poor countries.

The agreement called the “Glasgow Climate Pact” was adopted after two weeks of determined negotiations, with a hammer of British representative Alok Sharma, President of the World Climate Conference.

As an indicator of how difficult it was to reach an agreement, Sharma with an emotional voice said that he was “deeply sorry” for the last minute changes made in the text and that refer to fossil energies at the request of China and India. He previously assessed that the agreement introduces a “a decade of growing ambition” in regards to climate.

India intervened in order to moderate the formulation of the text in regards to the reduction of coal emissions.

Several countries, including small island countries, said they are deeply disappointed by the formulation that coal energy is “gradually declining” instead of writing that it is “gradually phased out”, because it is individually the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Other countries described the revision as disgusting and against the rules, but indicated that it was something they had to accept in order to end the two-week UN Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland.

Before India succeeded to make this change in the final declaration, representatives of several countries said that the text of the draft declaration does not go far enough or fast enough, but that compromise is better than nothing and is progress if not a success.

However, it is considered a success that the text mentions fossil fuels as a main source of global warming, and they were not mentioned in the Paris Agreement from 2015.

As to the critical issue of limiting the temperature increase, in the text, member states are called to raise their obligations for reduction more regularly than is anticipated with the Paris Agreement from 2015, starting from next year.

Nevertheless, a clause is added for the possibility of adapting to “specific national circumstances” and because of this, NGOs expressed doubts about the real ambitions of the adopted document.

The compromise achieved does not guarantee compliance to the objectives of the Paris Agreement on limiting global warming well below warming of 2 degrees Celsius and, if possible, at 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era, but still offers prospects for the British Presidency to declare the conference in Glasgow as successful. The British goal at this gathering was to retain the prospect of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

No solution was found to the issue of assistance for poor countries. The poor countries gave in and agreed to continue the dialogue so that they do not lose the achieved progress in the fight against warming, the consequences of which are already being felt directly.

Translation: N. Cvetkovska


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