COP26 reaches deal! Key differences to Paris – but will it change anything?
The historic Glasgow Climate Pact has now been agreed – but not without deep resentment from a number of countries, particularly those who are likely to feel the deepest effects of deathly climate change. The last hours of the conference saw countries argue over the wording of pledges to reduce coal emissions, leaving some countries outraged by the concession being made to get a deal over the line.
COP26 president Alok Sharma said as the deal was struck: “I understand the deep disappointment. It’s also vital we protect this package.”
He also admitted the text is “imperfect” but said the conference had achieved a deal that will keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C “alive”.
It seems like we’ve been here before – and we certainly have, with the landmark Paris Climate Agreement taking place not long ago in 2015.
Only six years later, world leaders have met again to discuss how to tackle the single most important issue of our time – to stop the world from heating by more than 1.5C and put an end to the disastrous effects of climate change.
When the Paris deal was signed, governments around the world admitted the targets set would not limit global warming to 1.5C.
Because of this, they agreed to update them by 2020 – the original date for COP26, which was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic
All countries should have submitted new targets for reducing emissions ahead of Glasgow, but still many have failed to produce improved commitments and some major economies still have no net zero target in place.
The Glasgow Climate Pact goes further than the Paris Agreement in a number of ways – but just like the Paris agreement, it all depends on countries sticking to their promises.
The key achievements in the agreement are: the inclusion of the commitment to “phase down” coal, re-visiting emissions-cutting plans on a more regular basis, and increased financial help for developing countries – but more will become clear when the full agreement is published.
Executive Director Jennifer Morgan toldExpress.co.uk: “Glasgow was meant to deliver on firmly closing the gap to 1.5C and that didn’t happen.
“The offsets scam got a boost in Glasgow with the creation of new loopholes that are too big to tolerate, endangering nature, Indigenous Peoples and the 1.5C goal itself.
“The UN Secretary General announced that a group of experts will bring vital scrutiny to offset markets, but much work still needs to be done to stop the greenwashing, cheating and loopholes giving big emitters and corporations a pass.”
Express.co.ukwill update this article as more reaction to the deal comes in.
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