COP26 publishes draft Glasgow Agreement

2021-11-11 10:12:39China Daily Editor : Wu Xinru ECNS App Download

COP26 President Alok Sharma published on Wednesday a draft of the Glasgow Agreement, which included a more rigid language on global warming targets and called for the phasing out of coal use and fossil fuel subsidies.

The document will now be further negotiated over the coming days before being ratified by delegates at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, or COP26.

It is the first time that fossil fuel subsidies have been included in the language of a COP agreement.

The draft also discusses the warming target of 2 to 1.5 C, which was set in Paris six years ago.

The draft "recognizes that the impacts of climate change will be much lower at the temperature increase of 1.5 C compared to 2 C and resolves to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 C".

Wang Yi, a senior scientific adviser in China's delegation at COP26, told China Daily on Wednesday that adjusting this target could have a disruptive and knock-on effect.

"If we decrease the indicator, the target, to 1.5 C only, that means we must change the whole Paris Agreement," Wang said. "The 2 to 1.5 C target is one part of the agreement. You must change all the supporting policies actions, money, all of it."

Sharma said that the draft is not offering decisive language on the target.

"I also want to be clear we are not seeking to reopen the Paris Agreement," Sharma said on Wednesday. "The Paris Agreement clearly sets out the temperature goal well below 2 C and pursuing efforts towards 1.5 C."

The draft agreement received mixed reviews from climate campaigners and experts.

Mohamed Adow, director of Powershift Africa, welcomed the language on fossil fuels.

"For the first time, a COP text explicitly calls for phasing out coal and fossil fuel subsidies. This is progress as these aren't even mentioned in the Paris Agreement," Adow said. "But on the key demands of vulnerable countries there is very little."

Adow noted that the failure of rich nations to deliver on previous climate finance targets was not covered in the document.

"The fact that the deadline for the long-promised $100 billion of climate finance from rich countries has been missed doesn't even get mentioned," Adow said.

Jennifer Morgan, the executive director of Greenpeace International, said the draft was "not a plan to solve the climate crisis, it's an agreement that we'll all cross our fingers and hope for the best".

"It's a polite request that countries maybe, possibly, do more next year," Morgan said. "That's not good enough. Negotiators shouldn't even think about leaving Glasgow until they've agreed a deal that meets the moment. Because most assuredly, this one does not."

Bill Hare, chief executive of Climate Analytics said the draft "does not recognize strongly enough the extremely urgent need to close the huge 2030 emission gap, and to establish a high-level political process in 2020 to do so".

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