Tears, climate fears and ‘watered down’ agreements: What does the final COP26 agreement really mean?

Rosie Frost

With tears and overtime, came the end to COP26 on Saturday. The result? A deal that leaders, environmental groups and activists called a “compromise”.

Phase down not phase out

This was the first COP decision to explicitly target fossil fuels and before now coal and fossil fuel subsidies had never been mentioned in a deal. This final decision text, known as the Glasgow Climate Pact, saw countries agree to “accelerate efforts” to phase out “inefficient” subsidies for fossil fuels.

It also saw a last-minute deal between the US, EU, China and India change the wording of the text. Instead of pledging to “phase out” coal, it instead committed to a “phasing down”.

Keeping the goal of 1.5C alive

One of the main aims of COP26 was to keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C alive.

“While the deal recognises the need for deep emission cuts this decade, those commitments have been punted to next year,” Morgan said. But she added – a “signal has been sent that the era of coal is ending. And that matters.”

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres also said that while it was an “important step”, the pact was not enough.

What about funding for vulnerable nations

Developing countries wanted a plan for funding for loss and damage caused by historic emissions. And in the final hours of discussion, the US, EU and UK resisted calls to create financial support to the victims of climate change.

“COP26 was nearly a breakthrough moment for loss and damage,” Ugandan climate justice activist, Vanessa Nakate, said on Twitter.

“It seemed for a brief, hopeful moment, that in Glasgow, leaders might finally commit to establishing an international loss and damage fund to help vulnerable countries already losing so much to the climate crisis.”


> Source: https://www.euronews.com/green/2021/11/16/tears-climate-fears-and-watered-down-agreements-what-does-the-final-cop26-agreement-really