Last day of climate change talks in Glasgow: live updates
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As international climate change talks in Glasgow rushed to shutdown, a new draft agreement released on Friday morning called for doubling funds to help developing countries cope with climate impacts, and called on countries to step up. their emission reduction targets by next year. .
But much of the draft’s text – intended to push negotiators towards a deal all nations can agree on – has remained controversial for many countries. Disputes remain over the money, the speed of emission reductions and whether a deal should even mention “fossil fuels” – the main cause of climate change, but a term never before appeared in a global deal. on the climate.
The differences, after nearly two weeks of negotiations, signaled that it would be difficult for negotiators to reach the kind of comprehensive deal that activists and scientists had called for before the start of the UN talks, known as of COP26. The scientific consensus says the world must cut greenhouse gas emissions by almost half by 2030 in order to avoid the most disastrous effects of global warming. But according to current country targets, emissions would continue to increase.
The last draft is imbued with what, in a diplomatic document, could be described as rage. He “notes with deep regret” that the rich world has yet to deliver the $ 100 billion annual aid it promised to deliver by last year. It also calls for doubling funds by 2025 to help developing countries adapt to the effects of climate change, including extreme weather and sea level rise.
One of the most controversial issues concerns countries in the north of the planet – which have prospered for more than a century by burning coal, oil and gas and spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere – and whether they should compensate developing countries for the irreparable damage they have caused. The project offers a new “technical assistance facility” to help countries with loss and damage, but experts said questions remain as to whether the funding should be new and additional.
Still, some experts said the latest draft showed negotiators were making progress.
“Overall, on the whole, this is certainly a stronger and more balanced text than the one we had two days ago,” said Helen Mountford, vice president of climate and climate. economics at the World Resources Institute.
But with the big polluting countries unwilling to phase out fossil fuels quickly enough to keep global temperatures from reaching dangerous levels, another dispute is whether they should be required to come back with stricter climate targets by now. the end of next year. The last draft “asks” that they do it, which is more tame than the “incentives”, which were used in the previous draft.
There is another major blockage as to whether a deal should include a reference to fossil fuels, the combustion of which is primarily responsible for climate change. The draft text released Friday morning called on countries to eliminate “inefficient subsidies” for fossil fuels and accelerate the “phase-out” of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel. It is not known if this language will remain in the final version, given that countries like China, India and Poland rely heavily on coal-fired power plants.
UN Secretary General António Guterres called on negotiators to take stronger action.
“Every country, every city, every company, every financial institution must reduce its emissions in a radical, credible and verifiable way and decarbonize its portfolios now,” he said Thursday at the conference.
Some 200 nations represented at the talks must agree unanimously on every word of the final text.
Alok Sharma, chairman of the negotiations, insisted that the talks had to end at the “end” of the day on Friday, although that seemed unlikely. The last negotiations, in Madrid in 2019, were due to end on a Friday, but continued until Sunday afternoon.
GLASGOW – Vanessa Nakate, a Ugandan climate activist, told the United Nations climate summit on Thursday that she and her peers do not believe in commitments made this week by ministers, businesses and banks to act aggressively on climate change.
But they want it.
“I’m actually here to beg you to prove us wrong,” Ms. Nakate said. “God help us all if you don’t prove us wrong. “
In one of the most powerful speeches to date ahead of the UN climate summit, Ms. Nakate, 24, told diplomats leaders are already trying to label the conference, known as COP26, as success, but that she and her peers weren’t buying this.
“Let’s be honest,” she said. “We’ve been here before.”
After a quarter of a century of climate conferences and new annual commitments, greenhouse gas emissions that warm the planet continue to rise. “This year will be no different,” Ms. Nakate said.
“We are drowned in the promises,” she said.
“The commitments,” said Ms. Nakate, “will not reduce CO2 emissions. The promises will not stop the suffering of the people. The commitments will not prevent the planet from warming up. Only immediate and drastic action will pull us out of the abyss.
She called on business leaders and investors, saying they had not taken immediate action, but were “going to the COP in private jets” and “giving fancy speeches.” She also questioned the presence of those in the fossil fuel industry.
“I hope you understand that we can be skeptical when the largest delegation here at the COP26 climate summit does not belong to a country,” she said, “but rather belongs to the fuel industry. fossils “.
And she had a message for those with promises: “Show us your loyalty. Show us your honesty. I’m here to say: prove us wrong.
Ms. Nakate, a rising star among global climate activists, received heavy applause after her speech. It first gained attention in January 2020 when the Associated Press cropped it from a photo at the World Economic Forum. She stood next to four white activists, including Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.
The omission shocked and saddened Ms Nakate, who in a tearful 10-minute video posted to Twitter denounced “racism” in the global environmental movement and the erasure of black and African voices. His response reverberated around the world and cemented his place as a leading voice among young Africans passionately advocating for action on climate change.
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