Historic global agreement on climate change signed at COP26

A historic worldwide agreement on climate change was signed at COP26

At COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, a worldwide climate agreement was negotiated after lengthy discussions. For the first time in history, the accord includes a reference to fossil fuels and their role in the global climate issue.

The document’s final text takes a direct shot at coal, the leading cause of climate change. It’s worth mentioning that in the previous 25 climate change conferences, coal, oil, and gas, as well as other fossil fuels, were never named as key contributors to the environmental disaster in the final accord.

Due to disputes over major issues such as the attack on coal and the amount of money the wealthy world should pay to the Global South to aid with climate adaptation, the debates in Glasgow lasted much longer than expected. Those talks were supposed to end on November 12th, but they had to be prolonged to November 13th as well.

Coal is responsible for over 40% of annual CO2 emissions, which is why it has been a key actor in efforts to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Global emissions must be lowered by 45 percent by 2030 and virtually eliminated by mid-century to accomplish this goal, which was set in Paris in 2015. However, present promises are insufficient to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The phase-out of coal consumption was addressed in an early draft of the COP26 accord. However, due to India’s last-minute protests, it was modified. As a result, instead of eliminating, the expression was altered to minimize.

Several countries expressed their displeasure after the sentence was changed, and COP26 President Alok Sharma said he was “very disappointed” by the events. In doing so, he emphasized the importance of safeguarding the accord as a whole.

Swiss environment minister Simonetta Sommaruga, for one, questioned the process of amending the language on fossil fuels at the last minute, claiming that it was not transparent.

“Coal and other fossil fuels do not need to be reduced. This will not bring us closer to the 1.5 [degree] aim; rather, it will make it more difficult “Sommaruga was agitated.

Lars Koch, the policy director at ActionAid, said it was disheartening that only coal was singled out for specific reference.

“This allows affluent countries, who have been exploiting and polluting for more than a century, to continue producing oil and gas,” he said.

Countries have agreed to follow the agreement’s coal-use reduction guidelines as long as global temperatures do not climb by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Scientists warn that if this goal is not met, the Earth will face severe repercussions.

The agreement’s primary accomplishments can be stated as follows:

Inclusion of a promise to limit coal usage;

Re-evaluating emission-reduction strategies on a more regular basis;

Increasing financial assistance to underdeveloped countries.

Developing countries, on the other hand, were dissatisfied with the lack of progress on loss and damage, a concept under which richer countries should compensate poorer countries for the effects of climate change to which they are unable to adapt.

Seve Paeniu, Tuvalu’s special envoy for climate concerns (a country on the verge of being drowned under the sea), told reporters before the final session that he was pleased to see progress, but that words must be backed up by actions.

“There are several obligations to act. So, between now and the next COP, countries must simply follow through on their promises. As a result, there is a great deal of work to be done right now. Glasgow, in my opinion, has created a platform for aspiration. The problem now is for countries to truly deliver on their promises “he stated

He was particularly disappointed that no clear decision had been made on the loss and damage fund, which did not materialize.

“First and foremost, the tiny countries have our views heard; yet, in a setting like this, the big countries got their opinions heard as well. So it’s a case of accepting the offer as is or getting nothing. As a result, we didn’t have an option “Paeniu was adamant.

Article Author Gerluxe

Image: Reuters