COPitulation

A delegate takes a selfie in front of the neon light installation 'Hurry Up Please It's Time' by artist Cornelia Parker during the Cop26 summit in Glasgow. 

New draft of Cop26 deal weakens language on fossil fuel phaseout.

There is now a date for when developed countries should double the provision of finance to help developing countries adapt to climate change – by 2025.

A new draft of the deal that could be agreed at the Glasgow Cop26 climate talks appears to have watered down its push to curb fossil fuels.

The first draft of the “cover decision” for the overarching agreement at the summit called for countries “to accelerate the phasing-out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels”.

In a new draft produced on Friday morning, that has changed to calling on countries to accelerate the shift to clean energy systems, “including by rapidly scaling up clean power generation and accelerating the phaseout of unabated coal power and of inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels”.

Finance

The inclusion of a reference to fossil fuels was a first for a UN decision document of this type but was expected to get fierce pushback from some countries – and still may not survive to the final text.

Talks went on through the night and look set to overrun from their finish time of Friday evening as negotiators come under pressure to resolve issues around finance for poor countries, fossil fuels, the efforts of countries to cut emissions in the 2020s and rules on carbon markets and transparency.

The latest draft appears to have strengthened language on getting countries to “revisit and strengthen the 2030 targets” in their national action plans by the end of 2022 to align with global goals to limit temperature rises to “well below” 2C and try to limit them to 1.5C.

The new version “requests” countries do so, thought to be stronger language within the UN system than the previous version, which only urged them to do so.

There is now a date – missing from the first draft – for when developed countries should double the provision of finance to help developing countries adapt to climate change – by 2025.

Science

The former Labour leader and climate champion Ed Miliband has said it is now clear that Cop26 will not deliver “everything we hoped” on climate change.

The shadow energy secretary said the focus should now be on salvaging what was possible in the final days of the conference and setting clear expectations for Cop27 next year. Mr Miliband said the world was “a long, long way away” from halving global emissions this decade.

He told the PA news agency negotiations should continue as long as needed, saying the text of the final agreement must include finance for developing countries.

“I think the reality is that Glasgow is not now going to deliver everything we hoped. We need to halve global emissions this decade, we’re a long, long way away from that, that’s what the science tells us. 

Sympathetic

“I think it’s now about salvaging what we can and living to fight another day and that’s why it’s important that the text delivers on the 100 billion US dollars (£74.7 billion) for developing countries.

“And, crucially, sets a clear mandate for countries to achieve next year, at Cop27, what they failed to achieve this year.”

Asked about the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, a coalition of countries that have pledged to phase out fossil fuel production, he said: “We’re very sympathetic to the aims of that alliance, we do need to phase out fossil fuels. As a sign of that, it’s why we’ve said the Cambo oil field shouldn’t be going ahead.”

Egypt is due to host Cop27 at the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh next year.

This Author

Emily Beament is the PA environment correspondent. Neil Pooran is the PA Scotland political reporter.

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