COP26: What’s in the Glasgow Climate Pact? | News on the climate crisis

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Nearly 200 nations have agreed to adopt the Glasgow Climate Pact, after more than two weeks of intense negotiations, with the UK – the host of the talks – saying the deal would keep international hopes alive of avoiding the worst impacts of global warming.

Here are the greatest hits of the deal:

Increase ambition

The agreement recognizes that the commitments made so far by countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that warm the planet are by no means sufficient to prevent global warming from exceeding 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures.

To try to solve this problem, it is calling on governments to strengthen those targets by the end of next year, rather than every five years as previously requested.

Failure to define and achieve strict emission reduction targets would have enormous consequences. Scientists say going beyond a 1.5 ° C rise would trigger extreme sea level rise and catastrophes including crippling droughts, monstrous storms and fires far worse than those the world is already suffering from.

“I think today we can say with credibility that we have kept 1.5 (degrees Celsius) on hand,” said Alok Sharma, chair of the COP26 summit. “But his pulse is weak and we will only survive if we keep our promises.”

Target fossil fuels

The pact for the first time includes language calling on countries to reduce their dependence on coal and cut fossil fuel subsidies, moves that would target energy sources that scientists believe are the main drivers of climate change. by man.

The wording was controversial, however.

Shortly before the adoption of the Glasgow agreement, India demanded that the agreement call on countries to “gradually cut down” rather than “phase out” coal relentlessly. That small change of speech caused a lot of anguish in the plenary room, but the delegations agreed to the request to save the agreement.

The wording of the “inefficient subsidies” agreement kept the phrase “phasing out”.

But questions remain about how to define “non-stop” and “inefficient”.

Payments to poor and vulnerable nations

The deal has made some progress on the demands of poor and vulnerable countries that the rich countries responsible for most of the emissions pay for.

The deal, for example, “urges developed countries to at least double their collective provision of climate finance for adaptation to developing countries from 2019 levels by 2025.”

Furthermore, for the first time, in the coverage part of the agreement, the so-called “Loss and damage”. Losses and damages refer to the costs that some countries are already facing as a result of climate change, and these countries have been asking for a payment for years to help them cope.

Under the agreement, however, developed countries have basically just agreed to continue discussions on the matter.

Rules for global carbon markets

The negotiators also struck a deal that sets rules for carbon markets, potentially unlocking trillions of dollars for forest protection, construction of renewable energy plants and other projects to combat climate change.

Companies and countries with extensive forest coverage had pushed for a solid government-led carbon markets deal in Glasgow in hopes of legitimizing fast-growing global voluntary clearing markets as well.

Under the agreement, some measures would be implemented to ensure that credits are not counted twice towards national emission targets, but bilateral trade between countries would not be taxed to help finance climate adaptation – which was was a fundamental request for the least developed countries.

The negotiators also reached a compromise setting a cut-off date, with credits issued before 2013 not carried over. This is intended to ensure that too many old credits do not flood the market and encourage purchases instead of new emission cuts.

Collateral offers

There were also a number of important side deals. The United States and the European Union have led a global initiative to cut methane in which about 100 countries have promised to reduce methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030.

The United States and China, the world’s two largest carbon emitters, also announced a joint statement to cooperate on climate change measures, an agreement that reassured observers of Beijing’s intention to accelerate its efforts to combat global warming after a long period of quiet.

Companies and investors also made a series of voluntary commitments that would gradually phase out gasoline cars, decarbonise air travel, protect forests and ensure more sustainable investments.

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