COP26 Deal Clinched As Nations Rally To Compromise

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About 200 countries came together on Saturday to a global agreement on climate change.

Glasgow, United Kingdom:

After nearly two weeks of painful negotiations, nearly 200 countries joined a global agreement on Saturday to fight climate change, but science has failed to curb dangerous global warming.

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Rich nations have been accused of failing to provide much-needed funding to vulnerable states at risk of drought, rising seas, fires and storms, following the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

Alok Sharma, Britain’s COP26 president, told delegates at the marathon talks: “It’s time to decide. And the choices you make are crucial.”

But China and India insisted that the language of fossil fuels should be weakened in the text of the final summit decision.

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As soon as the final agreement was reached, a tearful Sharma said, “I apologize for the way this process has been uncovered. I am deeply sorry,” before lowering his gig.

Delegates entered into talks to limit the 1.5-2C degree temperature rise within reach of the 2015 Paris Agreement targets.

They were also tasked with finding funding for countries at risk of climate-related droughts, floods and storms supercharged by rising seas.

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Observers say the deal fell far short of what was needed to avoid dangerous warming and to help countries adapt or recover from the already catastrophic global catastrophe.

“The COP has now failed to provide immediate assistance to those in need,” Paris Agreement architect Lawrence Tubiana told AFP.

Sharma had earlier told delegates in the final round of marathon talks that they were facing “moments of truth for our planet, our children and our grandchildren”.

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– Survival –

The final text called on countries to accelerate efforts to “phase out” inactive coal and “phase out” inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.

Large emitters China and India opposed the mention of polluting fuels, and the language of the final text was significantly shorter than in previous drafts.

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The treaty called on all countries to accelerate their emissions reduction by 2022 by submitting a new national plan three years before the agreement was reached in Paris.

But after the resistance of rich countries led by the United States and the European Union, the text omitted any mention of a certain monetary benefit for the damage and loss of climate change in the developing world.

It promises only future “dialogue” on this issue instead.

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Maldives Environment Minister Shawna Aminath said, “Negotiations and dialogue could start for some damage and loss.” “But for us, it’s a matter of survival.”

Although host Britain has said it wants to keep COP26 within a 1.5C temperature cap, a UN scientific assessment said last week that the countries’ latest climate plans are pushing the world to a temperature of 2.7C.

The text mentions “deeply saddened” that rich countries have also failed to stamp up the 100 100 billion they promised a decade ago. It called on countries to pay “urgently and by 2025”.

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It also promised double funding to help developing countries cope with rising temperatures by the same date.

– 1.5C in Life Support –

But developing countries say it would be unfair to create an unbalanced agreement for the summit that weighs heavily on “mitigation” – how economies could abandon fossil fuels and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

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They wanted specific guidance on how they could meet the decarbonizing bill when adapting to a natural disaster supercharged by global warming.

“We were told that COP26 was the last chance to save 1.5C but it was put on life support,” said Amanda Mukwashi, CEO of Christian Aid.

“Rich nations have kicked off the road and with it the promise of urgent climate action for the people at the forefront of this crisis.”

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Glasgow has seen two high-profile announcements from world leaders over the past two weeks, such as a promise to reduce methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

It also witnessed widespread protests against what activists said was a dangerous lack of activism.

COP26 “is an insult to the millions of people whose lives are being cut short by the climate crisis,” said Teresa Anderson, Climate Policy Coordinator at ActionAid International.

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(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)

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