Glasgow’s latest draft qualifies the message against fossil fuels

  • In the final stretch of the negotiations, the final text of the Climate Summit reinforces some requests and clarifies the language on others

  • The document calls on rich countries to double their contribution to climate adaptation funds for the global south

Start the countdown by the end of the Glasgow Climate Summit (COP26). After the umpteenth night of negotiations that last until dawn, this Friday first thing in the morning the latest draft of some agreements key to the future of the planet. The text reinforces the message against polluting energy sources and calls on countries to “accelerate the phase-out of coal energy and inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels“This request already appeared in the draft agreement published on Wednesday, but in the final stretch of the negotiations it seems that the language has changed. In the new version of the draft, the mention of fossil fuels is somewhat diluted in a more generic appeal on the need to bet on clean energy sources. Although no type of calendar, measurement or commitment is detailed concrete to achieve it. Of course, it is the first time that a text of this type crosses out subsidies to oil, coal and gas as “inefficient.”

The latest draft of the Glasgow Accords also reinforces the message about the need to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The text, in fact, recalls that to limit the global increase in temperatures to a maximum of 1.5 degrees on average, it is necessary to cut emissions by at least 45% before 2030 and reach a net zero by 2050. That said , The document “invites countries to consider more actions to reduce their emissions“before the end of the decade. Likewise, the text calls on all governments that have not yet delivered their updated plans on how to achieve this goal to do so before next year. It also asks that every five years governments submit a detailed plan on their projected emissions for the next decade.

The petition, launched with quite forceful language for this type of text, seems to have generated blisters on the negotiating table. In fact, according to another of the technical documents published a few hours ago, some governments challenge this decision and they ask to reopen the debate before closing the agreement. In the corridors of Glasgow, rumors suggest that Saudi Arabia is among the governments that is pushing the most to change this part of the wording. The final text needs add the consensus of the 197 parties before being definitively approved. So, on the eve of the closing, everything indicates that the debate will be intense.

As reflected in this latest draft, after two weeks of debate, the countries have indeed managed to close an agreement for the creation of an external body to monitor the deployment of climate policies. This new program, led by United nations, will present annual reports on the evolution of the emission levels of each country. The first balance will be published next year, during the next edition of the Climate Summit, which will take place in Egypt. Although it seems a purely diplomatic question, the real objective of this program is none other than prevent countries from cheating and declare that they are polluting less than they actually do. So at least this is good news.

Funds for the global south

Another critical point that should take shape in the next few hours has to do with the funds that more than a decade ago rich countries promised to deliver to developing states to face the advance of the climate crisis. The latest draft of the text calls for “mobilize” all possible resources for consolidate $ 100,000 annually by 2025. These days, several governments and financial entities have promised to increase their contribution to these funds. Although it is not yet clear when and how it will be done.

The text also claims doubling the collective contribution of rich countries to the climate adaptation funds. This increase in financing, highlights the document, should be consolidated in the next four years. The draft also highlights the need to strengthen tools for remedy “loss and damage” that the climate crisis is causing in the poorest areas of the planet.

Final straight of the negotiations

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This is how the final text of the Climate Summit is taking shape against the clock in a city, Glasgow, which This Friday has dawned especially cold and rainy. In this final stretch of negotiations, a word, a comma or the verb form of a verb (past, present or future) could change everything. As this latest draft of the debate shows, at some points the language is nuanced. In others it is reinforced. For now, everything indicates that, in this final section of the debate, the main objective is to polish technical details. No big changes, no big announcements expected. Although who knows, anything can happen in Glasgow.

The presidency of COP26 has promised that the final deal will be announced this Friday afternoon, from six o’clock. But since there are still several fringes to be covered, there are many who suggest that the debate could be extended until the weekend. At the moment, everything indicates that the most likely option is the second.

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