Analysis: COP26 ends with Glasgow climate agreement. That’s where it succeeded and failed

Some are telling it successful, some are unsuccessful and many people are telling it something in the middle. Here’s what’s in it so you can decide for yourself.

First ever mention of fossil fuels… with lots of caveats

But in the 11th hour, India Said it would accept language with a twist – that coal should not be “down,” phased out, which some observers see as a get out clause that would allow continued use of coal.

COP26 president Alok Sharma was seen giving opinion on the floor of the plenary chamber to see if others would support the change to essentially save the article.

When asked his opinion on the whole agreement, even green Peace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan hails coal as a win for the climate.

“It’s humbling, it’s weak and the 1.5C target is only alive, but a signal has been sent that the coal age is coming to an end. And it matters,” she said.

Sharma faced questions on the way he handled the last minute change, for which he later apologized.

“It won’t bring us closer to 1.5, but will make it more difficult to reach,” said Swiss Environment Minister Simonetta Somarug, receiving a long round of applause.

But Indian Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav, who opposed the language, said it would be difficult for his country to end coal use and fossil fuel subsidies while it tries to address poverty.

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“How can one expect developing countries to make promises to end coal and fossil fuel subsidies?” He asked.

“The subsidy provides much-needed social security and support,” he said, citing examples of how India uses subsidies to provide liquefied natural gas to low-income households.

2022 – a year for the world to work together

Britain's Alok Sharma, second left, COP26 President and Patricia Espinosa, left, UNFCCC Executive-Secretary during the concluding plenary session of the COP26 United Nations Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Saturday, November 13, 2021

Perhaps the most consequential change was the language urging parties to come to Egypt next year at COP27 with updated plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Under the Paris Agreement, countries were only obliged to update their targets until 2025.

The idea is that countries will raise their ambition more regularly, which should mean an acceleration to net zero – a state where the amount of greenhouse gases emitted does not exceed the amount removed from the atmosphere.

The latest landmark climate science report, published by the United Nations in August, says emissions will almost halve by 2030 and the world has any hope of keeping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius to reach zero by the middle of the century.

Now the question is, will countries actually do this?

“By agreeing to this emergency package they have responded to the growing climate damage with an action plan to keep 1.5C within reach,” said Nick Mabe, co-founder and executive director of the E3G climate think tank.

“But the real work begins now as every country must go home and fulfill its Glasgow promises.”

Rich countries agreed more than 10 years ago to transfer $100 billion a year to developing countries to help them transition to low-carbon economies and adapt to the climate crisis. Adaptation can include anything from building sea walls to prevent flooding, moving communities back from the coast, and remodeling homes to better withstand extreme weather events.

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Not only did the prosperous world fail to deliver $100 billion by the 2020 deadline, developing countries say it’s nowhere near enough in the first place. They were calling for a 50-50 split between mitigation – measures to reduce emissions – and adaptation that helps them deal with the consequences of climate change. Far more money has flowed into measures focused on cutting emissions.

The Glasgow Climate Pact includes doubling funding for adaptation from 2019 levels to 2025, an advance in this area. But the $100 billion target is still off track, likely only to be met by 2023, the COP26 presidency report found. There are also questions over whether developed nations will maintain that level of funding annually.

Ani Dasgupta, president and CEO of the World Resources Institute, said, “It is unforgivable that developed countries fail to meet their commitment of $100 billion annually from 2020, even as they commit hundreds of billions to fossil fuels.” Dollar subsidies also provide.”

“It is important that the end result at COP26 keeps developed countries on the hook to report on their progress towards the $100 billion target. Countries have also moved towards developing a new fiscal target that will be implemented by 2025. Goes forward. Nations also agreed to at least double funding. For adaptation by 2025, at least $40 billion, which is very significant progress.”

No ‘liability’ fund to pay for climate crisis devastation

Climate activists protest while building a human corridor at the start of the closing plenary session "Pollutants outside, people in"  On November 11, 2021.

This is a point that will leave many developing and climate sensitive countries going home disappointed. There was much hope that a dedicated fund would be established to pay for the damage and destruction caused to the countries most affected by the climate crisis.

The idea was that wealthy nations would pay for it, and if a country experienced a flood-like event that destroyed homes, this money could help them rebuild. This is called “loss and damage” in climate.

The agreement recognizes the importance of loss and damage and agrees to promote technical assistance to affected countries. But instead of agreeing to a dedicated fund, it calls for more dialogue, meaning a real fund could be years away, if it does.

US climate envoy John Kerry confirmed the decision after his country was against such a fund, while the European Union had previously said it would not support it.

Rachel Cletus, policy director and chief economist in the climate and energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said Australia was also stalling progress. CNN has reached out to the delegation.

“The proposed Glasgow Loss and Damage facility to channel new and additional funds for loss and damage failed to materialize after being blocked by wealthy countries including the United States, Australia and the European Union,” Cletus said. “

“The final COP26 decision is heavily compromised by the countries that have contributed most to the climate crisis and once again deny justice to climate vulnerable developing countries.”

It took six years but a Paris rule book was finally finished. Around

steel plant emissions

If there is any indication of how slow progress may be in consensus, it was only on Saturday that the world agreed on the outstanding terms of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

There was concern over the creation of carbon emissions markets, known as “Article 6”, which is so technical that the world cannot agree on its wording and essence over the past five years. There were concerns about a loophole that could allow some countries to double their carbon credits. And it will be disastrous because the world will soon lose track of how much greenhouse gas is actually being removed, or offset, and sold into markets.

One way to offset greenhouse gases is to pay countries with significant forest cover not to log their trees, or to plant more of them. Trees can absorb and lock in large amounts of carbon. Cutting or burning them releases carbon dioxide in the air. For example, instead of a coal or oil plant, one country may pay another to build a wind farm.

Brazil was pushing for the deal because it could become a major exporter of carbon credits not through Amazon One, but also through renewable energy projects such as wind and solar.

It’s good news that the rules are finally agreed and some loopholes closed, but some experts warn against allowing too much offset, saying it’s important for nations and businesses to continue emissions as usual. There is an incentive to offset this, especially in prosperous nations and large businesses that can spend a lot. There are also concerns about the system’s implications for indigenous peoples, who are concerned about the commoditization of their land. According to the United Nations, indigenous peoples make up less than 5% of the world’s population, but they protect 80% of the remaining forest biodiversity globally.

And even when it was adopted, there were technically some details that were not agreed upon.

“We are extremely pleased that the countries participating in COP26 have agreed on how global carbon trading will work to accelerate climate action. Progress in Glasgow is towards keeping global average temperature rise below 1.5C. An important step forward,” said senior James Roth. Vice President of Global Policy and Government Affairs at Conservation International.

Roth said, “After six years of negotiations, the rules allowing countries to trade carbon credits with each other, known as Article 6.2, have been agreed upon, with the exception of certain operational elements. ”

“This level of certainty will spur new investment to enhance necessary climate action across all sectors, including preventing deforestation and promoting other natural climate solutions.”

And there you have it. Some good news, some bad news. As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, the work for COP27 begins now Egypt, Only then will the real impact of Glasgow become apparent.