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Cop26 news: Boris Johnson says pact ‘sounds death knell for coal’ but admits disappointment at pledges

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Boris Johnson has admitted his “disappointment” at the Cop26 climate pact after coal pledges were watered down.

Holding a press conference with Cop26 president Alok Sharma, he said the agreement “sounded the death knell for coal” and dismissed criticism that the shift from phasing “out” coal to phasing “down” the dirty fuel was a significant change in language.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson is facing accusations from Labour that he “undermined” his own climate conference minister by failing to back him up with ambitious UK commitments.

It comes after the government faced criticism for not bringing down a firm enough hand on India and China’s demands to make a last-minute change to the text on coal in the deal agreed in Glasgow on Saturday.

Read More

Cop26: Nations announce landmark Glasgow climate pact after last-minute weakening on coal

Cop26: 10 key takeaways from the final deal agreed in Glasgow

Cop26: ‘Meek and weak’ climate pact blasted for lack of urgency on emission cuts

Key Points

  • Nations announce landmark climate pact in Glasgow...

  • ...as Alok Sharma breaks down and apologises for events at Cop26

  • Countries express anger at last-minute watering down of coal commitment

  • UN calls out failure of negotiators to ‘overcome deep contradictions’

  • Politicians react to news of ‘modest’ Cop26 agreement

  • Watch: Sharma gets emotional during summit’s final moments

  • Johnson: ‘Glasgow has sounded the death knell for coal power'

XR conduct ‘funeral’ for ‘failed’ climate summit

Saturday 13 November 2021 15:11 , Emily Atkinson

Extinction Rebellion climate activists have conducted a funeral ceremony for the Cop26 in Glasgow they say has “failed all of us.”

The so-called red and blue rebels led a procession across Church Lane Bridge, known locally as The Bridge of Sighs, to Glasgow Necropolis - before lying down between rows of headstones.

Extinction Rebellion activists are seen holding a Funeral for COP26 at the Necropolis on November 13, 2021 in Glasgow. (Getty Images)
Extinction Rebellion activists are seen holding a Funeral for COP26 at the Necropolis on November 13, 2021 in Glasgow. (Getty Images)

One activist, draped in a black cloak labelled ‘Cop26’, was lowered into the ground by their fellow members.

An XR spokesperson, identified as Karen, said: “We are here grieving for a planet that has been sacrificed by the failure and stupidity of Cop26.

“The bare minimum needed from Cop26 were commitments to leaving oil in the ground and an immediate halt to fossil fuel funding.

“Anything less than that is idiocy.

“As intelligent life on this planet we are already extinct. We know exactly what we need to do and we’re not doing it.”

Sharma appeals for nations to seal deal in ‘moment of truth’ for world

Saturday 13 November 2021 15:33 , Emily Atkinson

Climate change summit president Alok Sharma has appealed to almost 200 nations gathered in Glasgow to agree a new deal to rein in global warming, telling them: “This is the moment of truth”.

After last-minute wrangling which delayed the scheduled end of the two-week United Nations Cop26 summit, Mr Sharma said that a “clean” text for a final agreement had been reached and said he aimed to get it formally signed off later in the day.

More to follow from Louise Boyle, Daisy Dunne and Andrew Woodcock.

Sharma appeals for nations to seal Cop 26 deal in ‘moment of truth’ for world

‘We should meet each other halfway,’ says China

Saturday 13 November 2021 15:43 , Emily Atkinson

The world’s largest annual greenhouse gas emitter China has just had the floor during an eleventh-hour plenary at the Cop26 summit, Daisy Dunne reports.

China said the latest Cop26 draft was “improved over previous versions” and that it had no intention to “revisit” texts again.

However, the country took issue with two paragraphs in the draft agreement, including a critical section mentioning the need to move away from unabated coal power and “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies.

“We should meet each other halfway,” China’s representative said, adding that the country was “ready to work with partners to provide constructive proposals and ideas” to reach a “balanced” final outcome.

‘Unsustainable lifestyles and wasteful consumption’ to blame for climate crisis, says India’s Cop representative

Saturday 13 November 2021 16:01 , Emily Atkinson

As the Cop26 summit came down to the wire and countries made their inventions, India’s representative said that “consensus remains elusive”, blaming “unsustainable lifestyles and wasteful consumption” as having caused the climate crisis, reports Louise Boyle.

“Climate-friendly lifestyles and climate justice enshrined in the Paris Agreement are key to solving climate crisis,” he noted.

He went on to say that developing countries must be allowed to deal with their own domestic issues of poverty and economic development.

“Developing countries have their right to fair share of carbon budget [and] responsible use of fossil fuels,” he said.

“There is still a lack of balance in the text,” he said. India also criticized the call for countries to revisit emissions-reduction targets, known as “nationally determined contributions, in 2022.

“There is a well-defined cycle for NDCs and no need to deviate from it,” he said.

‘For heaven’s sake, don’t kill this moment’ – EU

Saturday 13 November 2021 16:19 , Sam Hancock

Our climate correspondent Daisy Dunne reports the following from Glasgow:

Frans Timmermans, vice-president of the European Commission, just took the floor at Cop26 to make an impassioned plea for countries to agree to reach a final deal today.

“For heaven’s sake, don’t kill this moment by asking for more texts or different texts,” he told delegates.

“I please implore you: embrace this text so [we] can bring hope to the hearts of our children and grandchildren. They will not forgive us if we fail them today.”

But he also conceded that “we are only at the beginning of what we need to do” on issues of providing finance for the loss and damage caused by the climate crisis, a major focus point for developing world countries.

Earlier in the week, a large coalition of developing countries and island states came forward with a plan for a “Glasgow financial facility for loss and damage”. If created, this would be the first ever pot of money set aside specifically to help communities around the world that have been devastated by climate impacts such as rising seas and deadly droughts.

But as negotiations wore on, the US and EU pushed back strongly against the idea, and the text that emerged on Saturday morning contained no reference to the facility at all.

Watch: Oxfam stages protest urging world leaders to ‘put out flames’

Saturday 13 November 2021 16:35 , Sam Hancock

Cop26 delivered ‘strong message of hope,’ says Tuvalu

Saturday 13 November 2021 16:45 , Sam Hancock

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock reports:

Seve Paeniu, the climate minster of the South Sea island state of Tuvalu, said that the Glasgow summit had delivered “a strong message of hope, a strong message of promise, a strong message of ambition”.

Holding up a photograph of his three grandchildren, Mr Paeniu said: “I will be able to tell them that Glasgow has made a promise to save their future. That will be the best ever Christmas gift I will present to them .”

Seve Paeniu (Screengrab/YouTube)
Seve Paeniu (Screengrab/YouTube)

Marshall Islands appeal to emotional side of world leaders

Saturday 13 November 2021 16:55 , Sam Hancock

Our senior climate correspondent Louise Boyle has the following:

The representative of the Marshall Islands made an emotional statement to fellow negotiators at Cop26.

The Marshall Islands sit barely six feet above sea level in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and its people are among the most vulnerable in the world to severe climate impacts.

The country’s representative noted that the Glasgow summit had represented “real progress” but there was much work to do, particularly on loss and damage - the issue of financial compensation for countries already facing a heavy burden.

“At the end of the Cop in Madrid I had to go back home and say to my children that I’m afraid that we did not deliver. I cannot afford to do that again,” she said.

You can read more on some of the complex challenges facing the Marshall Islands here:

The stolen climate crisis babies: US politician jailed for selling children

Cop progress ‘not in line with urgency and scale required’ - Maldives

Saturday 13 November 2021 17:02 , Sam Hancock

Andrew Woodcock, our political editor, has more detail on the climate talks:

More from world leaders’ closing remarks now, the representative of the Maldives warned that the Glasgow agreement would not be enough to save the Indian Ocean island state.

The progress achieved in the past fortnight was “not in line with the urgency and scale required,” she said.

“What is balanced and pragmatic to other parties will not help the Maldives adapt in time. It will be too late for the Maldives.

“For us, this is a matter of survival.”

Urging swifter action, she added: “The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is a death sentence for us.”

Thunberg warns of inevitable ‘greenwashing’ around Cop26 final text

Saturday 13 November 2021 17:12 , Sam Hancock

Greta Thunberg has shared her closing thoughts on climate talks in Glasgow, warning her followers to stick firm in reality.

US climate envoy speaks on behalf of the US

Saturday 13 November 2021 17:25 , Sam Hancock

Back to Louise Boyle, our senior climate correspondent, for an update now:

John Kerry opened by saying he was “thinking about the different lives that are out here and the extraordinary number of people that have come together here in Glasgow”.

But he noted that the work has been beyond these two weeks, and gone on for months and years.

“It is time to come together for future generations in a way that none of us thought we might have an opportunity to do,” he said. “We each have our own priorities. If it's a good negotiation, all the parties are uncomfortable. This has been, I think, a good negotiation.”

He noted that while there are things in the text of the agreement that every one country “can come up with that doesn't meet their best desire”.

Mr Kerry called it a “powerful statement” and said the US is “excited” that the agreement raises ambition, sets measurement standards and asks everyone to be part of the process, calling it “significant on mitigation and increasing adaption, resilience, and scaling up adaptation finance”.

He noted that progress had been made on Loss & Damage “tough as that's been previously”, and sought to quell doubts that the US wanted to participate constructively in the issue. He also called the commitment to doubling adaptation finance as a “real” one. He called the Glasgow pact a “remarkable step”.

He referred to the US-China climate deal from earlier this week noting that it showed, despite differences, countries could rise above on the climate crisis.

“I have been in public life a long time,” he said. “And not everyone gets to make choices about life and death, and that actually affect an entire planet. We here are privileged to do entirely that.”

Mr Kerry closed by calling on the Glasgow agreement to be adopted at Cop26: “So we can in fact guarantee to our children, grandchildren and next generations that we did our job.”

Watch: Banners remain outside Cop26 venue in Glasgow

Saturday 13 November 2021 17:35 , Sam Hancock

Vulnerable countries faced with ‘near impossible choice’ AFP environment correspondent says

Saturday 13 November 2021 17:43 , Ella Glover

Patrick Galley, AFP’s global environment and science correspondent has said that some climate-hit countries were faced with a “near impossible choice” in loss and damage deal.

“Loss and damage facility fatally undermined by US/EU refusal and the knowledge that this process isn’t equal: Some countries had to choose between cash to help their suffering now or mitigation to prevent even worse suffering to come,” he wrote on Twitter. “That’s a near impossible choice #COP26

Final texts ‘fully consistent’ with goals of Paris Agreement and Cop26, Alok Sharma says

Saturday 13 November 2021 18:00 , Ella Glover

The final texts are “fully consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement and the ultimate objective of the convention,” Cop26 President Alok Sharma has said.

However, he warned against upsetting the current “delicate balance” and said he hoped countries could leave the conference “united…as one.”

He said: “There is a fine and fragile green thread which is weaved around this balanced package. And I do think that if any of us tug, it will unravel all too easily.”

He added: “I do think these texts are fully consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement and the ultimate objective of the convention.

“So I do hope that we can leave this conference united, having delivered something significant for our people and planet - together as one.”

Iran unhappy with fossil fuels language

Saturday 13 November 2021 18:20 , Ella Glover

Iran has joined the list of nations unhappy with the part of the agreement that refers to a phase-out of coal and fossil fuel subsidies.

“We need to use fossil fuels for economic development. We request you modify this paragraph,” says the representative.

China, India and South Africa have also criticised this part of the text.

India, China, US and EU hold last minute talks on phasing out of coal

Saturday 13 November 2021 18:30 , Ella Glover

Representatives from India, China, the United States and the European Union were meeting Saturday evening to discuss details of an agreed phaseout of coal as nations pushed for a deal at the UN climate conference in Scotland, according to a member of the Indian delegation.

Assuming the draft won’t change, the final wording on coal, from the published agreement reads:

“Calls upon Parties to accelerate the development, deployment and dissemination of technologies, and the adoption of policies, to transition towards low-emission energy systems, including by rapidly scaling up the deployment of clean power generation and energy efficiency measures, including accelerating efforts towards the phase-out of unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, recognizing the need for support towards a just transition.”

Additional reporting by PA

China says deal has been struck at Cop26

Saturday 13 November 2021 19:22 , Sam Hancock

A final climate deal has been struck at Cop26, according to China’s top climate envoy.

Speaking through a translator, Xie Zhenhua told a Reuters reporter: “We have a deal.”

He gave a thumbs up signal as he spoke, the news agency added.

Xie Zhenhua, China’s special climate envoy (Getty)
Xie Zhenhua, China’s special climate envoy (Getty)

Final plenary session begins

Saturday 13 November 2021 19:35 , Sam Hancock

Alok Sharma has said it is “decision time” as the final plenary session gets underway at Cop26.

The president of the summit acknowledges that talks “have not been easy” as other countries begin having their say.

India proposes changing coal wording from ‘phase out’ to ‘phase down'

Saturday 13 November 2021 19:39 , Sam Hancock

Over to the Indian representative now, who has proposed altered wording to the Cop26 UN climate summit in Glasgow, changing a call on parties to “phase out unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” to “phase down”.

The representative for Switzerland - who also represents the Environmental Integrity Group - strongly criticises the proposed change, calling it “watered down”, but says the group would not oppose this in order to prevent leaving Glasgow without a deal.

“This will not bring us closer to 1.5C but will make it more difficult to reach it,” she says.

Countries condemn last-minute change to coal language

Saturday 13 November 2021 19:44 , Sam Hancock

The EU has said the last-minute revision to language around coal should not stop a deal being reached at Glasgow, and insists “phasing down” will still help to lessen the harmful impact of burning coal.

Meanwhile, the representative of the Marshall Islands expresses “bitter disappointment” with the change.

Alok Sharma breaks down amid changes to wording

Saturday 13 November 2021 19:48 , Sam Hancock

An emotional Alok Sharma broke down at Cop26 after apologising for the “way this process has unfolded”.

It comes after a key change to the deal on coal, following a proposed revision by India to water down language on coal.

Mr Sharma, while saying it is “vital” that countries protect this deal, acknowledged the disappointment some countries feel.

He goes on to confirm a revised deal has been agreed at Cop26.

ITV News’ Anushka Asthana reports:

Nations announce landmark climate pact in Glasgow

Saturday 13 November 2021 20:05 , Sam Hancock

The Cop26 climate summit has finally concluded after nations agreed to a landmark deal aimed at preventing catastrophic global warming.

Talks dragged on for more than 24 hours after the Glasgow conference was due to end amid intense negotiations over contentious issues like fossil fuel subsidies, emission-reduction timelines and climate finance for developing nations.

China and India made a last-minute intervention to water down language in the final text on coal, changing it to “phase down” on unbated coal power instead of the stronger “phase out”.

Our climate correspondents Louise Boyle and Daisy Dunne report:

Cop26: Nations announce landmark climate pact in Glasgow

Countries continue to express anger at last-minute change to coal wording

Saturday 13 November 2021 20:15 , Sam Hancock

Many island states, including the representative for Fiji, criticised the last-minute proposed change to call on parties to “phase down” rather than “phase out” coal.

He told the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow: “What we would like to express was not just our astonishment but our immense disappointment in the manner in which this has been introduced.”

He said days before they were warned against making “last-minute” changes to the text and said “due process” had not been followed.

Meanwhile, EU executive vice-president Frans Timmermans said that despite his disappointment over the change, he still believed the outcome of Glasgow would help the world shift away from the use of fossil fuel.

He said: “[The EU] is going to work bloody hard on getting rid out of of coal, and I believe this conclusion will help us work in that direction.

“The European Union will be strongly committed to that not just within the European Union, but also with our partners worldwide.

“And for us the model we have found together with the United Kingdom, United States, Germany and France on South Africa should be the template of how we help other coal producing countries to rid themselves of this fossil.”

Emotional Sharma apologises as coal phase out text ‘watered down’

Saturday 13 November 2021 20:16 , Sam Hancock

Here’s Ella Glover with more detail on the moment Cop26 president Alok Sharma broke down on stage at the climate summit.

Emotional Alok Sharma apologises as coal phaseout text in Cop26 deal ‘watered down’

UN calls out failure of negotiators to ‘overcome deep contradictions’

Saturday 13 November 2021 20:35 , Sam Hancock

UN secretary general Antonio Guterres said the approved texts from Cop26 were a compromise that took important steps, but the “collective political will was not enough to overcome some deep contradictions”.

“Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread,” he warned, adding: “We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe.”

He called for an end to fossil fuels subsidies, a phase out of coal, a price on carbon, building resilience of vulnerable communities against the impacts of climate change and to make good on the long-promised 100 billion US dollar climate finance commitment to support developing countries.

“We did not achieve these goals at this conference. But we have some building blocks for progress,” Mr Guterres said.

Here’s Sky’s Beth Rigby with more on Mr Guterres’ “downbeat” remarks.

Politicians react to news of ‘modest’ Cop26 agreement

Saturday 13 November 2021 20:48 , Sam Hancock

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said of the agreement at Cop26, that “there has been modest progress toward the challenges we face - which is important”.

But, he stressed: “We have seen too many promises for tomorrow, not the action that the climate emergency demands today. Boris Johnson bears some responsibility for that. Glasgow has been a missed opportunity - a summit too often of climate delay not climate delivery”.

Sir Keir accused the PM of not treating the summit with the seriousness it deserved, or building the trust that was critical to its success.

He urged the UK - during its presidency of the Cop until next year’s Cop27 - to redouble diplomatic efforts and make the strides forward that Cop26 did not achieve.

Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland, tweeted:

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said:

Meanwhile, former Labour leader Ed Miliband praised Alok Sharma’s integrity;

Watch: Sharma gets emotional in Cop26’s last moments

Saturday 13 November 2021 21:02 , Sam Hancock

Thunberg shares feelings on Glasgow Climate Pact: ‘Blah blah blah’

Saturday 13 November 2021 21:15 , Sam Hancock

Greta Thunberg gives her verdict on the final agreement reached at Cop26.

Boris Johnson said he hopes Cop26 will signify the ‘beginning of the end of climate change’

Saturday 13 November 2021 21:29 , Ella Glover

The Prime Minister said he hopes Cop26 will be looked back on as the “beginning of the end of climate change,” although he admits there is “still a huge amount more to do.”

Writing on Twitter, Mr Johnson said: “We asked nations to come together for our planet at Cop26, and they have answered that call.

“I want to thank the leaders, negotiators and campaigners who made this pact happen – and the people of Glasgow who welcomed them with open arms.”

He also thanked Alok Sharma for his work in bringing everyone together.

The PM added: “There is still a huge amount more to do in the coming years.

“But today’s agreement is a big step forward and, critically, we have the first ever international agreement to phase down coal and a roadmap to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

“I hope that we will look back on COP26 in Glasgow as the beginning of the end of climate change, and I will continue to work tirelessly towards that goal.”

The wealthiest countries most responsible for climate change ‘have failed,’ says advocacy group

Saturday 13 November 2021 21:38 , Ella Glover

Some more reactions to the final deal are in, this time from advocacy group Global Citizen.

Michael Sheldrick, Chief Policy and Government Affairs Officer at Global Citizen, said: “The wealthiest countries who are responsible for and now continue to worsen climate change, have failed.

And it is the poorest communities that will continue to suffer loss and damage, which continues to go unaddressed.

Global Citizen calls for wealthy countries to meet their obligations, reach the $100bn per year in climate finance now not in 2023, provide financial support for loss and damage, annually update their Nationally Determined Contributions and move from pledges to the policies and legislation needed to avoid greater than 1.5C temperature rise.”

More campaign groups react to the Glasgow Climate Pact

Saturday 13 November 2021 21:52 , Ella Glover

A number of charities and NGOs have reacted to the Glasgow Climate Pact, with many expressing disappointment at the outcome of Cop26.

Greenpeace

Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International, said: “It’s meek, it’s weak and the 1.5C goal is only just alive, but a signal has been sent that the era of coal is ending - and that matters.

“While the deal recognises the need for deep emissions cuts this decade, those commitments have been punted to next year.

“Young people who’ve come of age in the climate crisis won’t tolerate many more outcomes like this. Why should they when they’re fighting for their futures?”

WWF

Tanya Steele, chief executive at WWF, said: “This summit has seen the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C become the North Star guiding us all but a clear pathway is far from certain and we still have a long way to go.

“We are encouraged by the recognition that nature must be an integral part of tackling the climate crisis and by commitments on curbing coal and fossil fuel subsidies.”

She added: “We now need to see delivery with rapid, deep and ongoing emissions cuts alongside support for vulnerable countries facing current and future climate impacts.”

Oxfam

Gabriela Bucher, international executive director of Oxfam, said: “Clearly some world leaders think they aren’t living on the same planet as the rest of us.

“It seems no amount of fires, rising sea levels or droughts will bring them to their senses to stop increasing emissions at the expense of humanity.”

But she welcomed the decision to strengthen 2030 reduction targets by next year: “Big emitters, especially rich countries, must heed the call and align their targets to give us the best possible chance of keeping 1.5 degrees within reach.”

Friends of the Earth

Rachel Kennerley, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “The road to 1.5 just got harder when these talks should have cleared the way to making it a whole lot easier.”

“The UK government cunningly curated announcements throughout this fortnight so that it seemed rapid progress was being made.”

She added: “Here we are though, and the Glasgow get-out clause means that leaders failed to phase out fossil fuels and the richest countries won’t pay historic climate debt.”

PA

The reaction to the Glasgow Climate Pact has been highly critical, here’s what people have to say

Saturday 13 November 2021 22:05 , Ella Glover

The Glasgow Climate Pact has garnered much disappointment from politicians, NGOs and countries themselves after last-minute talks led to the wording on coal being watered down.

Our reporters Andrew Woodcock, Louise Boyle and Daisy Dunne have the full breakdown:

‘Meek and weak’ climate pact blasted for lack of urgency on emission cuts

Cop26 was not ‘the finish line,’ says John Kerry

Saturday 13 November 2021 22:24 , Ella Glover

Addressing the audience at Cop26, John Kerry said that Glasgow was “not the finish line,” but the “start of the race.”

The US climate envoy said that the Glasgow Climate Pact has brought us “closer than we have ever been before to avoiding climate chaos and securing cleaner air, safer water and a healthier planet.”

Comparing the Pact to the Paris Agreement he said: “Paris was…not a guarantee that we would be able to hold the earth’s temperature rise to well below 2C, let alone 1.5C.

“But now, here in Glasgow, we have 65 percent of global GDP committed to real plans.”

Addressing the issue of coal, he said: “As a result of what took place here with nations who had never considered even having the word coal in a plan, it remains even today after what took place, the phasedown of coal is on the books.

“You have to phase down coal before you can ‘end coal,’ so this is the beginning of something.”

The Glasgow Climate Pact at a glace

Saturday 13 November 2021 22:40 , Ella Glover

The wording of the new Glasgow Pact might not seem controversial to the uninitiated, but they have been subject to months - and in some cases years - of legal wrangling.

Here are some of the key elements of the agreement:

Expresses “alarm and utmost concern” at the fact human activities have caused around 1.1C of warming, and that the Earth’s remaining “carbon budget” consistent with 1.5C is being “rapidly depleted”.

  • Stresses the “urgency of enhancing ambition and action” in the 2020s to have any hope of meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.

  • Calls up parties to “phase down” unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.

  • Invites parties “to consider” further action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, including methane, at a greater rate by 2030.

  • Expresses “deep regret” that the goal of developed countries to mobilise 100 US dollars a year by 2020 for developing countries to tackle climate change has not been met.

  • Urges developed countries to fully deliver on the 100 billion US dollars goal urgently and through to 2025.

  • A new post-2025 long term finance goal for climate finance for developing countries will be negotiated from 2022 and set in 2024 under the proposals.

  • Reiterates the “urgency of scaling up action and support, including finance” to developing countries to help them “avert, minimise and address” loss and damage associated with climate change.

  • Emphasises the importance of “protecting, conserving and restoring nature and ecosystems” to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement of limiting warming to 1.5C and well below 2C.

  • Recognises the role of “indigenous peoples, local communities and civil society, including youth and children” in addressing and responding to climate change.

PA

‘Cop26 has failed us,’ says Extinction Rebellion

Saturday 13 November 2021 23:15 , Ella Glover

In a tweet, Extinction Rebellion activists wrote: “#COP26 has failed us - humanity’s future is sinking fast.

“There are no lifeboats on our planet.”

Why India objected to coal pledge

06:30 , Adam Withnall

There has been a lot of attention on the fact India objected to the Cop26 deal promising to "phase out" coal, instead amending the language to "phase down", and the country will inevitably face criticism in the coming days for its stance.

But experts also note that, with as much as 70 per cent of India's energy currently coming from coal, such a commitment was seen by New Delhi as putting an unfair constriction on the country's ability to develop and bring its citizens out of poverty.

Ulka Kelkar, climate programme director at the World Resources Institute India, explains this stance and the next steps for the country after Glasgow:

“India will be affected by COP26 asking countries to phase out polluting coal power and withdraw inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. India will also have to join other countries to escalate emission reduction actions more frequently. This will not be easy for a lower-middle income country that is trying to lift millions of people out of poverty.

“India’s battle against climate change will be led by scaling up renewable energy, which will be the foundation of our net zero future; by industry, who will fight to stay competitive in the global economy; and by states and cities, who will need to urbanise with respect for nature.

“Now that COP-26 has finalised the rules of carbon trading, India will be able to sell more than a million carbon credits from previous years, and can also create a domestic market for carbon trading.”

Reactions pour in to ‘meek and weak’ Cop26 agreement

06:46 , Arpan Rai

Environmental ministers and activists have called the final outcome of Cop26 disappointing, as they cited the ongoing destruction in their communities as a result of global warming.

“Even if leaders stuck to the promises they have made here in Glasgow, it would not prevent the destruction of communities like mine. Right now, at 1.2 degrees Celsius of global warming, drought and flooding are killing people in Uganda,” said Fridays for Future activist Vanessa Nakate.

Nakate, who is from Uganda, said that “only immediate, drastic emissions cuts will give us hope of safety”.

Maldives’s environment minister Shauna Aminath, while noting the incremental progress, said that the outcome of COP26 does not “bring hope to our hearts”.

And Jennifer Morgan, the executive director of Greenpeace International, said: “It’s meek, it’s weak and the 1.5C goal is only just alive, but a signal has been sent that the era of coal is ending. And that matters. “Glasgow was meant to deliver on firmly closing the gap to 1.5C and that didn’thappen, but in 2022 nations will now have to come back with stronger targets.

“The only reason we got what we did is because young people, Indigenous leaders, activists and countries on the climate frontline forced concessions that were grudgingly given.”

Australian government won't amend targets after Cop26 deal

07:16 , Arpan Rai

Speaking on Sunday after the conclusion of COP26, Australian ministers said that their target of reducing greenhouse emissions by 28 per cent by 2030 has been “fixed” and will not be amended in the wake of the summit. Foreign minister Marise Payne and energy minister Angus Taylor said that “Australia’s 2030 target is fixed and we are committed to meeting and beating it,” in a joint statement. Australia’s health minister and former environment minister Greg Hunt was asked in an interview on ABC’s Insiders programme if the Australian government will update its target. In an indirect response, Mr Hunt said the country has set its target but “what we’ll continue to do is update our projections”. When prodded to explain, the minister paraphrased Shakespeare’s Henry IV to suggest Australia planned to beat the 28 per cent emissions cut but would not commit to it now.“I never promised to pay thee, but now that I’m here, I’ll pay thee double”, the minister said.“It means under-promise and over-deliver.”

Nations announce landmark Glasgow climate pact after last-minute weakening on coal

07:50 , Emily Atkinson

In case you missed it...

The Cop26 climate summit has finally concluded after nations agreed to a landmark deal aimed at preventing catastrophic global warming.

Talks dragged on for more than 24 hours after the Glasgow conference was due to end amid intense negotiations over contentious issues like fossil fuel subsidies, emission-reduction timelines and climate finance for developing nations.

Louise Boyle, Daisy Dunne and Andrew Woodcock have the full story here:

Cop26: Nations announce landmark climate pact in Glasgow

‘We are out of time, folks’, says NASA climate scientist as dust settles on Cop26

08:08 , Emily Atkinson

A NASA climate scientist has shared his disdain on Twitter for the Cop26 process, saying he wishes he could “make the world realise what an emergency we are truly in.”

Peter Kalmus, also founder of the Climate Ad Project, took the opportunity to take swipe at scientists, commentators and NGOs for “patting” world leaders on the back following the release of the Glasgow Climate Pact.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg was among those to retweet Mr Kalmus’ words amid growing accusations being made against world leaders for failing to live up to the scale of the threat from climate change.

He wrote: “If world leaders think COP26 was “a good step” because too many climate scientists, commentators, NGO leaders spin it and pat them on the back, then we’d have a double failure. We are out of time, folks.

“I wish I could make the world realize what an emergency we are truly in.”

The Glasgow deal is not nearly enough, and yet it is so much better than a failure would have been

08:24 , Emily Atkinson

In the end, it was better that something was agreed in Glasgow rather than nothing agreed. As we feared, the final text was not enough to ensure that the aim of restricting the rise in global average temperatures to 1.5 degrees will be met, although it has not yet been definitively missed either.

The full editorial is available via the Independent Premium:

The Glasgow deal is not nearly enough, and yet it is so much better than failure

10 key takeaways from the final deal agreed in Glasgow

08:31 , Emily Atkinson

In case you missed it...

Cop26: 10 key takeaways from the final deal agreed in Glasgow

Ed Miliband: UK’s decision to slash the international aid budget ahead of Cop26 was a ‘scandal’

09:08 , Emily Atkinson

The Shadow Business and Energy Sectary has said that the government’s decision to cut the international aid budget was the ‘”single worst decision” in the build up to the UN climate summit in Glasgow.

Set to continue until at least 2024, the government reduced its annual aid budget from 0.7% of gross national income to 0.5 per cent. This represents a cut of between £4nb and £5bn.

Speaking on Sky News this morning, Ed Miliband said: “Cutting the aid budget was the single worst decision in the build up to Cop26.

“The money is an essential starting point for the costs developing countries are going to face.

“It’s a scandal.”

Questioning then turned on the government’s controversial decision to fund the Cambo oil field. He said: “It should not go ahead. No prevarication.

“We need clarity and strength when it comes to the climate emergency.”

‘If Glasgow was meant to keep 1.5C alive, it is now in intensive care’, says Ed Miliband

09:10 , Emily Atkinson

1.5C target in ‘intensive care’, says Ed Miliband

09:22 , Emily Atkinson

UK must do more work to ‘set example' to world on climate action, says Angela Rayner

09:44 , Emily Atkinson

The deputy Labour leader has said that the UK has a “responsibility” to support poorer countries in the fight against climate change - adding we must do more to “set an example” to the world.

Angela Rayner then went on to praise the work done by the Cop26 president, Alok Sharma, for doing his “utmost” in securing the Glasgow Climate Pact.

This was followed by condemnation for Boris Johnson, whom she criticised for his “do as I say, not as I do” attitude. “There is so much more we can do as a country to set an example to the world,” she added.

“We have a responsibility to support the poorer countries.”

It comes after the Shadow Business and Energy Sectary, Ed Miliband, said that the government’s decision to cut the international aid budget was the ‘”single worst decision” in the build up to the UN climate summit in Glasgow.

Alok Sharma: Cop26 agreement is ‘just the start’

09:57 , Emily Atkinson

Alok Sharma has said the Glasgow Climate Pact is ‘just the start’ amid disappointment on the watering-down of language around coal after India and China forced a last-minute change to the text of the deal agreed in Glasgow on Saturday.

He also argued that China and India would have to “justify” their actions to “climate vulnerable” countries.

He told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme: “On the issue of coal, I should point out that for the very first time in any of these conferences, the word ‘coal’ is actually reflected in the text. That again is a first.

“Yes, of course I would have liked to ensure we maintain the ‘phase out’ rather than changing the wording to ‘phase down’, but on the way to phasing out, you’ve got to phase down.

“But, ultimately, of course, what we need to ensure is that we continue to work on this deal, on these commitments, and on the issue of coal, China and India are going to have to justify to some of the most climate vulnerable countries what happened.

“You heard some of that disappointment on the floor (of the conference).

“What I would say to you is that overall this is a historic agreement, we can be really proud of it but, of course, this is just the start – we now need to deliver on the commitments.”

World on way to ‘consigning coal to history’, says Sharma

10:31 , Emily Atkinson

Alok Sharma has announced that the world is well on the way to “cosigning coal to history” after the Cop26 deal negotiations concluded with last-minute changes on the wording about coal on Saturday.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, the Cop26 president apologised for the watering-down of the language surrounding commitments on coal usage, from “phasing out” to “phasing down.”

On being reduced almost to tears at the close of the conference as he apologised for the way a final change to the Glasgow Pact had been carried out Mr Sharma said he was emotional after getting very little sleep in the final days of the Cop26.

He said: “In terms of what happened yesterday, we managed to get an enormous amount over the line.

“On a personal level, I have invested enormous amounts of the last two years into this.

“I’ve been out to see countries, talked to people on the front line of climate change, and of course I’d had about six hours sleep in 72 hours previously, so it was an emotional moment.”

Mr Sharma said it had been his job to “build consensus” on the final deal, as he denied the Glasgow Pact had ended in failure.

Asked whether his emotional reaction to the change in language on coal was an admission of failure, he replied: “I wouldn’t describe what we did yesterday as a failure - it is a historic achievement.”

Emotional Alok Sharma apologises as coal phaseout text in deal ‘watered down’

10:55 , Emily Atkinson

Alok Sharma apologised on Saturday for how the Cop26 deal negotiations concluded with last-minute changes on the wording about coal.

The visibly emotional Cop26 president said he was “deeply sorry” for the way the had process unfolded, after India and China forced a last-minute change to the text of the deal agreed in Glasgow on Saturday.

Addressing delegates, he said: “May I just say to all delegates I apologise for the way this process has unfolded and I am deeply sorry.”

Ella Glover has the full story:

Emotional Alok Sharma apologises as coal phaseout text in Cop26 deal ‘watered down’

Has the Cop26 deal achieved what it needed to?

11:21 , Emily Atkinson

In case you missed it...

Cop26 has finally concluded with the agreement of the Glasgow Climate Pact.

The intense negotiations among 197 nations – with the aim of preventing catastrophic global warming – went down to the wire with a lengthy, 24-hour delay and then last-minute interventions to water down language on coal by India and China.

Whether the Glasgow pact achieves what Cop26 set out to do, has received a middling grade.

Louise Boyle has the full story:

Has the Cop26 deal achieved what it needed to?

Alok Sharma denies climate pact failure and hails ‘historic language’ about coal

11:24 , Emily Atkinson

Cop26 president Alok Sharma has denied the climate pact agreed by world leaders was a failure and defended the “historic” language on a commitment to reduce coal dependence, writes Adam Forrest.

“This is the first time ever that we have got language about coal in a Cop decision – I think that is absolutely historic,” the UK minister told BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show.

Asked if the pact amounted to a failure to meet ambitions, Mr Sharma said: “I wouldn’t described what we did yesterday as a failure. It’s a historic achievement. We kept 1.5 in reach.”

Cop26 president denies failure and hails ‘historic language’ on coal

1.5C ‘definitely alive’ says UN climate chief

12:20 , Emily Atkinson

Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said that target was “definitely alive” after the conference.

She told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “We are very far from that goal but we did manage to get together this big package of different decisions that will allow us and gives us very, very specific direction on what we need to work on in order to get there.”

She said the difference between 1.5C and 2.4C of warming, which the Climate Action Tracker forecasts the current pledges would result in, is “the survival of millions and millions of people and species”.

The Glasgow Pact must be the start for more ambition and climate action, according to Ms Espinosa.

She welcomed the historic - if watered down - move against coal in the new Glasgow Pact, calling it a “very difficult issue”.

She said: “I would like to underline that the huge step forward in our negotiations was the fact that for the first time in this context we mentioned coal and fossil fuels.

“Before, it had not been possible, of course, because... we have to be very conscious that there are millions and millions of people that depend on fossil fuel industries, and in terms of coal there are many people, especially venerable and poor people, that also depend on that as a source of energy.

“So, on the one hand, we have clarity that this is a very big source of emissions and we need to get rid of that.

“On the other hand, we need to also balance out the social consequences for so many people around the world, especially in the poor countries.”

PA

Greta Thunberg dismisses Cop26 as more ‘blah, blah, blah’

12:40 , Emily Atkinson

Greta Thunberg dismissed the Cop26 climate summit as more “blah, blah, blah” after the extended talks finally brought to a close with the agreement of the Glasgow Climate Pact on Saturday.

Taking to Twitter to express her disdain, the Swedish climate activist urged protestors “never give up” - saying “the real work continues outside these halls.”

It comes after China and India made a last-minute intervention to water down language in the final text on coal. The language was changed to “phase down” on unabated coal power instead of the stronger “phase out”.

Several countries made angry statements following the sudden intervention. Mexico called it a “non-inclusive and non-transparent process”.

She wrote: The #COP26 is over. Here’s a brief summary: Blah, blah, blah.

“But the real work continues outside these halls. And we will never give up, ever.”

‘Meek and weak’ climate pact blasted for lack of urgency on emission cuts

13:00 , Emily Atkinson

In case you missed it...

‘Meek and weak’ climate pact blasted for lack of urgency on emission cuts

Boris Johnson to hold 5pm press conference

13:03 , Adam Forrest

Boris Johnson and Alok Sharma will be grilled over the climate deal agreed in Glasgow at a press conference later on Sunday.

The prime minister and the Cop26 president will be answering questions about the global pact at Downing Street at 5pm.

Mr Johnson is facing accusations he “undermined” his own climate conference minister by failing to back him up with ambitions UK commitments.

The pair also face criticism over a dramatic last-minute intervention which saw India and China change the wording of the final deal so coal power generation would be “phased down” rather than “phased out”.

Boris Johnson (PA)
Boris Johnson (PA)

Boris Johnson ‘undermined’ Alok Sharma at Cop26 with climate hypocrisy, says Labour

13:37 , Emily Atkinson

Boris Johnson has been accused of “undermining” his own climate conference minister Alok Sharma by failing to back him up with ambitions UK commitments at Cop26.

Labour said the target of keeping global warming within 1.5C was in “intensive care” following the agreement reached by world leaders at the end of the Glasgow summit.

The opposition claimed the prime minister had left his Cop26 president in a weak position, because of the government’s decision to cut overseas aid and failure to stop the Cambo oilfield project.

Adam Forrest has the full story here:

Boris Johnson ‘undermined’ Alok Sharma at Cop26, says Labour

Greta Thunberg dismisses Cop26 as more ‘blah, blah, blah’

13:39 , Emily Atkinson

Greta Thunberg dismisses Cop26 as more ‘blah, blah, blah’

Watch: Cop26 president Alok Sharma hails ‘historic’ language on coal

13:50 , Emily Atkinson

The disappointment over Cop26 is understandable – but there is hope

14:00 , Emily Atkinson

Success or failure, or both? The outcome of Cop26, with its last-minute compromise on running down the use of coal, will be picked over in the coming weeks.

While it is a temptation to give rapid judgements, one of the overriding lessons from previous climate summits is that what happens in the next year is more important than the wording of the communiqué at the end of the meeting, writes Hamish McRae.

The disappointment over Cop26 is understandable – but there is hope | Hamish McRae

Ed Miliband: No more free passes – we have 12 months to show we are serious about saving the 1.5 degree target

14:07 , Emily Atkinson

As the dust settles after Glasgow, the world needs to face a difficult truth: 1.5 degrees is in intensive care and we’ve got 12 months to show we can save it, writes Ed Miliband. Cop26 made modest progress in tackling the climate crisis but modest progress is not the transformation we need.

Ed Miliband: No more free passes – we have 12 months to save the 1.5C target

Pope to politicians: Be courageous, show vision on climate

14:19 , Emily Atkinson

Pope Francis on Sunday urged political and economic leaders to show courage and long-range vision, hours after U.N. led-climate talks in Glasgow Scotland ended in compromise on how to combat global warming.

Francis in remarks to the public in St. Peter’s Square said the “cry of the poor, united to the cry of the Earth, resounded in the last days at the United Nations COP26 summit on climate change.”

“I encourage all those who have political and economic responsibilities to act immediately with courage and farsightedness,’’ he said. “At the same time, I invite all persons of good will to carry out active citizenry to care for the common house,’’ Francis said, referring to planet Earth.

Francis has made attention to the Earth’s environment a major plank of his papacy, dedicating an encyclical, or major document, to the moral imperative of responsibly protecting the planet.

AP

Pope to politicians: Be courageous, show vision on climate

Boris Johnson’s spin did not live up to reality at Cop26 – this was no triumph for ‘global Britain’

14:38 , Emily Atkinson

The truth is that Glasgow was never likely to be the unvarnished triumph for “global Britain” Johnson naively hoped for two years ago when the UK landed the rotating Cop presidency, writes Andrew Grice.

While 1.5C is just about alive, it was too soon for Johnson to suggest, as he did, that Glasgow would in time be seen as “the beginning of the end of climate change.” We won’t know for some years.

Cop26 wasn’t the triumph for ‘global Britain’ the PM naively hoped for | Andrew Grice

Cop26 agreement: Is the world any closer to meeting the 1.5C global temperature rise target?

15:30 , Emily Atkinson

In case you missed it...

Is the world any closer to meeting the 1.5C global temperature rise target?

Why tea farmers in Taiwan are at the mercy of climate change

15:39 , Emily Atkinson

Taiwan’s tea output does not come close to matching China or India’s, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality, especially the high mountain premium oolong variety that Meishan specialises in.

Tea has been grown in the mountains around Meishan since the island was part of China’s Qing dynasty in the 19th century. The industry matured and expanded under Japanese imperial rule from 1895-1945.

Ben Blachard has the full story:

Why tea farmers in Taiwan are at the mercy of climate change

Watered-down coal commitments at Cop26 are ‘gut wrenching’, says Ireland’s environment minister

15:53 , Emily Atkinson

Ireland’s Green Party leader has said the decision at Cop26 to make concessions on the phasing out of coal is “gut wrenching”- but urged critics to look at the “bigger picture”.

The intense negotiations among 197 nations – with the aim of preventing catastrophic global warming – went down to the wire with a lengthy, 24-hour delay and then last-minute interventions to water down language on coal by India and China.

World leaders are facing criticism over a dramatic last-minute intervention which saw India and China change the wording of the final deal so coal power generation would be “phased down” rather than “phased out”.

The Environment Minister, Eamon Ryan, said the move was “disappointing” but necessary to secure the agreement.

“We shouldn’t let that gut-wrenching amendment at the very last minute to distract from that bigger picture,” he said.

“It wasn’t in the actual legal structures. That political wording can be changed.

“But what was significant in Glasgow, coming out of it, was effectively it has taken us six years, which is too long, this is too slow, but it does actually put legal bones on the Paris Climate Agreement.

“It does actually give us real strong confidence that the whole economic system, the finance system, is going to have to switch to this decarbonised direction.”

Mr Ryan said the compromise was necessary in a deal that 197 countries worldwide had signed up to.

Cop26 has done enough to keep 1.5C in play, says Imperial College research fellow

16:37 , Tom Batchelor

Richard Black, a research fellow at Imperial College, has said Cop26 did enough to “keep the 1.5C target in play”.

“This summit has definitely moved the dial on several aspects of climate change – governments have taken steps to improve the lot of the most vulnerable nations, the missing pages of the Paris Agreement rulebook have been filled in, and governments that are marking time on emissions reduction are requested to come back next year with a more serious offer,” he said.

“Above all, for the first time all governments formally agreed that phasing out coal is essential to combatting climate change and that fossil fuel subsidies should go as well.

“They didn’t all want to, but reality is sometimes impossible to wish away. Some will have been looking to Cop26 to solve climate change, but no summit could ever do that. It has done enough, however, to keep the 1.5C target in play – but individual governments have a lot of work to do quickly to turn pledges into action.”

Johnson and Sharma due to hold press conference

17:01 , Tom Batchelor

Cop26 president Alok Sharma is due to take part in a Downing Street press conference with Boris Johnson on at 5pm about the climate summit’s outcome. We will bring you the latest updates when the event begins.

Countries must now translate commitments into action, says World Resources Institute

17:05 , Tom Batchelor

The real test after Cop26 is whether countries translate their commitments into action, says Ani Dasgupta, president and CEO of the World Resources Institute.

“In a year marked by uncertainty and mistrust, Cop26 affirmed the importance of collective global action to address the climate crisis,” he said.

“While we are not yet on track, the progress made over the last year and at the Cop26 summit offers a strong foundation to build upon. The real test now is whether countries accelerate their efforts and translate their commitments into action.

“The train is moving and all countries need to get on board. As attention shifts beyond Cop26, it’s critical for everyone to step up their efforts and turn commitments into real action in ways that benefit all people.”

Johnson: ‘Glasgow has sounded the death knell for coal power'

17:14 , Tom Batchelor

Boris Johnson has hailed the Glasgow climate pact as the “game-changing agreement that the world needed to see”.

The prime minister claimed the agreement “sounded the death knell for coal power” during the press conference at Downing Street.

He said it was a “decisive shift in the world’s approach to tackling climate emissions, a clear roadmap to limiting global temperature to 1.5C and marking the beginning of the end of coal power.”“When you add al that together it is beyond questions that Glasgow has sounded the death knell for coal power,” he said.

But he added that his “delight at this progress is tinged with disappointment” due to the softening of a promise to end the use of coal.

Nevertheless, Mr Johnson claimed the “world is heading in the right direction” with the projected temperature rise at “around 2C”.

Phasing down coal not much difference from phasing out coal, says PM

17:27 , Tom Batchelor

Boris Johnson has dismissed criticism that the language in the pact was watered down, from a “phasing out” of coal to a “phasing down”, following an intervention from China and India.

The prime minister said: “It is an immense thing to get a commitment from 190 countries to phase down or phase out coal.

“I don’t know whether the language is phase down or phase out, it doesn’t seem to me as a speaker of English to make that much difference. The direction of travel is pretty much the same.”

‘We cannot force countries to do what they do not wish to do’ - PM

17:34 , Tom Batchelor

Acknowledging the limits of the agreement in Glasgow, Boris Johnson said: “Those for whom climate change is already a matter of life and death, who can only stand by as their islands are submerged, their farm land turned to desert, their homes battered by storms, they demanded a high level of ambition from this summit.

“While many of us were willing to go there, that wasn’t true of everybody. Sadly that’s the nature of diplomacy.

“We can lobby, we can cajole, we can encourage, but we cannot force sovereign nations to do what they do not wish to do.

“It’s ultimately their decision to make and they must stand by it.

“But for all that, we can be immensely proud of what has been achieved by Alok Sharma and his team.”

Sharma emotional because he felt ‘weight of world' on his shoulders

17:48 , Tom Batchelor

Cop26 president Alok Sharma said he was emotional when negotiations concluded because he felt “the weight of the world” on his shoulders.

Speaking alongside the PM, Mr Sharma said: “I can tell you there was one really tense hour where I did feel the weight of the world on my shoulders... this deal was absolutely in jeopardy. We got it over the line.”

He told the press conference: “The reason I said sorry... at the event was not because I thought that we didn’t have a historic achievement, it’s because at the end, people thought the process was opaque.”

Sharma travelled from Glasgow to London by train and electric vehicle

17:55 , Tom Batchelor

Asked how he reached the Downing Street press conference so quickly after the late night sealing of the Glasgow pact, Alok Sharma said he had used train and electric car to reach central London.

And responding to a question about encouraging people to fly less, the Cop26 president said it was a matter of personal choice but that the government was pursuing policies aimed at reducing the environmental impact of aviation.

The prime minister, asked what he was doing personally to reduce his carbon footprint, said he used to cycle everywhere by bike, but appeared unable to add to that with any recent changes to his lifestyle (Mr Sharma last month revealed he was now vegetarian).

Boris Johnson insists Cop 26 is ‘death knell’ for coal despite last-minute backtrack

18:16 , Tom Batchelor

Boris Johnson defended the pact agreed at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow following a furious backlash from campaigners and poorer countries appalled by the “weak” and watered-down deal.

The prime minister hailed the agreement and dismissed criticism over the dramatic last-minute change forced by India and China so the commitment was to “phase down” rather than “phase out” coal power.

Mr Johnson insisted that he Glasgow Climate Pact had “sounded the death knell for coal power” and claimed that the change in wording was not very significant.

Read the full story:

Boris Johnson insists Cop 26 is ‘death knell’ for coal despite last-minute backtrack

China and India will need to explain themselves, says Sharma

18:39 , Tom Batchelor

China and India will need to explain to developing nations why they pushed to water down language on efforts to phase out coal at the Cop26 conference, Alok Sharma has said.

India, backed by China and other coal-dependent developing nations, rejected a clause calling for a “phase out” of coal-fired power, and the text was changed to “phase down”.

“In terms of China and India, they will on this particular issue have to explain themselves,” Mr Sharma told the news conference at Downing Street.

Glasgow did not deliver 1.5C, it only kept the goal alive, says Greenpeace East Asia

19:09 , Tom Batchelor

Li Shuo, senior global policy advisor with Greenpeace East Asia, said “Glasgow did not deliver 1.5C, it only kept the goal alive”.

He said: “If countries work hard enough immediately after this Cop. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) have to be revisited and strengthened next year. We need not just targets on paper, but real action in practice.

“Cop26 took place in a challenging geopolitical environment. The US and China managed their differences and demonstrated the need for cooperation. But the climate crisis demands the global community to do more than what Beijing and Washington are able to agree.

“This time, different from Paris, the multilateral train moved faster than the G2 agreement. Time for the world’s two largest emitters to catch up to really lead from the front.”

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