Cop26: Where do different countries stand on the final outcome?

·5-min read
The Cop26 climate summit is entering its final hours (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)
The Cop26 climate summit is entering its final hours (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

As the Cop26 climate talks enter their final hours, countries are still haggling over the finer points of the text setting out their plans to try to limit warming to 1.5C and well below 2C.

At a “stock take” meeting on Friday there were calls from developing nations for swifter action to deliver finance to help them cut emissions, adapt and deal with loss and damage caused by global warming.

Elsewhere, others were disappointed that language on phasing out fossil fuels and eliminating subsidies had been diluted.

Here is what some of them had to say.

Cop26 president Alok Sharma on the final day of the talks (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)
Cop26 president Alok Sharma on the final day of the talks (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

– Russia

Russia seemingly signalled no major concerns with the cover agreement, and urged other countries not to “drag down” the negotiations, saying the talks must show “specific tangible results” to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The Russian envoy said: “We need to show a clear signal on the further steps we are intending to undertake jointly to further climate agenda.”

But he called for further detail on the mechanism to set up carbon trading between countries – a key element of the Paris Agreement that successive Cops have failed to deliver upon.

– Canada

Canada, a country which relies heavily on extractive industries like logging and oil, acknowledged that it had not always been “exemplary” in past climate talks.

The Canadian envoy said this attitude was changing, but said its plans were still “not enough”.

Some countries want to see tougher language on phasing out fossil fuels (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)
Some countries want to see tougher language on phasing out fossil fuels (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Calling for the wording of the text to be strengthened, the representative said: “In essence my country is the very incarnation of why we need strong language in this text.”

But he welcomed the language supporting the rights of indigenous peoples “and the inclusion of their traditional knowledge in the fight of climate change”.

Peru and the Independent Alliance of Latin America

A representative from Peru, speaking on behalf of the Independent Alliance of Latin America and the Caribbean, also called for wording on ending the use of fossil fuels to be strengthened.

She said: “We understand that a balance must be struck, but there are elements that need to be clear, explicit and unequivocal.

“1.5C requires a full phaseout of coal and fossil fuel subsidies, to be able to know we are on the right track.”

– EU

In an impassioned speech, EU executive vice president Frans Timmermans said he feared his one-year-old grandson would have to “fight other human beings for water and food” if efforts to tackle climate change fail.

“It’s quite a thought to understand that, if we succeed, he’ll be living in a world that’s liveable, he’ll be living in an economy that is clean with everything at peace with his environment,” he said.

A coalition of Latin American countries were disappointed text on fossil fuels had been diluted (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)
A coalition of Latin American countries were disappointed text on fossil fuels had been diluted (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Calling for countries to make more ambitious carbon-cutting commitments in the next year, Mr Timmermans said: “We need to be able to say, when we meet again in Egypt next year, we’ve done it, we’re on the track for 1.5C.”

– Kenya

The envoy for Kenya told the plenary that 1.5C on average would actually amount to 3.C+ of warming for Africa adding two million Kenyans are currently facing starvation due to drought.

“That is why in Kenya and Africa, we cry and we bleed. We bleed when it rains. We cry when it doesn’t rain. So for us 1.5C is not just is not a statistic. It is a matter of life and death,” he said.

The Kenyan envoy said limiting warming to 1.5C was a matter of life and death for Kenya (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)
The Kenyan envoy said limiting warming to 1.5C was a matter of life and death for Kenya (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

The representative said the failure by rich countries to deliver on climate financing had “shattered” Kenya’s trust, calling on the developed world to “take responsibility” and deliver on their pledges.

He added: “I think one of the recommendations that need to come in decisions here is the major emitters must resubmit their (nationally determined contributions) before Cop27 and align them with 1.5C.”

– US

John Kerry signalled the US’s support for the current text, despite the watered-down wording on phasing out fossil fuels and subsidies, but was emphatic that it must not be diluted further or removed from the final draft completely.

He described spending money on fossil fuel subsidies as “insanity”.

John Kerry said fossil fuel subsidies feed the very problem we’re here to try to cure (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)
John Kerry said fossil fuel subsidies feed the very problem we’re here to try to cure (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Mr Kerry said: “We are struggling each year to find money, but 2.5 trillion dollars in the last five or six years went into subsidies for fossil fuel. That’s the definition of insanity.

“We’re allowing it to feed the very problem we’re here to try to cure. It doesn’t make sense.”

– China

China expressed disappointment about a lack of detail on how to achieve the 100 billion dollar (£74 billion) climate finance pledge for poorer nations.

The country’s Cop26 representative said: “China is willing to support the UK presidency in agreeing on an outcome that is science-based but also rules-based, that has balanced elements of mitigation, adaptation and finance and has appropriate wording.”

– Saudi Arabia

A representative for Saudi Arabia said it was a “no brainer” trying to keep the goal of 1.5C alive, but expressed anger over a lack of details on plans to deliver the finance and technology required to help the world adapt.

“I’m not going to go into the details of the current decision, but the one overarching discussion we are hearing is the ambition for keeping the 1.5 C alive,” he said.

“This is a no brainer. We all know that in the room. Nobody disagrees in the room.

But he added: “The question is how we’re going to do that. On what grounds we are going to do that?”

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