Evening Standard Comment: Come back next year to keep 1.5C alive?

·1-min read
 (Christian Adams)
(Christian Adams)

The latest draft text of the COP26 summit gives with one hand but takes with the other. The document forms a critical measuring post of whether humanity is on track to prevent catastrophic climate change. But the jury is still out.

The new text calls on countries to substantially accelerate their national plans to reduce carbon emissions and provide greater funding for poor nations to fight climate change.

Yet at the same time, language relating to the phase-out of fossil fuels – the driving cause of anthropomorphic climate change – appears to have been watered down, now only referring to “unabated” coal and “inefficient” subsidies.

Cutting carbon is the aim of the game, but words retain tremendous power and are a guide to what world leaders and negotiators are really thinking. To that effect, there was wrangling over changing ‘urge’ to ‘request’ on climate targets.

Negotiations are ongoing and vital placeholders remain – on the Paris Rulebook and transparency.

Yet it is clear that nations will have to come back next year with new 2030 climate plans. That is because, despite all the important progress on net-zero by 2050, it is short term targets and carbon reductions that really move the needle at this point.

The big question is: with the world currently on track for something in the region of 2.4C warming despite new commitments, can we really say COP26 has put us on track to keep 1.5C alive?

Read More

COP26 latest news LIVE: New draft deal appears to water down curb on fossil fuels

Final injection of ‘can-do spirit’ needed to get Cop26 deal over line – Sharma

In the second week of COP26, the mood turned dark. We are nowhere near ambitious enough

Weaker fossil fuel language, but more on finance in latest draft of Cop26 deal

COP26 summit: 1.5C in ‘mortal peril’, world leaders warned

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting