Climate Change

Cop26 / Draft Agreement Calls For Tougher Emissions Pledges By Next Year

By David Dalton
10 November 2021

Countries urged to accelerate phasing out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels
Draft Agreement Calls For Tougher Emissions Pledges By Next Year
The IPCC warned that findings in its latest report are ‘a code red for humanity’. Courtesy Nick D/Wikipedia.
A draft of a possible agreement reached at the United Nations Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow urges countries to strengthen their 2030 greenhouse gas emissions targets by the end of next year in a recognition of the gap between current pledges and the landmark 2015 Paris agreement.

The text, released by the Cop26 president, Alok Sharma, called on all countries to increase their short-term commitments in 2022, which would be a step forward. It also asks them to agree to an annual high-level ministerial round table focused on raising ambition further starting next November.

It reaffirms the goals in the Paris agreement that countries agreed in 2015 – to hold global warming to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5C – but it recognises that the impacts of climate change will be much less significant at 1.5C than 2C.

The document is not final and Cop26 delegates from nearly 200 countries will now negotiate the details over the next few days. Consensus from all nations is required.

It proposes that countries agree to accelerate the phasing out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels and calls on all developed countries to at least double climate finance commitments to help those worst affected across the globe.

On the pace of cuts, it recognises the advice of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that limiting global heating to 1.5C by 2100 would require “meaningful and effective action” by all countries in this “critical decade” to achieve a 45% cut in global emissions by 2030 on the way to net zero by “around mid-century”. The draft “noted with serious concern” that based on current commitments emissions were instead on track to rise 13.7% by 2030.

The latest IPCC report said many of the changes being seen in the climate are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years, and warned that findings in the report are “a code red for humanity”.

It said that within the next two decades, temperatures are likely to rise by more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, breaching the ambition of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, and bringing widespread devastation and extreme weather.

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