Nations Speed Up Climate Action At COP26, But Globe Remains On Track For Disastrous Warming

Story Highlights
  • Exhausted negotiators from 200 nations to push the world toward more urgent climate action.
  • Saturday’s agreement does not achieve the goal to limit global warming.
  • Deal could leave people facing an existential threat.

Exhausted negotiators from almost 200 countries reached an agreement on Saturday to push the world toward more urgent climate action, but it fell short of the revolutionary breakthrough that experts believe is required if mankind is to avoid catastrophic global warming.

The agreement reached on Saturday, however, falls short of the 2015 Paris Agreement’s most ambitious objective of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

Instead, delegations departed Glasgow with the Earth still on track to blow beyond that threshold, accelerating the pace of worsening weather catastrophes and irreparable environmental damage. Representatives from hard-hit countries expressed concern that the agreement could put their people’s lives at jeopardy.

The 26th session of the UN climate conference (COP26) ended with India’s reservations about the phase-out of coal and fossil fuel subsidies, after getting off to a good start by bringing over 90% of the global economy within the ‘net zero’ target. During a last-minute change to build consensus, the change from ‘phase-out’ to ‘phase-down’ was agreed upon.

Because it arrived so late, Swiss and Mexican negotiators said the coal phrase modification was against the rules. They claimed, however, that they had no choice but to hold their pride and go along with it.

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