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New proposal for climate agreement - the writings on 'fossil fuels' survive

New proposal for climate agreement – the writings on ‘fossil fuels’ survive

The big question before a new version of the agreement text was presented at COP 26 in Glasgow on Saturday morning was whether the wording on fossil fuels would survive. And they did, but the wording weakened further.

The text of the agreement now states that parties are “called upon” to “increase efforts” to phase out coal-fired energy that lacks the technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions and “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies.

Even if the writings Heated up since it first appeared in a draft proposal two days ago, this is the first time a fossil fuel phase-out has been mentioned in the texts of the agreement.

The Paris Agreement does not mention fossil fuels, which have been constantly used as arguments by the major oil countries, led by Saudi Arabia and Iraq, to ​​stop all discussions and phrasing about coal, oil and gas in the climate negotiations.

During the grand meeting on Friday night when all the countries present discussed the previous draft text of the agreement, Saudi Arabia and China, among other countries, expressed between the lines their criticism of the wording on fossil fuels by saying that the negotiations must be faithful to the Paris Agreement. Most other countries—including the United States, the Marshall Islands, Grenada, and Panama—demanded that the inscriptions be allowed to remain, while some wanted to see a more precise wording.

It may seem ridiculous that this kind of very weak language on fossil fuels is so hard to get into agreements – but the explanation lies in the fact that in principle all countries have veto power in UN negotiations. If a country refuses to agree to a wording, it won’t (although some smaller countries do eventually run over, but that’s one of the exceptions).

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The wording that the countries of the world will present their intensive ambitions in their national climate plans, the so-called ndcs, by the end of next year, was also included in the latest draft. This is a demand that has grown in recent times when it became clear that the climate plans that countries have submitted so far are not far enough away to reach the 1.5 degree target.

According to the latest accounts The current ndcs will cause a temperature of about 2.7 degrees.

In the new text, the wording has not changed from previous versions and the meaning is that countries must “recognize that rapid, deep and lasting reductions in emissions are needed”. Collectively, this means a 45 percent reduction by 2030 from 2010 levels.

Countries are also invited to advance their 2022 to 2030 targets in line with the Paris Agreement, “based on national circumstances.”

It also states that a decision should be taken on an annual high-level ministerial meeting to review the situation in relation to the 2030 target. The first meeting will then take place in connection with the next major UN climate meeting COP 27, which will be held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt at the end of 2022.

Glasgow’s large conference room, where COP 26 is being held, echoed empty on Saturday. All the pavilions where countries and organizations showcased their climate action and did various side events are empty.

Only part of the large facility is open and in the corridors tens of thousands of people have swept through in the past two weeks, only a handful of people have moved.

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According to the latest information, the UK Presidency will invite the parties to discuss the text of the proposed new agreement at 12 o’clock local time, i.e. 13 Swedish time.