COP26: India and Iran say not to include fossil fuels in any climate agreement COP26

COP26: India and Iran say not to include fossil fuels in any climate agreement COP26

At the 25 pre-Glasgow COPs, never a deal made even a mention of fossil fuels as drivers of the climate crisis, despite science and clear data showing that coal, oil and gas are the biggest. contributors to man-made climate change.

The draft text had called for the phasing out of coal and fossil fuel subsidies, with several caveats added between drafts, as major fossil fuels had diluted it, as multiple sources told CNN.

In an informal session to give their opinion on the draft on Saturday, delegates from dozens of countries listed their complaints with the potential deal, but most, including Bolivia, which had several complaints, said they would eventually accept the draft as a compromise.

India’s Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said “consensus remains elusive” and that fossil fuels have enabled parts of the world to achieve wealth and high standards of living.

“How can anyone expect developing countries to make promises about phasing out coal and fossil fuel subsidies?” he asked, adding that developing countries had to deal with poverty eradication.

“The subsidies provide much-needed social security and support,” he said, setting an example of how India uses subsidies to provide liquefied natural gas to low-income households.

Yadav also questioned a key measure on the request that countries submit updated plans on reducing emissions by the end of next year, a centerpiece in the draft text. That brings the deadline for new ambitions up three years more than the 2015 Paris Agreement requires.

He complained that the same sense of urgency had not been given to climate finance.

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The Iranian delegation also said it supported India’s stance on fossil fuels.

“We are not satisfied with paragraph 36 on the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies,” said an Iranian delegate.

An agreement requires the 197 parties present to reach a consensus on each and every word in the final text, a painstaking effort that involves compromises and frank discussions about the world’s power structures and who is most responsible for the climate crisis. .

The comments came after late-night marathon talks in which progress was slow, but still, some 24 hours after that deadline, no agreement has been reached.

COP26 President Alok Sharma had previously made a passionate call on delegates to endorse the draft, saying it was a “moment of truth” for the planet as talks dragged on overtime without a clear a sign that consensus was near.

In an effort to avoid the failure of the talks, Sharma called on countries to seize the moment, saying that the negotiations “have reached a critical juncture where we must unite.”

“The world is watching us,” he said, urging them “to come to an agreement here for the good of our planet and of present and future generations.”

The COP26 climate talks appeared to have reached a boiling point on Saturday; at one point, Sharma struggled to gather all the delegations into one room.
Divisions stalled on Friday and were devoted to overtime, primarily around money that developed nations would give to the Global South to help it adapt to the climate crisis, as well as calls for a new system for the developed world to pay the “damages” of the climate crisis.

What the draft says

The UN released a third draft of the deal on Saturday morning that withheld the reference to phasing out coal and ending fossil fuel subsidies, albeit watered down.

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The draft urges countries to rapidly increase the use of clean power generation while phasing out coal power and “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.” It also recognizes “the need for just transition support” – money to support jobs and livelihoods as the world shifts away from fossil fuels. Both additions leave the text more open to interpretation than the original.

The major producers of coal, oil and gas were opposed to the language around fossil fuels. Multiple sources close to the negotiations told CNN that the Australian delegation was generally quiet in the talks, but was blocking progress on the language around coal and even measures to update its emissions plans by the end of 2022. The Australian delegate said in the comment session that he would approve the draft as is.

US climate envoy John Kerry, right, speaks with COP26 President Alok Sharma at the climate summit on Saturday.

There was also some dissatisfaction with the language about how much the world should allow the Earth to warm up and the rules for carbon markets to avoid double counting emission reductions or “cheating” on credits.

Developing countries appear to be admitting the lack of solid progress around their calls for a dedicated “loss and damage” fund, in which rich nations would pay developing nations for the impacts of the climate crisis, implicitly acknowledging the enormous role of rich nations in causing the impact of the climate crisis. climate crisis.

The problem had pitted the developed and developing worlds at odds, a typical feature of COP conferences.

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A delegate from Guinea, representing a group of 77 nations, including China, said: “The group expresses extreme disappointment … over a dialogue related to loss and damage. This is a long way from the concrete core of the loss facility. and damages “. that the group came together to ask and seek an answer here in Glasgow, “he said.

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“But in a spirit of compromise, we will be able to live with this paragraph, as we understand that it does not reflect or detract from the key internal vocal outcome we seek in loss and damage financing to reach the most vulnerable.”

But outside of the discussions, climate activists say the deal is weak.

Tasneem Essop, executive director of the Climate Action Network (CAN), said the draft text was a “clear betrayal of rich nations” to poor and vulnerable countries.

By blocking progress on a dedicated loss and damage facility, “rich countries have once again demonstrated their utter lack of solidarity and responsibility to protect those facing the worst climate impacts,” Essop said. “We urge developing countries to act in the interests of their citizens and stand up against bullies.”

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