COP 26 in Glasgow – Countries embark on coal phase-out – News

  • The United Nations climate conference in Glasgow for the first time called on countries in the world to begin phasing out coal.
  • The declaration, approved by nearly 200 countries on Saturday, also called for the abolition of “ineffective” oil, gas and coal subsidies.
  • However, the wording weakened at the last moment under pressure from China and India.

European Union Commissioner Frans Timmermans has expressed deep disappointment about the slowdown. Switzerland was also disappointed with the turnaround that eventually occurred, but gave up its resistance. However, Timmermans praised the demand to phase out coal as “historic”.

Sommaruga is not happy with Glasgow


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Despite “some successes”, Environment Minister Simonetta Sommaruga is not satisfied with the outcome of the World Climate Conference in Glasgow. The 200 or so nations participating in the two-week climate conference in Glasgow agreed to the joint declaration on Saturday calling for a phase-out of coal power. However, the wording weakened at the last moment under pressure from China and India. Many small nations felt left out.

Sommaruga denounced this “unacceptable maneuver” by China and India. This is not good for the credibility of the operation.” However, the text was accepted – so as not to jeopardize the entire Glasgow package. In Sommaruga’s opinion, as well as in the opinion of many NGOs, this slowdown in coal consumption, which was clearly mentioned for the first time, would not It’s enough to limit warming to 1.5°C by 2100. At least the signal has been sent that the age of coal is coming to an end.And that’s important.

One of COP26’s successes is the adoption of several rules to implement the Paris Agreement. The joint timeline was agreed and stipulates that all countries announce “national contributions” every five years from 2030 for the next 10 years and for those able to do so from 2025 onwards. Sommaruga was asked to work with her Rwandan counterpart to find a solution acceptable to all.

With yet another of these rules, Switzerland should succeed in maintaining one of its main goals in Glasgow, which is to prevent the double counting of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “We were able to prevent the worst,” Sommaruga said. Even if there is still a loophole in the final decision. (sda)

When several states bitterly complained about last-minute mitigations on Saturday night, shortly before the final vote, Britain’s COP26 chief Alok Sharma fought back in tears. “I beg your pardon for the way it went. I’m so sorry,” said the host.

“It is critical that we protect this package,” he added. Then his voice failed and he looked down. The delegates assisted him in this emotional moment with long applause.

on a voluntary basis

The two countries also jointly committed to the goal of holding global warming at 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial times. To that end, they should improve their previously inappropriate climate protection plans by the end of 2022. But this remains voluntary, there is no obligation.

Disappointment from the UN Secretary-General


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The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has shown that he is vigilant about the settlement. “It’s an important step, but it’s not enough. It’s time to go into emergency mode,” Guterres wrote on Twitter after delegates approved the final declaration on Saturday night. “The fight against climate change is the battle of our lives and this battle must be won,” he added.

So far, the plans presented are far from sufficient to achieve the 1.5-degree target agreed in Paris in 2015. The declaration states that for this to happen, global emissions of climate-damaging greenhouse gases must fall by 45 percent this decade.

Financial aid to poor countries

Poor countries have also promised more financial aid so that they can cope with the deadly consequences of the climate crisis in many places. Tens of millions of people already face more frequent and prolonged droughts and heat waves, or more violent storms and floods.

Specifically, this financial assistance will double by 2025, that is, from about 20 to about 40 billion dollars (about 35 billion euros). This is the first time that poor countries have called for a pot of money to be set up to help in case of damage and losses.

This refers to destruction or forced resettlement after drought, storms or hurricanes. Rich countries are being asked to pay for it. However, no specific amounts have been given for this. Technical Support should only be available after adverse events, but the entire damage should not be paid for.

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