COP26 Would Probably Not Achieve Its Aims …UN Sec General

SG gives press con

UN Chief, Antonio Guterres in a defeatist on observation Friday, described the ongoing global climate summit, the COP26, to be on “life support” as he expressed doubts over whether signatory countries would effectively commit to reducing global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

Meeting the goal requires global emissions to be cut by 45% by 2030 and to zero overall by 2050. However, as Jennifer Morgan of Greenpeace International puts it, “the key line on phasing out coal and fossil fuel subsidies has been critically weakened, but it’s still there and needs to be strengthened again before this summit closes.”

A new draft agreement at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow calls on governments to reveal their plans to massively reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a much faster speed than previously.

But observers say it softens commitments to reduce the use of coal and other fossil fuels, the main factors driving climate change.

Scientists say that limiting warming to 1.5C compared to pre-industrial levels will protect us from the most dangerous impacts of climate change – it is a key part of the Paris agreement that most countries signed up to.

One example of the impact of global temperature rise above 2C is the death of virtually all coral reefs, scientists say.

Prof Jim Watson at University College London said the draft agreement had encouraging elements, but that overall it was “nowhere near ambitious enough” reports the BBC.

The draft requests that countries submit their plans – known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs) – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change by next year’s climate summit. Previous agreements asked countries to submit these NDCs every five years.

The draft agreement – also called a “cover decision” – is the second version released this week. Governments and representatives have been negotiating details of the first draft published on Wednesday

A key sticking point was climate finance – the money promised by richer countries to poorer countries to fight climate change. It is controversial because developed countries are responsible for most greenhouse gas emissions, but developing countries see the worst effects of climate change.

Despite the promises made at COP26 so far, the planet is still heading for 2.4C of warming above pre-industrial levels, according to a report by Climate Action Tracker

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