Without meeting the demands of poor countries, the climate conference adopts the “Glasgow Charter” to accelerate the fight against global warming
The COP-26 climate conference on Saturday adopted the “Glasgow Charter” aimed at accelerating the pace of combating global warming, but without ensuring that it is kept within the 1.5 degree Celsius limit and that it does not meet the requests for assistance from poor countries.
The final adoption of the text came after two weeks of arduous negotiations and a warning by the British president to the World Climate Conference, and after last-minute amendments made by China and India on the issue of fossil energy sources.
Chi Jinhua, head of the Chinese delegation participating in the climate summit, said on Saturday that a final agreement was reached at the conference in Glasgow, Britain.
“We’ve reached an agreement,” Zhi Jinhua told a Reuters reporter, pointing his thumbs up to express the successful completion of the agreement.
Disagreements arose between the major powers on the final day of the climate summit in Glasgow, which made reaching an agreement difficult in the ongoing negotiations between these countries.
The draft final statement of the conference called for setting more ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions, and called on rich countries to double financing for climate adaptation by 2025.
The British presidency of the conference tried on Saturday to defend the draft statement that it presented, saying that it “makes things move forward”, at a time when several controversial points, especially on helping poor countries, threaten to thwart reaching an agreement aimed at reducing global warming.
The developing countries requested the establishment of a specific mechanism to take into account the “losses and damages”, that is, the devastating effects of storms, droughts and increasing heat waves.
According to several observers and sources close to the negotiations, the rich countries, especially the United States and the European Union, opposed this proposal.
“The European Union is ready to help build bridges,” European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said Saturday, noting that the Europeans had “significantly” increased their financial contribution.
After two weeks of discussions on a large number of important issues related to the commitments of the parties participating in the Glasgow summit, the most important points of contention remain the amounts allocated to help the poorest countries reduce their carbon dioxide emissions, and prepare to face storms, heat waves and droughts, and poor countries are the least responsible for Climate change, but it suffers the most from its impact.
The rich countries or countries of the North had promised in 2009 to increase their climate aid to the countries of the South, to reach 100 billion annually, starting from last year 2020.
On Saturday, Iran announced that it was not satisfied with the wording of the draft UN climate change summit agreement on a phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies, and expressed its support for India, which also criticized rich countries for this commitment.
“We are not satisfied with Paragraph 36 of the phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies. We support the Indian delegation on fossil fuels,” the Iranian delegation said at the Glasgow Climate Change Summit.
India’s Environment and Climate Minister Bhupinder Yadav criticized the draft UN climate change agreement, saying it did not match the way the issue of fossil fuel subsidies was addressed and that the draft lacked balance.
In one of the harshest criticisms of the draft COP26 agreement, Yadav said developing countries had the right to use the remainder of the so-called global “carbon budget” or the amount of carbon dioxide the world could emit before global warming exceeded the 1.5 degree mark.
According to the United Nations, the world is still on a “catastrophic” path towards a temperature increase of 2.7 degrees Celsius, and the new text maintains the progress made during this conference in terms of reducing emissions and the use of fossil fuels, the two main sources of greenhouse gases.
On Thursday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the US-Chinese announcement to strengthen climate cooperation as an “important step in the right direction, but it is far from sufficient.”
Previously, a number of activists demonstrated in Glasgow, protesting the failure of the participants in the climate conference to reach an agreement on reducing carbon emissions, and what they described as the slowness in resolving contentious issues.
The demonstrators wore black and red shrouds bearing the hashtag “The Twenty-Six Cup Failed”, a reference to the climate conference.
The protesting activists said that they consider the ongoing summit in Glasgow a failure like its predecessors, as the politicians failed to reach decisions that protect the environment, foremost of which is reducing carbon emissions in the world, and they also failed to take the warnings of environmental scientists of the danger of these emissions to life on the planet, as they put it.