COP26: A new draft agreement tries to heal old wounds

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Negotiators in Glasgow are looking over a new draught deal aimed at mitigating climate change’s worst effects.

The COP26 meetings were supposed to end on Friday, but disagreements particularly over fossil fuels and financial aid to poorer countries have caused them to run over.

The current version has preserved key language on phasing out coal use. However, it’s uncertain whether the draught will lead to a deal later on Saturday – or to more talks.

According to scientists, limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels will safeguard humanity from the most devastating effects of climate change. It is an important aspect of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which was signed by the majority of countries.

To meet the target, global emissions must be cut by 45 percent by 2030 and completely eliminated by 2050.According to scientists, one illustration of the impact of global temperature rises exceeding 2°C is the destruction of practically all tropical coral rDespite the fact that some observers have noted that this is the first time coal has been specifically mentioned in a UN document of this type, the new version of the agreement released on Saturday still refers to “accelerating efforts towards phase-out of unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” – watered-down commitments that campaigners have criticised.

According to reports, China and Saudi Arabia are among a group of countries attempting to eliminate references to fossil fuel subsidies.

On Friday, Tuvalu’s climate minister made an emotional plea, claiming that his country was drowning owing to rising sea levels. Tuvalu is especially at risk from rising sea levels.

One of the most contentious issues is climate finance, or the money given by richer countries to poorer ones to combat climate change. Developed countries agreed in 2009 to provide $100 billion per year to emerging economies by 2020. However, this goal was not accomplished.

According to a report by Climate Action Tracker, despite the promises made at COP26 so far, the world is still on track to warm by 2.4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

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