- Host Britain drafts first draft COP26 summit conclusions
- Proposal asks countries to improve their climate targets in 2022
- The project also highlights the need to reduce the use of fossil fuels
- Negotiators try to agree on final text this week
GLASGOW, Nov. 10 (Reuters) – British hosts of the UN climate conference COP26 in Glasgow have proposed that countries increase their ambitions to cut greenhouse gas emissions by next year in a draft political decision to be negotiated over the next three days.
The proposal highlights concerns from climate experts and activists that there is a yawning gap between current national commitments and the rapid emission reductions needed to prevent the world from slipping into a full-blown climate crisis.
The first draft policy decision, which the United Nations released on Wednesday morning, calls on countries to “revise and strengthen the 2030 goals in their nationally determined contributions, if necessary to align with the global temperature target. Paris Agreement by the end of 2022 “.
Put simply, this would force countries to set stricter climate targets next year – a key request from countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Countries have agreed as part of the Paris agreement to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to try to cap it at 1.5 ° C.
Scientists say crossing the 1.5 ° C threshold would trigger sea level rise, floods, droughts, forest fires and storms far worse than those already experienced – with some impacts becoming potentially irreversible.
The project also urged countries to step up efforts to stop burning coal and phase out fossil fuel subsidies – by directly targeting carbon dioxide-producing coal, oil and gas, the main contributor to change. climate of human origin.
He hasn’t set a fixed date for their phasing out, but the focus on fossil fuels could be pushed back by big energy producers.
Helen Mountford, vice president of the World Resources Institute, said the explicit reference to coal, oil and gas was a step up from previous climate summits. “The real problem is going to be whether it can be kept.”
Diplomats will stand together on Wednesday to try to agree on a final text in time for the end of the two-week conference on Friday. It will not be legally binding, but will carry the political weight of the nearly 200 countries that signed the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Environmental campaign group Greenpeace called the project an inadequate response to the climate crisis, calling it “a polite demand that countries maybe do more next year.”
The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) research group said on Tuesday that all national commitments submitted so far to reduce greenhouse gases by 2030 would, if met, at Earth’s temperature d ‘rise 2.4 ° C from pre-industrial levels by 2100 – a significant figure but small step from the current 2.7C trajectory.
The draft document reminds countries that to stop global warming beyond the critical threshold of 1.5 ° C, global greenhouse gas emissions must fall by 45% by 2030 from the levels of 2010, on the verge of stopping their increase entirely by 2050.
Under national climate commitments submitted to the United Nations so far, emissions will be 14% above 2010 levels by 2030.
The draft asks countries to submit enhanced pledges next year, but does not confirm whether this will become an annual requirement – potentially leaving a decision on future reviews to Egypt, which will host the next UN climate conference. .
The text also dodges demands by the poorest countries to ensure that the rich countries, whose greenhouse gas emissions are largely responsible for climate change, will provide much more money to help them cope with the change. climate and reduce CO2 emissions.
The project “urges” developed countries to “urgently increase” aid to help countries adapt to climate impacts, and says more finance must come in the form of grants, rather than loans that put more strain on them. poor nations. But it doesn’t include a new plan to distribute that money.
Rich countries failed to deliver on the 2009 pledge to give the poorest countries $ 100 billion a year in climate finance by 2020, and now expect to do so three years behind schedule. This broken promise damaged confidence and prompted poor countries to seek stricter rules for future funding.
Reporting by Valerie Volcovici and Bhargav Acharya; Editing by Kevin Liffey
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