Tuesday, November 30, 2021
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COP26: New draft climate deal steps up call for urgent action

A new draft agreement at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow has stepped up calls on governments to urgently tackle climate change.

It asks countries to reveal their plans to massively reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a much faster speed than previously.

But it softens commitments to reduce use of coal and other fossil fuels.

It also asks countries to strengthen their support for poorer countries fighting climate change.

The deal must be agreed by all countries at the meeting.

Negotiations could go late into Friday or longer. The UN meeting is seen as crucial for limiting the worst effects of global warming.

On Friday, UN chief António Guterres said COP26 would probably not achieve its aims and the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C is on “life support”.

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.

Meeting the goal requires global emissions to be cut by 45% by 2030 and to zero overall by 2050.

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”.

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.

(BBC News)

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