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Thursday, December 2, 2021

COP26 negotiations postponed to the weekend because the negotiators tried to finalize the deal

As the phasing out of fossil fuels and the differences between rich and poor countries still exist, negotiators have postponed negotiations on how to deal with climate change to the United Nations Climate Summit in Glasgow on Saturday.

After nearly two weeks of discussions, the focus of the United Nations COP26 meeting in Glasgow has been reduced to a series of major issues such as coal, oil and natural gas, and financial support for developing countries to fight global warming.

As ministers from nearly 200 countries tried to finalize an agreement, the debate on these issues lasted from the scheduled 6pm on Friday until late at night.

A further update to the latest draft agreement text-known as the “cover decision”-will expire on Saturday morning, and the closing meeting is now scheduled for that evening.

The latest text released earlier on Friday adjusted a line to only allow the phasing out of “increasing but unabated” coal power and “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies. The earlier version included all coal power and fossil fuel subsidies.

China’s chief climate negotiator, Zhao Yingmin, said at a United Nations plenary meeting on Friday that the latest text has “some improvements” and provides a “good basis” for further discussions.

But he also said that countries should be able to determine their own timetable for setting new emission targets, and more details are needed to help developing countries adapt to climate change financing.

China has been opposed to the proposal to revise carbon emission reduction targets every year instead of every five years.

Ayman Shasly, a senior Saudi negotiator who worked for Saudi Aramco in China and chairman of the powerful Arab group at the meeting, said at the meeting that the current draft is “workable.”

“One of the general discussions we heard was ambition [for] It’s easy to keep 1.5 alive. We all know that in the room, no one in the room disagrees,” he said, referring to the rise in global temperature. “The question is how we will do this. ”

But as the EU’s chief climate negotiator Frans Timmermans stated at the United Nations meeting that it needs to send a clear message about stopping fossil fuel subsidies, and finally “turn the page of coal,” this remark has aroused Warm applause, but there are still differences.

The US climate envoy John Kerry also welcomed the latest draft text and said that the wording of “non-reduced coal” use and “inefficient subsidies” must be retained. He also called on the UN summit to expand adaptation funding-cash that poor countries can use to deal with climate change. “There is no point in restricting where you can bring money from,” he said.

The climate minister of Tuvalu, Seve Paeniu, is clearly emotional. He said that the low-lying atoll country is “actually sinking” because he called for a doubling of climate financing to help poorer countries adapt.

“For many of us, this is a matter of life and survival, and we plead that Glasgow must be the decisive moment. We cannot fail,” he said to warm applause.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that as the host of the summit, his government has been “changing the world so that everyone around the world can see the importance of reaching an agreement.”

“We will not win everything at COP26, but we should start,” he added.

Neil Hume, Leslie Hooker, Camilla Hodgson and Jim Picard

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