‘Walking inches when we must move miles’

“An equitable fossil gas phaseout would place a lot of the burden squarely on the US and wealthy international locations…This is able to be unacceptable to Biden administration negotiators.

“As a substitute, the COP26 present language has heavy implications for growing international locations like India, and tonnes of loopholes for the continuation of US fossil gas actions,” he tweeted.


Nevertheless it got here as a bitter blow to many growing nations, a lot of whom had expressed deep disappointment with the textual content throughout the afternoon’s plenary meeting, however had reluctantly accepted it with the intention to transfer ahead.

Many – small island states particularly – had come to Glasgow hoping for settlement on the supply of finance for loss and injury.

This refers back to the impacts of local weather change that can not be tailored to, akin to sea stage rise and rising temperatures, in addition to excessive occasions akin to floods, hurricanes and tropical cyclones.

However the US, Australia, Japan and the European Union blocked strikes to create the fund. As a substitute, the pact units up a course of for dialogue on preparations for funding of actions to “avert, minimise and deal with loss and injury”.

Shauna Aminath, minister of atmosphere for the Maldives, stated through the afternoon plenary:“For some loss and injury often is the starting of dialogue.

“For us, it is a matter of survival… please do us the courtesy to acknowledge that it doesn’t convey hope to our hearts, however serves as one more dialog the place we put our houses on the road, when those that produce other choices resolve how rapidly they need to act to avoid wasting those that do not.”

Scotland was praised for promising £1 million for loss and injury, the primary authorities to make any such dedication, later doubling it to £2 million.


Creating international locations did succeed of their plea for finance for adaptation to double. So far, initiatives to adapt infrastructure and livelihoods to local weather change have only received 25 percent of global climate finance.

However that is nonetheless nowhere close to sufficient, and can compound future wants for loss and injury funding, in response to Simon Addison, staff chief of public coverage for local weather resilient growth on the Worldwide Institute for Surroundings and Growth.

“With out adaptation finance coming quickly and at scale weak international locations will be unable to beat the local weather dangers they face, pushing them deeper right into a cascade of loss and injury impacts from which they might not have the ability to recuperate,” he tweeted.

Harjeet Singh, senior advisor of Local weather Motion Community and the Fossil Gas Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, stated: “Whereas the result from the summit recognised the hole in coping with losses and damages in growing international locations, the step to offer finance and ship justice to the local weather victims has been delayed. We’re strolling in inches after we should transfer in miles.”

Carbon market

Extra positively, COP26 noticed settlement on the ultimate parts of the so-called “Paris rulebook”, that means that these parts can now be applied.

All international locations might want to produce new emission discount plans earlier than the subsequent UN local weather talks in 2022, in recognition that present plans should not enough.

By 2024, all international locations must report detailed knowledge on emissions, which can type the baseline in opposition to which future reductions will be measured.

Guidelines governing a new carbon market, which can enable international locations to commerce credit from emissions reductions between one another have been agreed.


These had seen main disagreement in earlier COPs in Madrid and Katowice, particularly on whether or not loopholes that may have allowed for double counting of emissions reductions could be allowed.

James Roth, senior vp of worldwide coverage and authorities affairs at nature charity Conservation Worldwide stated that international locations may now guarantee carbon markets that have been “high-quality, constant and clear”.

“This stage of certainty will drive new investments to scale the local weather actions we desperately want throughout all sectors, together with halting deforestation and selling different pure local weather options,” he stated.

Nevertheless, some commentators consider the language was not clear sufficient to cease firms gaming the system.

“The principles agreed at COP26 are removed from excellent with some main loopholes…particularly for carbon markets. If exploited, they may critically undermine efforts to cut back emissions,” stated Tom Evans, coverage advisor at assume tank E3G

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Catherine Early is the chief reporter for The Ecologist and a contract environmental journalist. She tweets at @Cat_Early76.

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