China and Saudi Arabia have been accused of blocking efforts to make progress on a deal at the Cop26 conference by refusing to agree that they must be transparent about their greenhouse gas emissions. 

Climate Change conference negotiators said that the countries were opposed to the requirement for countries to report their emission, amid concern about some countries hiding the full extent of their output. 

Saudi Arabian negotiators were also accused of blocking the “cover decision” – the final statement of Cop26 which could include a promise to speed up action to reduce global warming to 1.5C in order to prevent the most severe impacts from rising temperatures.  

Saudi Arabia is concerned about divulging information about the performance of its oil giant Saudi Aramco, which is a major contributor to the country's emissions

Saudi Arabia worries about disclosing details about its oil giant Saudi Aramco. This company is one of the major contributors to Saudi Arabia’s emission.

Currently, the global progress of the 1.5C target that countries have set for themselves in the next decade is far from being achieved under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The Times reports that China objected in part to China reporting its greenhouse gas emission because of concerns about data on China’s economic growth. Its climate target is based on a reduction in emissions per unit of GDP.  

Saudi Arabia has expressed concern about spilling any information regarding the performance of Saudi Aramco, its major oil company, and a contributor to Saudi Arabia’s greenhouse gas emissions.  

Greenpeace claimed that Saudi Arabia had blocked efforts to support poor countries in adapting to climate change.

Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace International Executive Director said, “Saudi Arabia has been playing.” They’re playing chess, trying to control the outcome so 1.5C is not out of reach.

“The Friday night push to prevent a cover vote was a classic effort to remove ambition from the final text. The move to weaken substance regarding the adaptation goal was intended to make sure vulnerable countries do not get the assistance they require and can therefore not sign up for a meaningful agreement by the week’s end.

China is understood to object to reporting their greenhouse gas emissions as it is concerned about revealing data on its economic growth

China seems to be against reporting greenhouse gas emissions because it fears data about its economic growth.

Greenpeace called upon other countries to call for the isolation of Saudi Arabia’s economy, which is dependent on oil exports.

As UN climate talks enter their final week Monday, experts warn that there is still much to be done.

This includes boosting ambition for national carbon reduction programs, giving a promised $100 billion annual to developing countries and rules governing carbon market.

Stephen Leonard (climate law and policy specialist, veteran COP observer) stated, “All countries play hardball.”

“The EU wants the best ambition. African nations want the most financing for adaptation. Australia and Japan desire to be able trade carbon as much as they can.

On Monday, the first official’stocktake’ will take place. This is where countries and negotiation blocs can air their grievances or views after the first week.

COP26 will be held one year later due to the Covid-19 epidemic and in a context of increasing droughts, flooding, and storms that are ravaging countries around the world.

The first week of the conference saw 100 nations pledge to reduce their methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) by at least 30% by 2030.

India, fourth-largest polluter of emissions, announced that it will achieve carbon neutrality in 2070.

Experts believe these announcements could, together with the latest pledges of countries to reduce their emissions, have an impact on future temperatures.

However, a UN report released last week revealed that global emissions could rise by 13.7 percent in 2030. They must decrease by 45 percent this decade if we are to keep global warming below 1.5C.

All summit decisions require a consensus. The UK Government has said ‘keeping 1.5 alive’ is a key Cop26 aim

All summit decisions require a consensus. The UK Government has said ‘keeping 1.5 alive’ is a key Cop26 aim

After Greta Thunberg, an environmental activist, called the summit “a failure”, tens of thousands protested in Glasgow’s streets on Saturday.

Tracy Carty from Oxfam stated that the last week was characterized by a “flurry” of announcements. These included halting deforestation and reducing methane emission.

“Yet…there is an egregious lack of information for certain of these announcements. They should not serve as a distraction from urgent issues like countries that must increase their ambitions for reducing emissions by 2030. 

Several nations signed the COP26 initiative to reduce their coal use – the worst fossil fuel – in the next few decades. These include major consumers South Korea and Vietnam.

The pact did not include the United States, India or China as top buyers.

Australia, another major exporter declined to be part of the initiative. It said Monday that it would sell coal for decades into the future.

The Australian Minister of Resources Keith Pitt stated that he had made it clear that he would not close coal mines or shut down coal-fired power stations.

Australia was one of those countries that recently unveiled 2050 net zero plans. This plan has been criticized by green groups and scientists for its lack of detail and dependence on yet-unrealized technologies to extract CO2 from the atmosphere.