Cop26 talks about halting global warming are a step closer to achieving climate optimism

  • The Cop26 talks on climate change were at the brink of collapse as they continued to negotiate into the late hours.
  • Warning to world leaders: Draft text left the goal of limiting global temperature rise in ‘peril.
  • Glasgow summit was extended due to countries’ disagreements over fossil fuel policy

As negotiations for a halt to global warming continued late into the evening, Cop26’s climate change discussions were in danger.

World leaders were warned the draft text left the goal of limiting rising temperatures to 1.5C in ‘mortal peril’ as negotiators battled over the final wording.

As countries clashed on fossil fuel policies, Glasgow Summit, originally scheduled for last night, was extended.

Boris Johnson said the goal of the UN conference was to ‘keep 1.5C alive’, but experts warned the current pledges would still let Earth warm up by 2.4C.

World leaders were warned the draft text left the goal of limiting rising temperatures to 1.5C in ¿mortal peril¿ as negotiators battled over the final wording. And Boris Johnson said the goal was to 'keep 1.5C alive'

World leaders were warned the draft text left the goal of limiting rising temperatures to 1.5C in ‘mortal peril’ as negotiators battled over the final wording. Boris Johnson stated that the goal was to keep 1.5C alive.

The Prime Minister warned: ‘People need to understand that the deal that’s on the table… that is the text.

‘We either find a way of agreeing it or I’m afraid we risk blowing it. That’s the reality.’

He urged leaders to find the ‘courage’ to strike a deal, adding: ‘What we can’t do is stop global warming at Glasgow – we’ve got to accept that. What we can do is keep alive the prospect of restraining the increase in temperatures to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century.’

Scientists believe that limiting warming to 1.5C is essential in order to prevent climate change from causing havoc.

Last night’s draft deal made no progress toward achieving this goal. Progress was slowed by nations like the US, Australia, China and Saudi Arabia.

Although the draft talked of ending the world’s dependence on coal and fossil fuels for the first time, the language was watered down.

Countries were ‘requested’ to strengthen their 2030 targets by next year, when they are expected to meet in Egypt.

A pledge for richer nations to give the poorest £73billion a year to adapt to climate change also appears to have been diluted.

The Glasgow summit, which was due to end last night, went into extra time as countries clashed over fossil fuel policies

As countries clash over policies regarding fossil fuels, Glasgow Summit, originally scheduled for last night, was extended into extra time

Asked whether the draft met his hopes, climate expert Lord Stern said: ‘It falls short of what one would hope for in the sense of really driving to 1.5C and tackling clean development – but it goes beyond where I thought it might be a few days ago.’

The peer, who led the 2006 Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, added: ‘This new text is stronger, has a greater sense of urgency.’

Dr Thomas Hale, associate professor in Public Policy at Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government, said: ‘We have seen some progress. But we need to see much more next year.’

The issue of how much aid to be given to countries that are most vulnerable, such as islands states, in order for them after climate change has become a major point of contention.

Q&A: What is Cop26’s goal?

The 196-nation summit’s aim is ‘keep 1.5C alive’ – referring to Cop21 in Paris six years ago, at which leaders agreed to ‘pursue efforts’ to curb global temperature rises to 1.5C.

What is the deal?

IT calls for CO2 emissions to be cut ‘by 45 per cent by 2030’. If they are unable to capture and store CO2, countries should shut down coal plants. Reduced methane emissions, as well as more support for countries affected by climate change are all possible.

Are we able to limit global temperature rises below 1.5C

Yes, although pledges made at the summit to reduce emissions will allow global warming to rise by 2.4C. The Earth is 1.1C warmer than pre-industrial levels – 2.4C would be catastrophic.

What is the best way to get 1.5C?

Nation must also pledge to further reduce their emissions next year if the deal is agreed upon. Even a 1.5C increase will still have serious consequences.

Is there any other agreement?

China and the United States agreed to cooperate to reduce global temperatures rising to 1.5C. Over 100 world leaders pledged to end deforestation in 2030. This includes Brazil. US and EU established a partnership worldwide to decrease methane emissions until 2030. More than 40 countries committed to move away from coal – but not big users such as China and the US.

What are the key points?

Britain and other countries want higher targets. The developing world wants more money to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Why should rich countries pay for the help of poor nations?

The argument of poorer countries is that the first world was rich because it had cheap energy from oil, coal and gas. They argue this must be ended or restricted to avoid an economic downturn.

What’s not included in the deal?

However, the treaty does NOT call for an immediate halt to fossil fuel usage.

A deal has been reached?

No. It was supposed to end yesterday, but it continued well into the morning.