Cop26 had as its main objective the agreement of a plan to limit global temperature increases by 1.5C more than preindustrial levels. 

This benchmark’s pivotal element was the agreement on coal use.  

Fossil fuel is the greatest pollutant in the world, and it’s especially growing by the industrial giants India or China. 

Scotland had delegates who spent many days and weeks discussing the best language for tying countries together to close down their coal-fired power stations.

Last night, the summit believed that they had reached a working which could begin this process. There was talk of nations ‘phasing out’ black carbon chunks.

However, at last night’s Glasgow death, the text was changed to ‘phase down’ after a push by China and its rival India.

It holds countries accountable for reducing their coal consumption, but not to quitting altogether. 

Alok Sharma apologized last night for making the last-gasp changes. To pass the Glasgow Pact, unanimous support was required.

Today, he said it was a historic achievement considering previous Cop summits failed to make any progress on coal consumption. 

WWas there anything else that was agreed upon? 

In order to assist developing countries in adapting to climate change, there has been an increase of the money available by doubling its size. Current goal is $100bn per year. A trillion-dollar fund could be available by 2025.

But the agreement also noted ‘with deep regret’ that wealthy nations had also failed to stump up a separate annual sum of $100 billion they promised over a decade ago. 

A variety of rich governments made new pledges during the conference – amounting to about $960million – in support of two U.N.-backed funds which help climate-stressed nations adapt.

The pledged amounts are still far lower than the $70 billion that developing countries need right now. This amount could increase to $300 billion per year by 2030 according to United Nations. 

It called on countries to immediately pay their debts by 2025.

It was also possible to set a goal for adaptation finance. This sector currently represents only 25% of global climate finance for developing economies and received just $20 billion in 2019. 

To encourage further ambition, the major emitters are also asked to set new goals at Egypt’s 2022 UN Climate Conference.

China has always been cautious of others scrutinising its progress. China is also expected to now report on an annual basis, instead of once every 10 years like other developing and emerging countries. 

Why is this important?

The 2015 Paris Agreement saw the realization that the countries who had provided national actions plans (or nationally determined contributions) for emission cuts through 2030 were putting the world on the wrong track in meeting the agreed-on temperature targets.

The agreement built in a ratchet mechanism that would see countries return with updated plans up to 2030 by Cop26 – which was meant to take place in 2020, but was delayed by the pandemic.

However, the most recent set of plans that countries have submitted to Glasgow shows the world still far from achieving the required 45 per cent emission cuts by 2030 in order to reach the 1.5C target.

The countries at the summit were pressured to agree to a Glasgow deal to boost their commitment to emission cuts by 2020 to keep the 1.5C goal from being abandoned.

With the effects of the 1.1C warming already affecting, there was pressure on developing countries to finance the relief and repair of the damage and loss they were facing.

Scientists also warn that to keep temperature rises below 1.5C, global emissions must be reduced by 45 percent by 2030 and by zero by the middle of this century. 

What does this mean for the average person in Britain? 

The climate change will affect lives, and the UK is already on track to achieve its targets of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 68% in 2030. This goal aligns with the Paris Agreement as well as its legal carbon reduction goals.

The government is working to implement plans to achieve them. This includes measures like the phaseout of coal-powered vehicles, ban on traditional cars, and attempts to convert home heating systems to cleaner alternatives to boilers.

The longer-term goal is to limit global warming at 1.5C. This will help protect the population from any adverse effects of climate changes.

That means the UK will be able to avoid flooding, storms and coastal erosion as well water shortages and heatwaves brought on by the rising temperature.