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All  that  happened at the Glasgow climate meeting

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One of the most critical climate negotiations since the Paris Agreement in 2015, the Glasgow climate change conference (COP 26) is scheduled to close today. Climate ambition and climate finance were the main themes at the conference. Mint elaborates.

One of the most critical climate negotiations since the Paris Agreement in 2015, the Glasgow climate change conference (COP 26) is scheduled to close today. Climate ambition and climate finance were the main themes at the conference. Mint elaborates.

Are there any new targets?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned in August that the world may have lost the opportunity to keep global warming to under 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, which is one of the targets defined at Paris. COP 26, then, possibly represents one of the last chances to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius through a fair, ambitious agreement, according to several climate experts. The draft of the Glasgow agreement, released on Wednesday, underlines the Paris target of capping the rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius and calls for pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Is it possible to achieve those targets?

The draft, by the group of nations that were signatories to the Paris Agreement, does recognize that the 1.5 degrees Celsius target requires meaningful and effective action by all parties, reflecting common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) and respective capabilities in light of different national circumstances. Keeping the Paris target alive and the nod to CBDR are both significant. Another positive aspect of the draft is that countries have been urged to come forward by 2022 with revisited, improved nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal.

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What are the shortcomings of the draft agreement?

The draft mentions phasing out coal and fossil fuel subsidies, but avoids putting a timeline to this. It urges developed nations to provide resources to developing nations for mitigation and adaptation. However, several climate experts have pointed out that it has no clear timelines on increasing and delivering financial support to developing countries.

What do developing countries want?

Negotiators representing Like Minded Developing Countries (LMDC), including India and China, have flagged action on finance. India, representing Brazil, South Africa, and China in the BASIC group, and the LMDC have demanded climate finance. Such finance provided by developed countries has fallen short of the promised $100 billion per year by 2020 and comes with conditions. It is also in the form of loans, rather than grants. Developing nations will only accept concessional and grant-based climate finance.

Where do we stand with the new pledges?

The world is still headed to a catastrophic warming of around 2.4 to 2.7 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, according to the UN Environment Programme’s update released last Tuesday. This update considers 33 new mitigation pledges for 2030 (31 in NDCs and two in other announcements as of 4 November) made since September, the cut-off date applied in the Emissions Gap Report 2021. If the full implementation of all net zero pledges is considered in addition to the updated NDCs, warming is projected to be limited to 2.1° C.

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