Tackling climate change: New draft deal released at COP26

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The draft of an agreement – also called “cover decision” – that chalks out how countries will cut emissions to avoid temperature rises of above 1.5°C was published early on Wednesday on the sidelines of the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland.

The text of the newly released draft on combating climate change had several changes over the previous version, making it appear weaker on certain fronts.

The draft, proposed by COP26 president Alok Sharma, underlines the Paris Agreement temperature goal of capping the rise in the average global temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and it also calls for pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

However, the text says the impact of climate change will be much lesser at the temperature increase of 1.5°C as compared to 2°C.

Also Read: New climate pledges not enough: Studies

Initial remarks from some experts suggested the draft was weak on climate mitigation and adaptation finance delivery, which could be a red line for developing countries.

The negotiations officially come to an end on Friday.

The draft recognises that keeping global warming to under 1.5°C requires meaningful and effective action by all parties, reflecting common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities in the light of different national circumstances.

Meeting the 1.5°C goal would require reducing global CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030 relative to the 2010 level and to reach net zero by around mid-century. But the aggregate greenhouse gas emission level, taking into account implementation of all nationally determined contributions (NDCs) submitted, is estimated to be 13.7% above the 2010 level in 2030.

On climate finance, the draft urges developed countries to provide financial resources to developing nations with respect to both mitigation and adaptation, in continuation of their existing obligations under the convention. It also encourages all parties to provide such support voluntarily.

The draft recognises that discussions on a new post 2025 quantified finance goal has started.

On loss and damage, the draft urges developed nations operating entities of the financial mechanism, the UN, intergovernmental organizations, and bilateral and multilateral institutions including NGOs and private parties, to provide

enhanced support for activities addressing the impact of climate change.

On adaptation finance, the draft calls upon the private sector, multilateral development banks and other financial institutions to enhance finance mobilisation in order to be able to deliver the scale of resources needed.

HT has reported that developing countries have expressed frustration over the lack of credibility and failure to deliver promised climate finance of $100 billion.

Developed and developing countries are divided on a new quantified finance goal for the post-2025 period.

India will not update its NDC to reflect the pledges made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Climate Leader’s Summit at Glasgow on November 1 and 2, which was part of the ongoing COP26 talks, until there is clarity on climate finance, a top member of the Indian delegation said on condition of anonymity.

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