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14 Nov 2021

COP26 Agreement to Shift-Away from Fossil Fuels

The Index Today

Recent climate talks in Scotland and Glasgow came to an end as countries struggled to finalize a deal to avert climate change. The Glasgow conference was concluded with countries agreeing to reduce fossil fuel production as it still remains the leading cause of global warming.

However, the conference was met with hesitance from developing countries and coal-dependent nations who asked for the clause to be revised. The agreement included the term “phase down” instead of “phase out”, to encourage parties to accept and uphold climate pledges. Bhupender Yadav, India’s environment and climate minister said, “We are becoming the voice of the developing countries. We made our effort to make a consensus that is reasonable for developing countries and reasonable for climate justice.” He further explained that the revision must take into account the situation of developing countries and they must not be singled out during climate talks.

However, despite the revisions, many developed nations including the EU and Switzerland showed disappointment towards the new climate agreement. U.N Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, “The approved texts are a compromise. They reflect the interests, the conditions, the contradictions and the state of political will in the world today. They take important steps, but unfortunately the collective political will was not enough to overcome some deep contradictions.”

The agreement reflects all nations’ willingness to bring down carbon emissions, but it may still not be enough to counter climate change. All countries have been requested to revise their climate pledges next year instead of every five years. According to scientists, temperature rise of 1.5C could lead to rising sea levels, droughts, storms and other natural calamities. So far, pledges made by countries focus on reducing greenhouses through the elimination of fossil fuels.

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