Governments Adopt Glasgow Climate Pact, Operationalize Paris Agreement

Jay Owen Global Citizen, Sustainability News, Wealth of Networks

Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted the Glasgow Climate Pact, agreeing to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and phase down unabated coal power. The Glasgow Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 26) closed on the night of 13 November, one day later than planned.

The Glasgow Climate Change Conference convened from 31 October to 13 November 2021. It was the first in-person meeting for a multilateral environmental agreement to take place since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The SDG Knowledge Hub has reported on the opening of the Conference, the COP 26 World Leaders Summit, the rest of the first week as negotiations picked up, and the start of the second week.

The final three days of COP 26 were spent weighing compromises on finance, adaptation, and loss and damage, among other difficult issues. On Wednesday, 10 November, the day began with an overview from the COP 26 presidency about the status of each track of negotiations. On finance, developed countries were seen as “shirking their obligations to provide finance.”

On Thursday, 11 November, draft decision texts were issued on finance, loss and damage, and Article 6 – three issues that were left unresolved at COP 25, which took place in Madrid, Spain, in 2019. On Article 6, delegates worked to avoid “going backwards” in their governments’ level of ambition.

The final scheduled day of COP 26, Friday, 12 November, began by hearing the status of each outstanding issue. Countries’ statements indicated their views still diverged in many areas, meaning that final decisions would require more time. Disagreements related to the cover text, which had been introduced by the UK COP Presidency, included whether to reference phasing out “all” fossil fuel subsidies, “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies, or have no reference.

Deliberations continued Friday night and into Saturday morning. An informal stocktaking convened on Saturday afternoon, where COP 26 President Alok Sharma asked all delegations to accept the package of proposed texts. After a lengthy round of statements, including requests for changes, the Presidency held informal-informal negotiations with the US, China, India, and others. The closing plenary then resumed, and the meetings were closed just before midnight on Saturday, 13 November. Continue reading