Draft Agreement on Climate Change Expresses “Alarm and Concern”

Governments are prepared to express “alarm and concern” about how much the Earth has already warmed and to push one another to phase out coal use. 

Even while pledges from states so far do not add up to that widely mentioned objective, an early version of the paper circulating during the negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland, focuses on countries the need to decrease carbon dioxide emissions by nearly half by 2030. 

Countries would be urged to “accelerate the phasing out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels” in the draft, despite the fact that it makes no clear mention of eliminating the use of oil and gas. Although wealthy countries have made a concerted effort to shut down coal-fired power plants, which are a major source of heat-trapping emissions, the fuel remains a vital and inexpensive source of electricity for developing countries such as China and India. 

While the language about moving away from coal is a first and crucial step, the lack of a deadline for governments to do so, according to Greenpeace International Director Jennifer Morgan, a long-time climate talks observer, restricts the pledge’s usefulness. 

The document still lacks comprehensive agreement on the three primary goals outlined by the United Nations prior to the negotiations, which may disappoint poorer countries due to a lack of firm financial promises from wealthier nations. The objectives are for wealthy nations to send poorer countries $100 billion in climate aid each year, with half of the money going toward adaptation to rising global warming, and for the vow to reduce emissions to be made. 

The draught proposal does, however, shed light on the difficulties that must be handled in the final days of the conference, which is set to expire on Friday but may extend beyond that date. Even yet, there will be a lot of negotiation and decision-making to come because whatever comes out of the discussions must be unanimously supported by the almost 200 countries in attendance. 

The draft proposes that the globe strives for “net-zero (emissions) around mid-century.” This entails requiring countries to release only as much greenhouse gas into the atmosphere as can be absorbed naturally or artificially. 

It also expresses “regret” that affluent countries have failed to meet their climate aid commitments. 

Poorer countries are furious that promised aid has not arrived, despite the fact that they require financial assistance both in creating green energy systems and responding to the worst effects of climate change.  

The draft ”expresses shock and worry that human activities have produced roughly 1.1 C (2 F) of global warming to date and that repercussions are already being felt in every region,” highlighting the difficulty of attaining those targets. 

Small island nations, who are particularly vulnerable to climate change, are concerned that not enough is being done to keep warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius – and that allowing temperatures to rise to 2 degrees would be disastrous for their countries. 

Separate draught ideas on other matters being discussed during the negotiations, including rules for international carbon markets and the regularity with which countries must report on their efforts, were also released. 

Nations that do not have national goals that fit within the 1.5- or 2-degree thresholds are encouraged to submit tougher aims next year, according to the draft. The provision could apply to most countries depending on how the text is interpreted.  

The draft vaguely “urges” wealthy countries to pay developing countries for “loss and damage,” a language that some rich countries dislike. This is a hint at one of the major difficulties for poorer countries. However, no financial obligations have been made. 

PC: https://www.gettyimages.in/detail/photo/paradise-bay-in-antarctica-royalty-free-image/1083968642?adppopup=true