Climate talks back off from call to end all coal use

GLASGOW, Scotland – Negotiators at this year’s UN climate talks in Glasgow appeared to be pulling out of a call to end coal and fossil fuel subsidies altogether, but gave poor countries hope for more financial support to cope with global warming to become.

The chairman’s latest draft proposals published on Friday a call for countries to “accelerate the phase-out of unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies”.

An earlier proposal on Wednesday was stronger, calling on countries to “accelerate coal phasing out and fossil fuel subsidies”. The changes, if agreed, could give countries loopholes to continue burning coal and subsidizing fossil fuels.

While the Chairman’s proposal is likely to continue under talks due to end by Friday, the change in wording indicated a move away from unconditional demands that some fossil fuel exporting countries have objected.

How to address the continued use of fossil fuels, which are responsible for much of global warming, was one of the key sticking points of the two-week talks.

Scientists agree that it is necessary to stop using them as soon as possible to meet the ambitious goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit). But the explicit inclusion of such a call in the overarching declaration is politically sensitive, including for countries like Saudi Arabia, which fear that oil and gas may be targeted next.

Another sticking point is the question of financial aid for poor countries to cope with climate change. Rich nations failed to provide them with $ 100 billion annually as agreed until 2020, causing significant anger among developing countries entering the talks.

The latest draft reflects these concerns, expresses “deep regret” that the $ 100 billion target has not been met, and calls on rich countries to increase their funding.

It also adds wording that could create a fund to compensate countries for severe damage caused by climate change. Rich nations like the United States, which has historically been the largest source of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, reject any legal obligation to pay for the loss and damage suffered by poorer countries.

Negotiators from nearly 200 nations gathered in Glasgow on October 31, amid harsh warnings from leaders, activists and academics that not enough is being done to curb global warming.

According to the proposed decision, countries plan to “express alarm and concern” that human activity has already caused global warming of around 1.1 ° C (2F), “and that effects are already being felt in every region “.

While the Paris Agreement calls for the temperature to be “well below” 2 ° C (3.6 ° F), ideally no more than 1.5 ° C, by the end of the century, compared to pre-industrial times, the draft agreement provides states that the lower threshold would be “significantly” to reduce the risks and effects of climate change ”and decides to pursue this goal.

In doing so, she calls on the world to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 45% in 2030 compared to 2010 levels and not to bring any additional CO2 into the atmosphere by the middle of the century. So far the world is not on track to do this and it is expected that developed countries will be asked to set more ambitious emissions reduction targets next year.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told The Associated Press this week that the 1.5C target was “still within reach, but life sustaining”.

If the negotiators can’t reach an agreement by the official deadline on Friday, the talks will likely be extended. This has happened at many of the last 25 meetings, as a decision will require consensus from all 197 countries.

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