Emotional Alok Sharma apologises as coal phaseout text in Cop26 deal ‘watered down’

Emotional Alok Sharma apologises as coal phaseout text in Cop26 deal ‘watered down’
It comes after a key change to the deal on coal, following a proposed revision by India to water down language on coal

Alok Sharma apologised on Saturday for how the Cop26 deal negotiations concluded with last-minute changes on the wording about coal.

Choking up, the Cop26 President said he is “deeply sorry” for the way the process unfolded.

Addressing delegates, hy het gesê: “May I just say to all delegates I apologise for the way this process has unfolded and I am deeply sorry.”

Hy het bygevoeg: “I also understand the deep disappointment but I think as you have noted, it’s also vital that we protect this package.”

It comes after a key change to the deal on coal, following a proposed revision by India and China to water down language on coal.

The term “phase out” in relation to coal was changed to “phase down” after parties agreed on the new wording.

The final agreement now calls on countries to “phase down unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies”.

The representative for Switzerlandwho also represents the Environmental Integrity Groupstrongly criticises the proposed change, calling it “watered down”, but says the group would not oppose this in order to prevent leaving Glasgow without a deal.

The representative for Fiji also criticised the last-minute change.

He told the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow: “What we would like to express was not just our astonishment but our immense disappointment in the manner in which this has been introduced.”

He said days before they were warned against making “last-minute” changes to the text and said “due process” had not been followed.

“This will not bring us closer to 1.5C but will make it more difficult to reach it," sy sê.

Egter, it is a landmark in that it is the first explicit mention of fossil fuels in a UN climate agreement.

The deal aims to keep limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels “alive” or within reach, in the face of a huge gap between the action countries are taking and what is needed to meet the goal.

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