Finance

Will ‘coal’ make final declaration in Glasgow?

Nearly 200 countries are participating in the negotiations at the summit. They must all agree with the final statement, which is why several draft versions of that text are reviewed.

Beast called by its name

Observers always look at which points have been tinkered with that text after new consultation. The use of fossil fuels is seen as one of the most sensitive points. There are major economic interests involved.

The new text still talks about phasing out unabated coal power: the use of (coal) coal without capturing and storing its CO2 emissions. Efforts must also be made to end ‘inefficient support’ for other fossil fuels. A sentence has been added. It states that ‘there must be support for a just transition’.

The sentences about coal and fossil fuels were also in earlier drafts. If the sentences make it to the final version, that’s a breakthrough; Since 1991 efforts have been made to include fossil fuels by name in the final statement.

‘It’s a breakthrough’

“The key passage on fossil fuels is still in the text,” said Jennifer Morgan, International Director of Greenpeace. “It’s a weakened version, too casual, but it’s there and that’s a breakthrough.”

According to Morgan, it is now important to fight hard to ensure that the sentences are not deleted and that fossil fuels are phased out in even clearer terms.

In addition to fossil fuels, financial support for developing countries is also a sensitive issue. Poorer countries wanted a ‘facility’ to be set up at this summit for climate damage, a pot of money that they can call on if, for example, they are affected by natural disasters related to climate change.

However, the draft text does not provide for this. It does state that it is important to increase support for vulnerable countries.

Limiting global warming

Countries are also being asked to review their 2030 climate targets before the end of 2022 and to tighten them where necessary. The aim is to achieve the agreements made at the 2015 Paris climate summit. Then the international community agreed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

The summit should have been closed on Friday evening, but that turned out to be unfeasible. The delegations of the participating countries meet in the early afternoon to discuss progress in the negotiations.

The hope (and expectation of the host country Great Britain) is that at the end of the afternoon there will be a closing text that everyone can agree with.

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