“Overall, on balance, this is definitely a stronger and more balanced text than we had two days ago,” said Helen Mountford, vice president of climate and economics at the World Resources Institute.
As international climate change talks in Glasgow hurtled toward the closing hours, a new draft agreement released on Friday morning called for a doubling of money to help developing countries cope with climate impacts, and called on nations to strengthen their emissions-cutting targets by next year, the New York Times reports.
But much of the text in the draft — intended to push negotiators toward a deal that all nations can agree on — remained contentious for many countries. Disputes remain over money, the speed of emissions cuts and indeed whether an agreement should even mention “fossil fuels” — the principal cause of climate change, but a term that has never before appeared in a global climate agreement.
The differences, after nearly two weeks of negotiations, signaled that it would be difficult for negotiators to reach the sort of sweeping agreement that activists and scientists had urged before the start of the United Nations talks, known as COP26. Scientific consensus says that the world must slash greenhouse-gas emissions by nearly half by 2030 in order to stave off the most disastrous effects of global warming. But under countries’ current targets, emissions would continue to rise.
The latest draft text is laced with what, in a diplomatic document, could be described as rage. It “notes with deep regret” that the rich world has not yet delivered the $100 billion annual aid it promised to deliver by last year. It also calls for a doubling of funds by 2025 to help developing countries adapt to the effects of climate change, including extreme weather and rising sea levels.
One of the most divisive questions involves countries of the global north — which have prospered for over a century by burning coal, oil and gas and spewed greenhouse gases into the atmosphere — and whether they should compensate developing countries for the irreparable harms they have caused. The draft proposes a new “technical assistance facility” to help countries with losses and damages, but experts said questions remain on whether the funding should be new and additional.
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