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News ID: 96576
Publish Date : 14 November 2021 - 21:15
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GLASGOW (Dispatches) – Negotiators from nearly every country on Earth reached an agreement Saturday evening at the United Nations Climate Change Conference to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming and to assist developing nations coping with the effects of rising temperatures.
The final agreement, which came following contentious negotiations over issues like ending fossil fuel subsidies, the creation of a crisis response fund for developing nations and the insistence that nations return in a year with steeper targets for emissions reductions, arrived more than 24 hours after the conference officially ended. But it did not go as far as many in the scientific community have said is necessary to keep the world from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius rise over pre-industrial levels, which was the main goal of the conference itself.
What emerged from two weeks of meetings at COP26, as the conference is also known, was a series of compromises that left many of the representatives of nations already on the frontlines of climate change angered.
“We have 98 months to halve global emissions,” Aminath Shauna, environment minister of the Maldives, said as the final wording of the document was being hammered out on Saturday. “The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is a death sentence for us.”
But the deal reached goes further than any before it, in no small part because scientists have made clear that without a significant and sustained effort to lower greenhouse gas emissions, the world is poised to embark upon an era of catastrophic consequences. If the signatories all follow through on their promises and return in 2023 with even stronger emissions targets, it is still possible that mankind could spare itself the worst effects of climate change. For that reason, some nations sought to emphasize the positive aspects of the agreement.
“You can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” climate envoy John Kerry said of the agreement.
Still, environmental advocates and experts and representatives of some of the countries most vulnerable to climate change viewed the outcome as only partially successful because the national pledges made in concert with the conference will lead to an estimated 1.8 degrees Celsius of warming if they are all fulfilled. The UN had hoped for an agreement that would set the world on a path to staying below 1.5C of warming, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommends.
“The request to strengthen 2030 reduction targets by next year is an important step. The work starts now. Big emitters, especially rich countries, must heed the call and align their targets to give us the best possible chance of keeping 1.5 degrees within reach,” Gabriela Bucher, executive director of Oxfam International, said in a statement. “Despite years of talks, emissions continue to rise, and we are dangerously close to losing this race against time.”
In his closing remarks, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres commended delegates from around the world on reaching the agreement.
However, Guterres warned that the agreement reached at the summit was “not enough” to save the world, noting that saving the planet required greater effort.
“These are welcome steps, but they are not enough,” Guterres said.
“Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread,” the UN chief warned in a video address. “We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe.”
Guterres added that the agreement was a “compromise,” and that “deep contradictions” remain.
He stressed that the nations that were most vulnerable to the impact of global warming needed more support.

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