The global COP26 climate change summit came away with a little hope of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius by mid century although there was a last-minute spat between the delegates regarding coal-based energy. India led the group of developed countries which lobbied against the pact which advocated elimination of coal-based energy and managed to bargain it down to 'gradual phasing out' of coal.
India's environment and climate minister, Bhupender Yadav, said the revision reflected the "national circumstances of emerging economies..We are becoming the voice of the developing countries." He told Reuters, that the pact had "singled out" coal but kept quiet about oil and natural gas.
The new deal clinched on Saturday has, for the first time, targeted fossil fuels as the main cause for global warming over several days of negotiations. two-week conference in Scotland delivered a major win in resolving the rules around carbon markets, but it did little to assuage vulnerable countries' concerns about long-promised climate financing from rich nations.
Developing countries argue rich nations, whose historical emissions are largely responsible for warming the planet, must finance their efforts both to transition away from fossil fuels and to adapt to increasingly severe climate impacts. The deal offered a promise to double adaptation finance by 2025 from 2019, but again no guarantees. A U.N. committee will report next year on progress towards delivering the $100 billion per year in promised climate funding, after rich nations failed to deliver on a 2020 deadline for the funds. Finance will then be discussed again 2024 and 2026.
Carbon offset 'credits' have also been finalised in the deal meaning that poorer countries can now buy the credits which are earned by others who have cut emissions which will provide a fillip in terms of finances and also boost protection measures for forests and renewable energy efforts. Jennifer Morgan, executive director of the campaign group Greenpeace hailed the new climate deal in Glasgow as a victory of sorts which says the era of coal is ending.
"They changed a word but they can't change the signal coming out of this COP, that the era of coal is ending," she said. "If you're a coal company executive, this COP saw a bad outcome," she told media.