U.N. climate talks ended Nov. 13 with a deal that for the first time targeted fossil fuels as the key driver of global warming, even as coal-reliant countries lobbed last-minute objections.
While the agreement won applause for keeping alive the hope of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius, many of the nearly 200 national delegations wished they had come away with more.
“If it’s a good negotiation, all the parties are uncomfortable,” U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said in the final meeting to approve the Glasgow Climate Pact. “And this has been, I think, a good negotiation.”
The 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.
There was last-minute drama as India, backed by China and other coal-dependent developing nations, rejected a clause calling to “phase out” coal-fired power. After a huddle between the envoys from China, India, the United States and the European Union, the clause was amended to ask countries to “phase down” their coal use.
“The approved texts are a compromise,” said U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. “They reflect the interests, the conditions, the contradictions and the state of political will in the world today.” (Reuters)