COP26: Boris Johnson recognizes a certain “disappointment”

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“My joy at this progress is tinged with disappointment,” Johnson said at a press conference, referring to “those for whom climate change is already a matter of life and death.”

“They demanded a high level of ambition for this summit. And while many of us were ready to do it, not everyone was, ”he continued.

He however underlined the progress made, welcoming in particular that “Glasgow (has) sounded the death knell for coal energy”.

At the end of two weeks of negotiations carried out day and night until the last second, almost all the nations of the planet have agreed on a compromise to accelerate the fight against the rise in temperatures.

But while every tenth of an additional degree has major consequences, the decisions of this “Glasgow Pact” will not lead to a warming limited to 1.5 ° C compared to the pre-industrial era, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement, which in 2015 laid the foundations for climate action.

“The climate catastrophe is still knocking on the door,” warned UN boss Antonio Guterres.

“Global emissions must decrease, immediately, quickly, with absolute urgency,” as they continue to rise, argued Joeri Rogelj of Imperial College London.

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Shut down coal-fired power stations

Glasgow, the cradle of the coal-fueled industrial revolution, will nevertheless remain the city where for the first time at the highest level, after 26 conferences, the words “fossil fuels” and “coal”, which designate the main causes of global warming, will have been used. lying on the paper.

“It is coming very late but it is really welcome,” commented Chris Littlecott, energy transition specialist at the E3G think tank. “2021 saw the shutdown of the coal financing tap, the COP26 opened a new chapter, that of accelerating the retirement of existing coal-fired power stations”.

Finally, to name coal and oil was painful, India and China succeeding at the last moment, in the very room where the final hammer blow was to resound, to further attenuate the formulation in “reduction” instead of ” exit ”from coal, prompting the president of COP26, Alok Sharma, in tears, to apologize to the world.

Mr Sharma told the BBC on Sunday that China and India should “explain themselves” over the decision.

China’s turn came after it announced on Wednesday a surprise agreement with the United States, the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases after it. President Joe Biden, who attacked his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the start of the COP for his absence in Glasgow, must have a video conference with him on Monday.

“Indescribable suffering”

“Beijing must in the near future keep the promises of the Glasgow Climate Pact by setting a date for the end of coal on its territory,” said Byford Tsang, E3G.

“The way in which countries will forge new cooperation to achieve faster actions over the next 12 months will be the real Glasgow passing exam”, sums up E3G, recalling the other promises of COP26 on the reduction of methane emissions , a powerful greenhouse gas, on deforestation, and the financing of fossil fuels.

“I encourage political and economic leaders to act immediately and with foresight,” Pope Francis also said after the Angelus prayer, referring to COP26.

“If countries, and in particular large emitters, stick to their policies of small steps and + business as usual +, they will condemn current and future generations to a world of indescribable suffering and damage,” warns the UCS (Union of Concerned Scientists).

Suffering already experienced by the poorest countries, the least responsible for global warming but on the front line facing its impacts and which fought in Glasgow to obtain specific funding for their “losses and damages”.

They reluctantly gave in, agreeing to continue the dialogue so as not to lose the progress on the fight against global warming.

Twelve months separate Scotland from Egypt, where the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Climate Convention (COP) is to be held.

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