Negotiators from 200 countries at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland, faced some major stumbling blocks including phasing out coal, fossil fuel subsidies and financial support to low-income countries. However, they reached an agreement November 13.
U.K.’s COP26 President Alok Sharma, in an emotional speech, said: “I understand the deep disappointment. It’s also vital we protect this package.” It remains to be seen whether the significant goal of keeping the temperature threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius would be successful. It was the target set at the 2015 Paris Agreement. The nations will have to halve greenhouse gas emissions in the following years to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
However, experts warned that the world is set for a rise of 2.4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. The plans made so far would lead to a 2.4-degrees increase in temperature by the end of the century, according to the nonprofit research group Climate Action Tracker. Environmentalists across the world have slammed the lack of decision making at the summit. “The road to 1.5 just got harder when these talks should have cleared the way to making it a whole lot easier,” Rachel Kennerley, climate campaigner of environmental group Friends of the Earth, said in a statement Saturday.
Climate activist Greta Thunberg termed the COP26 climate summit as a failure. She pointed out that the U.N.-brokered talks were just a public relations exercise. “It is not a secret that COP26 is a failure. It should be obvious that we cannot solve the crisis with the same methods that got us into it in the first place,” Thunberg said. “The COP has turned into a PR event, where leaders are giving beautiful speeches and announcing fancy commitments and targets, while behind the curtains governments of the Global North countries are still refusing to take any drastic climate action,” she added.