Home » Cop26 Live: Third Draft Text Retains Many Key Elements After Talks Overrun

Cop26 Live: Third Draft Text Retains Many Key Elements After Talks Overrun

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10:49

There is lots of anger around this morning on the language on loss and damage in the new text, with many feeling the current stance is too weak.

Some strong words from Tasneem Essop, the executive director of Climate Action Network, who described that latest text as a “clear betrayal” by rich nations:

The latest draft text from Cop26 is a clear betrayal by rich nations – the US, the EU and the UK – of vulnerable communities in poor countries.

By blocking the AOSIS and G77+ China proposal, representing 6 billion people, on the creation of a Glasgow Loss and Damage Finance Facility, rich countries have once again demonstrated their complete lack of solidarity and responsibility to protect those facing the worst of the climate impacts.

We urge developing countries to act in the interest of their citizens and stand strong in the face of bullies

This tweet from Saleemul Huq (director of the International Center for Climate Change and Development) sums up how the issue has become such a deal breaker at this Cop. Leaders are now tackling two problems; how to prevent global heating and how to deal with damage that has already been done by the climate crisis.

Saleemul Huq (@SaleemulHuq)

One reason that @COP26 is new is that we now have to deal with two climate change problems: the old one of preventing catastrophic impacts for everyone if we go above 1.5 Degrees and a new one of dealing with the loss and damage already happening due to increase of 1.1 Degrees!

November 13, 2021

Updated

10:34

Greenpeace International’s executive director, Jennifer Morgan, has said the retention of the line about fossil fuels in the draft is a “breakthrough” but warned some countries could try to get it removed in talks today.

“The key line about fossil fuels is still in the text. It’s weak and compromised, but it’s a breakthrough, it’s a bridgehead and we have to fight like hell to keep it in there and have it strengthened. Today’s plenary could witness a defining moment with a clutch of countries seeking to strike that line from the deal and dilute plans to force nations to come back next year with better emissions plans.

“The coal and subsidies language now includes a reference to a just transition and that is very welcome. Fossil fuel interests should be put on notice, the deal on the table is weak but if they gut it they’ll have to answer to the young, to people on the frontline of climate impacts and ultimately to history. Today the eyes of the world are on Glasgow and the loudest voices in the room need to be the nations now fighting for their lives.

“Developed countries, especially the United States, still need to step up on finance, throwing their weight behind the vulnerable nations pushing for increased public adaptation funding and recognition of the loss and damage they’re suffering from climate impacts. Even at this late hour president Biden should send a signal to his team in Glasgow that they shouldn’t block public adaptation funding and finance for loss and damage from richer nations to developing countries threatened by rapidly rising temperatures.”

Updated

10:23

It’s a beautiful sunny day in Glasgow. At the entrance to the SEC, many people are taking pictures on their way in – hoping, presumably, that there will be a deal today and that this will be the last time they have to see this view from this direction.

An unexpectedly sunny day in Glasgow. But let’s not read too much into that … Photograph: Bibi van der Zee

For two weeks this place has been humming with energy, people rushing up and down the halls purposefully, or talking into phones with urgent expressions. There are far fewer here now, and the energy is much quieter.

At the coffee stands, the barista says everyone she’s been serving is absolutely knackered. She started her shift at 8am, but the person she took over from told her there were people here from 5am. They’re waiting for the final deal, and then they’ll start to strike the stand.

Updated

10:20

Some more analysis of the new draft text

The new draft text has relatively few changes, showing that the 196 countries at Cop26 are narrowing down on the most contested issues that will make or break a strong agreement.

The call for the phaseout of coal and fossil fuel subsidies remains, which is positive as many observers thought fossil fuel-rich nations would get it deleted. It has been slightly softened again, with “accelerating efforts towards” inserted before “coal phase out”, rather than a straight call for a phase out. That may be the price of keeping the clause in – remember no Cop document has ever named fossil fuels.

Also added to this section is “recognising the need for support towards a just transition”, highlighting that funds may be needed to retrain fossil fuel industry workers.

The all-important “ratchet” remains – this requests nations to return to the next Cop in 2022 with more ambitious pledges to cut emissions. The current ones to 2030 are forecast to lead to a catastrophic 2.4C of global heating.

The most substantial changes are on “loss and damage” – the compensation vulnerable and poor countries want for the destruction already being cause by the climate crisis they did little to cause. It is perhaps the most bitterly fought section of all, with low income nations believing they have a moral right to this money and rich nations like the US and EU fearing exposure to unlimited financial liabilities.

The new text introduces a specific mention of “funds”:

Decides that the Santiago network will be provided with funds to support technical assistance for the implementation of relevant approaches to avert, minimize, and address loss and damage

The previous text said “will be supported by a technical assistance facility to provide financial assistance”. It’s a small change, but a group of 130 nations, called the G77 + China and representing 85% of the world’s population, have been demanding the inclusion of text to establish a “loss and damage facility”, a specific delivery mechanism for funding, rather than more vague words about assistance in setting something up.

The text also says:

73 – Decides to establish the [NAME] dialogue between parties, relevant organizations, and stakeholders to discuss the arrangements for the funding of activities to avert, minimise and address loss and damage associated with the adverse impacts of climate change to take place at the first sessional period of the SBI, concluding at its 60th session

This gives a specific timetable for dedicated work on loss and damage. These are concessions from rich nations, but it may not be enough. The G77 + China have been clear loss and damage is a critical issue for them.

Saleemul Huq, a veteran from Bangladesh of every Cop, said:

Saleemul Huq (@SaleemulHuq)

Language on @LossDamage has in fact gone BACKWARDS from yesterday’s text! It seems @COP26 Presidency has been nobbled behind closed doors by the US! Unacceptable! t.co/avObHM4N97

November 13, 2021

While Mohamed Adow of thinktank Power Shift Africa said:

Mohamed Adow (@mohadow)

Vulnerable countries can’t afford to leave #COP26 with this current version of the text on loss and damage. Whether Glasgow delivers a proper finance facility is how this summit will be judged by the world’s most vulnerable countries t.co/yyLjSVegjg

November 13, 2021

There has also been a little movement on funding for adaptation – preparing for climate impacts like floods and droughts. The new text specifies the date – 2019 – from which the money must be doubled by 2025. That implies about $40bn a year.

Updated

10:14

Saleemul Huq, of the International Center for Climate Change and Development, is also not happy with the current draft:

Saleemul Huq (@SaleemulHuq)

You may feel the sun is shining and rising on @COP26 Presidency but I can tell you the sun is in fact setting fast for the vulnerable communities and countries ! You could not even defend the language on the Glasgow Facility on Loss and Damage which was in the text yesterday! t.co/KwQ3JSVkkV

November 13, 2021

Saleemul Huq (@SaleemulHuq)

The new text on Saturday on #GlasgowLossandDamageFacility is WORSE than the text on Friday! What happened @AlokSharma_RDG ? Who nobbled you overnight? What you have given today means @COP26 will be worse than Copenhagen! t.co/bHgYfTDIlS

November 13, 2021

10:10

Climate analyst Ed King is monitoring how far the conference is overrunning:

At the time I’m sending this [9.59am on Saturday], Cop26 is in 12th position in the league table of Cop closing times, about to overtake Cop10 in Buenos Aires (which wrapped up at 10.58 on a Saturday morning). Will Glasgow beat Paris and Copenhagen, or break Madrid’s shameful record, by closing later than 13.55 on Sunday?

10:03

Oxfam have responded to the new draft text. Tracy Carty, head of the charity’s Cop26 delegation, said:

““Here in Glasgow, the world’s poorest countries are in danger of being lost from view, but the next few hours can and must change the course we are on. What’s on the table is still not good enough.

“We need the strongest possible outcome to ensure governments come back next year with strengthened emission reduction targets that will keep 1.5C alive. And decisive progress on finance to help countries adapt and for the loss and damage endured.

“Negotiators should come back to the table armed with cans of Irn-Bru and stop at nothing to get an ambitious deal over the line.”

09:57

The veteran climate activist Bill McKibben has written in today’s Guardian about how any progress that has been made is as a result of protest and citizens holding governments to account.

Copenhagen failed because there was too little movement building in the years preceding it, allowing a leader like Barack Obama to go home empty-handed and pay no political price. The global climate movement remedied that deficiency before Paris: many governments had no choice but to reach some kind of credible deal and hence a workable framework emerged, albeit without the actual pledges to make it capable of the task. Glasgow was supposed to be the place where countries lived up to the resolutions they’d proudly announced in France, and the decidedly mixed results reflect, at least in part, the difficulties activists have faced over the last few years.

Read the full piece here:

Updated

09:49

Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, has weighed in on the new draft:

“This text is still pretty good and one I hope that all countries can embrace. It continues to request countries to deliver more ambitious pledges next year.

“Countries will leave Glasgow painfully aware that collectively current pledges for emissions cuts by 2030 are not ambitious enough. They are not aligned with the goal of the Paris Agreement of holding the rise in warming to well below 2C degrees, and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5C. The draft text also still calls on all countries to accelerate efforts towards the phase-out of unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.

“Importantly the UK presidency has now published draft text that outlines a good process for agreeing a significant increase in investment in developing countries to help them make their economies zero-carbon and climate-resilient. It is time for countries to stop arguing over the text and to start taking the action that has been promised, particularly to increase the flows of financial support to developing countries.”

09:43

Australia have been accused of “hiding behind others” and opposing progress in the climate talks. Bill Hare of Climate Analytics said:

“The overall view of Australia is it’s the worst I have seen it in my career. It’s not exposing its position publicly but it’s clear that it doesn’t want a process next year for all countries to come back and close the emissions gap for 2030.”

My colleague Adam Morton in Australia has the full story:

Last night Australia was also awarded the “colossal fossil” award by activist group Climate Action Network for its obstructive approach to the talks. “The only good thing about Australia being at Cop is they have the best coffee at their pavilion,” said the activists as they presented the award.

09:39

It has been announced that the stocktaking session in which delegates express their opinions on the current state of play has been moved to noon – it was expected to begin at 11am.

09:34

Sébastien Duyck of the Center for International Environmental Law has a very useful tool that tracks changes between draft versions:

Sébastien Duyck 🌍⚖️ (@duycks)

🔥🆕new draft texts of #COP26 political decisions released by presidency minutes ago
🔍🔃To allow comparison, here are two versions of the documents in track changes…
Analysis follows…
📄CMA decision in TC: t.co/AjC4uBI2Ov
📄COP decision in TC: t.co/1eErIqdsz0 pic.twitter.com/agYkRF3gFm

November 13, 2021

Hopefully the negotiators didn’t spend too long debating whether “policymaking” is one word or two:

Updated

09:15

One key area is paragraph 36, which refers to fossil fuels. Here’s the old version:

36. Calls upon Parties to accelerate the development, deployment and dissemination of technologies and the adoption of policies for the transition towards low-emission energy systems, including by rapidly scaling up clean power generation and accelerating the phaseout of unabated coal power and of inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels;

and here’s the new version:

36. Calls upon Parties to accelerate the development, deployment and dissemination of technologies, and the adoption of policies, to transition towards low emission energy systems, including by rapidly scaling up the deployment of clean power generation and energy efficiency measures, including accelerating efforts towards the phase-out of unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, recognizing the need for support towards a just transition;

The first draft was the first UN document since the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 to mention fossil fuels, which was seen as a major step, so environmentalists will be pleased to see the language made it through the night.

However, the qualifier “inefficient”, which was added for the second draft, remains. In yesterday’s stocktaking plenary many poor countries objected to this language as they said it could be used as a loophole to continue fossil fuel subsidies. However, others defended the language, saying it was essential for governments to be able to alleviate high fuel prices for citizens, such as with winter fuel allowances.

The mention of support for a just transition is also a positive step.

Updated

09:09

The key areas in which people will be examining the language will be to do with climate finance for poor countries, the “ratchet” mechanism by which countries return with improved pledges, and money for loss and damage – the impacts of climate breakdown that can’t be avoided.

Yesterday’s text is here and today’s is here, for those of you who want to examine them.

Updated

09:02

New draft text published

The text has just appeared on the UN website. Analysts will immediately start poring through it to see what has changed overnight – we’ll bring you the reaction here as it happens.

Updated

08:55

Welcome to the Guardian’s coverage of day 13 of the Cop26 climate summit.

Negotiations were supposed to end at 6pm local time last night, but to nobody’s surprise they have overrun into Saturday. You can read our latest news story on the state of play here:

Yesterday evening, the Cop26 president, Alok Sharma, put a pause on negotiations overnight so delegates could get some rest, before a new draft text is expected to be revealed this morning. Previous Cops have often been marked by delegates negotiating late into the night; it remains to be seen whether Sharma’s decision to let people rest signals a confidence things can be wrapped up today or a recognition that the talks are not close to agreement.

We’ll bring you all the latest news and analysis as it happens. You can email me at [email protected] or find me on Twitter at @itsalanevans

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