The cruise shipsi have departed, the diesel generatorsii have been removed, the ‘plane spottersiii have put away their notebooks, the 6,000 items of IKEA furnitureiv are being stored in tents, the tens of thousands of revellers, activists and hangers-on have left, Clarion the tissue paper polar bear’s climate crisis pilgrimagev is over, 102,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent have been emittedvi, and Greta has gone home, blah, blah, blah. The party’s over and now the hangover begins.

What’s in a name?

The outcome of COP 26 in Glasgow, which has disappointed many, is the Glasgow Climate Pact. Not the Glasgow Climate Agreement, not the Glasgow Climate Treaty, but the Glasgow Climate Pact. I don’t think this matters much, if at all, from a legal point of view. My Oxford English Dictionary defines a pact as “a formal agreement between individuals or parties”. In this case, however, I suspect the less portentous title reflects the low-key nature of what was agreed.

Because it is low-key. Very low-key indeed. As I pointed out in “A Lot Of Hot Air”vii, when addressing the failure of the Paris Agreement:

Aspirational words like “can”, “may” and “should” abound, but the legally mandatory word “shall” is a rare and shy creature within the Agreement, rarely to be seen, and then certainly not in the context of a meaningful obligation. And the Agreement contains absolutely no enforcement mechanism for use against those signatories who breach its rather limp terms…

The same is true of the Glasgow Climate Pact, but with bells on. A quick word count reveals paragraphs commencing with “recognizing” (6) “recognizes” (10); “also recognizes” (2); “further recognizes” (1); “acknowledging” (2); “expressing appreciation” (1); “expresses appreciation” (1); “welcomes” (9); “also welcomes” (1); “further welcomes” (1); “stresses” (1); “notes” (1); “noting” (3); “notes with concern” (2); “notes with serious concern” (1); “notes with deep regret” (1); expresses alarm and utmost concern (1); emphasizes (9); “re-emphasizes” (2); “urges” (9); “strongly urges” (1); “invites” (7); “also invites” (1); “calls upon” (4); “reaffirms” (1); “encourages” (8); acknowledges (3); “also acknowledges” (1); “reiterates” (1); “endorses” (1); “resolves” (2); “recalls” (2); “expresses its recognition” (1); “takes note” (1); “requests” (2). Of the obligatory, mandating, words “shall” or “must”, there is no sign.

The long and the short of it is that it’s a weak and limp document, painfully thin gruel.


Much has been said about coal and the jubilation that anything was said about it at all, followed by disappointment that what was said was then watered down, apparently, at the behest of China and India. So, how many times is coal mentioned in the pact? Once. In paragraph 20:

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 phasedown of unabated coal power and phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, while providing targeted support to the poorest and most vulnerable in line with national circumstances and recognizing the need for support towards a just transition.

If I was a lawyer representing poor (and even not-so-poor) developing countries that are heavily dependent on coal for future economic growth and for the improvement of living standards of their peoples, I could not be more delighted than to see that form of words. In terms of an obligation to do anything, it’s effectively meaningless. The further watering down of the non-obligation is in three parts. First, it’s simply one part of a vague “calling upon” of the parties to progress towards “low-emission energy systems”. Secondly, it asks for (but doesn’t require) the acceleration (by how much isn’t specified – 1% acceleration would presumably qualify) of efforts (just efforts, mind you) towards the phasedown of unabated coal power and the phaseout (stronger than phasedown, admittedly) of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. Contend forcefully that a fossil fuel subsidy is efficient, and it doesn’t fall within the non-obligatory paragraph at all. Thirdly, as part of all this you can demand “ targeted support to the poorest and most vulnerable in line with national circumstances” (and can presumably argue that there’s no reason why you should comply with the painfully thin request above if you don’t receive the support); further, you can insist on “support towards a just transition.” It shouldn’t be too difficult to argue that you can’t be expected to abandon (or even reduce use of) coal if the transition resulting from that would be painful and unjust.

Never mind, the pact must provide for reducing use of oil and gas, surely? No, it doesn’t. Oil doesn’t receive a single mention, and the only gas that is mentioned is of the greenhouse variety – on six occasions. Well, what does the Pact say? It contains 71 paragraphs, divided into eight parts, so let’s take a look at each part, in sequence.

Science and urgency

Not a lot to say here. The the importance of the best available science for effective climate action and policymaking is recognised, so with luck the vilification of sceptics will cease, since science doesn’t advance without questioning.

Welcome is extended to the Working Group I to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report and the recent global and regional reports on the state of the climate from the World Meteorological Organization, and the IPCC is invited to present its forthcoming reports to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice in 2022.

This section is where the phrase “expresses alarm and utmost concern” comes in. The alarm and utmost concern is because they say “that human activities have caused around 1.1 °C of global warming to date and that impacts are already being felt in every region”.

Finally, at paragraph 4, it:

Stresses the urgency of enhancing ambition and action in relation to mitigation adaptation and finance in this critical decade to address gaps between current efforts and pathways in pursuit of the ultimate objective of the Convention and its long-term global goal.

And that’s it regarding science and urgency.


I think it’s good to see attention continuing to be given to the issue of adaptation. It’s not a lot of attention, though, covering only five short paragraphs. It’s basically just more of what has already gone before.

Serious concern is again expressed regarding the findings from the contribution of Working Group I to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report.

The urgency of scaling up action and support, including finance, capacity building and technology transfer, to enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change in line with the best available science, taking into account the priorities and needs of developing country Parties is emphasised.

National adaptation plans submitted to date (no mention of how many of the updates are late) are welcomed; more is urged. And (no surprise here) the IPCC is invited to submit the findings to COP 27 from the contribution of Working Group II to its Sixth Assessment Report, including those relevant to assessing adaptation needs.

Adaptation finance

It is noted with concern that existing finance provided to developing countries is inadequate. Developed countries are urged to give more. The need for adequate and predictable finance is recognised. Recent pledges are welcomed. Multilateral development banks, other financial institutions and the private sector are called upon to enhance finance mobilisation in order to deliver the scale of resources needed to achieve climate plans, particularly for adaptation, and the Parties are encouraged to continue to explore innovative approaches and instruments for mobilising finance for adaptation from private sources.

And that’s it. Not much progress has been made there, by the look of things.


The Pact reaffirms the long-term global goal to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognising that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change. It also recognises that the impacts of climate change will be much lower at the temperature increase of 1.5 °C compared with 2 °C, and resolves to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C.

Given the supposed seriousness of the situation, resolving “to pursue efforts” doesn’t sound like much of a commitment. It’s the legal equivalent of “well, I suppose we could try to do a bit”.

The lack of serious intent expressed there is in sharp contrast with what the drafters of the Pact think needs to be done:

… limiting global warming to 1.5 °C requires rapid, deep and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions, including reducing global carbon dioxide emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 relative to the 2010 level and to net zero around mid-century, as well as deep reductions in other greenhouse gases


[T]his requires accelerated action in this critical decade, on the basis of the best available scientific knowledge and equity, reflecting common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.

The clarion calls are strident. The actual effort isn’t. The Pact:

Invites Parties to consider further actions to reduce by 2030 non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gas emissions, including methane.

That’s even weaker than the limited stuff that precedes it. It amounts to asking countries to think about trying to do something.

The next paragraph is the incredibly weak one we’ve already looked at with regard to coal. This section ends by emphasising

the importance of protecting, conserving and restoring nature and ecosystems, including forests and other terrestrial and marine ecosystems, to achieve the long-term global goal of the Convention by acting as sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases and protecting biodiversity, while ensuring social and environmental safeguards.

Which is all well and good, but given that so many technologies associated with supposedly reducing greenhouse gas emissions are in fact so destructive of nature and ecosystemsviii that it’s difficult to see how this particular circle can be squared. The Pact doesn’t discuss how this might be done.

Finance, technology transfer and capacity-building for mitigation and adaptation

Developed countries are again urged to do more, “in continuation of their existing obligations under the Convention”, and others are encouraged to do their bit voluntarily. The only problem with this is that the existing obligations under the Convention are really aspirational only and are unenforceable. Nothing has been done here to try to change that weak situation.

Instead it is noted with “deep regret” that developed countries have failed to come up with the $100 Billion per annum promised at Paris, the increased pledges that have been made are welcomed, full delivery on the $100 Billion p.a. Goal is urged, and transparency in the implementation of pledges is insisted upon. Two observations spring to mind here. First, the fact that all that can be done is to urge full delivery on a goal of $100 Billion p.a., and no enforcement action can be taken for non-delivery, illustrates the essential weakness of the deal struck at Paris, despite all the rejoicing at the time. Secondly, the insistence on transparency suggests that somebody has woken up to the fact that all sorts of jiggery-pokery might have been taking place. I’m guessing, but my suspicion is with regard to things like double-counting, loans rather than donations, that sort of thing.

The joint annual reports of the Technology Executive Committee and the Climate Technology Centre and Network for 2020 and 2021 are welcomed, and the two bodies are invited to strengthen their collaboration.

Much of the rest is aspirational wording of the type seen under the section dealing with adaptation finance.

Loss and damage

This section contains nine paragraphs that achieve precisely nothing. Inevitably, we are told that “climate change has already caused and will increasingly cause loss and damage and that, as temperatures rise, impacts from climate and weather extremes, as well as slow onset events, will pose an ever-greater social, economic and environmental threat”. Let’s assume this is correct; what is to be done about it?

Well, we acknowledge the role of a broad range of stakeholders, including indigenous peoples and local communities, in seeking to avert damage. That’s good. Anything else?

Er, reiterate the urgency of taking action, and urge developed countries and others to cough up some more cash. What else? Well, we can recognise “the importance of demand-driven technical assistance in building capacity”. Anything more? Why certainly. We can also welcome:

the further operationalization of the Santiago network for averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including the agreement on its functions and process for further developing its institutional arrangements.

And we can note:

that discussions related to the governance of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts did not produce an outcome: this is without prejudice to further consideration of this matter.

Finally, we can acknowledge the importance of coherent action and resolve to strengthen partnerships. That should do it.


Oh good, an end to platitudes, and some action is in the offing. That depends on one’s idea of action. Recalling that:

the round tables among Parties and non-Party stakeholders on pre-2020 implementation and ambition held in 2018, 2019 and 2020 helped to highlight and enhance understanding of the efforts of and challenges faced by Parties in relation to action and support in the pre-2020 period, as well as of the work of the constituted bodies in that period

doesn’t do it for me, but maybe I’m picky. Also failing to do it in my mind, is strongly urging parties who haven’t done what they should have done under the Paris Convention to do so. But given the failure of Paris to include any binding obligations, that’s all that can be done, I suppose.

I can’t say that welcoming “the action taken to unlock the potential for sectoral action to contribute to fulfilling and implementing national targets, particularly in emission-intensive sectors” impresses me much either. Nor does recognising “the importance of protecting, conserving and restoring ecosystems to deliver crucial services, including acting as sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases, reducing vulnerability to climate change impacts and supporting sustainable livelihoods, including for indigenous peoples and local communities”. There’s nothing new here, not even in encouraging parties to take an integrated approach to all this.

The final paragraph in this section smacks of motherhood and apple pie:

[T]he need to ensure just transitions that promote sustainable development and eradication of poverty, and the creation of decent work and quality jobs, including through making financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emission and climate-resilient development, including through deployment and transfer of technology, and provision of support to developing country Parties.

It sounds great, but I have no idea how it is to be achieved, given that so much of it is mutually contradictory. It seems that nobody at Glasgow had much idea, either. If they did, they’re not telling.


It’s good to collaborate, of course, and presumably that’s the point of these annual jamborees. Certainly, the section on collaboration takes us to the end of the Pact, and it runs to nineteen numbered paragraphs. I’m left with the feeling that this part of the Pact does little than tick the boxes of those people who might not feel their agenda has been touched on so far. For example, paragraph 55:

Recognizes the important role of non-Party stakeholders, including civil society, indigenous peoples, local communities, youth, children, local and regional governments and other stakeholders, in contributing to progress towards the objective of the Convention and the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Or you could try paragraph 62:

Urges Parties to swiftly begin implementing the Glasgow work programme on Action for Climate Empowerment, respecting, promoting and considering their respective obligations on human rights, as well as gender equality and empowerment of women.

Have we missed anybody out? Oh good heavens, young people, we mustn’t overlook them. Paragraph 63:

Expresses appreciation for the outcomes of the sixteenth Conference of Youth, organized by the constituency of children and youth non-governmental organizations and held in Glasgow in October 2021, and the “Youth4Climate2021: Driving Ambition” event hosted by Italy in Milan, Italy, in September 2021.

Just to reinforce the point, paragraph 64:

Urges Parties and stakeholders to ensure meaningful youth participation and representation in multilateral, national and local decision-making processes, including under the Convention and the Paris Agreement.

Greta and her cohorts must really have made an impression, because we have paragraph 65 too:

Invites future Presidencies of the Conference of the Parties, with the support of the secretariat, to facilitate the organization of an annual youth-led climate forum for dialogue between Parties and youth in collaboration with the UNFCCC children and youth constituency and other youth organizations with a view to contributing to the implementation of the Glasgow work programme on Action for Climate Empowerment.

Paragraph 55 obviously didn’t say enough regarding indigenous peoples, for we also have paragraph 66:

Emphasizes the important role of indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ culture and knowledge in effective action on climate change, and urges Parties to actively involve indigenous peoples and local communities in designing and implementing climate action and to engage with the second three-year workplan for implementing the functions of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform, for 2022–2024.

And not enough has been said about gender issues thus far, it seems. Hence paragraph 68:

Encourages Parties to increase the full, meaningful and equal participation of women in climate action and to ensure gender-responsive implementation and means of implementation, which are vital for raising ambition and achieving climate goals.

And paragraph 69:

Calls upon Parties to strengthen their implementation of the enhanced Lima work programme on gender and its gender action plan.

I appreciate that I have allowed a degree of cynicism to colour this summary of the Glasgow Climate Pact. However, were I of the view that humankind urgently needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to save life as we know it, then I would be mightily unimpressed with this outcome of a fortnight of noise, emissions, wall-to-wall media coverage, hype, disruption, covid risk, and all the rest of it. The Glasgow Climate Pact is, frankly, a waste of time, whether you think something urgently needs to be done, or whether you think it’s all a waste of money. From either point of view, this document contains nothing of substance.

The Party’s Overix

The party's over, it's time to call it a day
No matter how you pretend
You knew it would end this way
It's time to wind up the masquerade
Just make your mind up
The piper must be paid

The party's over, the candles flicker and dim
You've danced and dreamed through the night
It seemed to be right just being with him
Now you must wake up, all dreams must end
Take off your makeup, the party's over
It's all over, my friend

La-da-da-da-da, la-da-da-da-da
You danced and dreamed through the night
It seemed to be right just being with him
Now you must wake up, all dreams must end
Take off your makeup, the party's over 

If Only

Of course, the party’s never over. There will be COP 27 at Sharm El-Sheikh, due to take place between 7th and 18th November 2022. And COP 28 has already been arranged to take place in the United Arab Emirates in 2023 (given the next two venues, perhaps Glasgow was just a bit too dreich and cold). There will be lots of pre-meetings, lots of hype, lots more climate pilgrimages, and many many more greenhouse gas emissions associated with all this too. And, inevitably, each one will see immense media coverage, and celebrities telling us it’s the last chance saloon (again). It’s difficult to see how COP 27 or COP 28 can achieve less than COP 26, but I wouldn’t bet against it.










ix “The Party’s Over”, composed by Jule Styne with lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.


  1. Right on cue, in today’s online version of the Observer:

    “Cop27 is in Egypt next year … but will anyone be allowed to protest?
    Green experts and human rights activists are concerned the hardline Cairo regime will suppress any civil society action”

    Speaking of climate misinformation, how about this:

    “The Cop26 summit in Glasgow produced substantial progress on cutting greenhouse gas emissions…”.

    Admittedly the sentence ends with this very correct qualifier:

    “…but the national carbon targets laid out there fell far short of the near-halving of emissions required to stay within 1.5C of pre-industrial levels.”

    However, given the analysis above, the statement that the Cop 26 summit in Glasgow produced substantial progress is at worst dishonest and at best an expression of wishful thinking. Patently it did no such thing. Never mind, the circus rolls on, with the predicted script:

    “Concern is growing over plans to host a UN climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh next year, in what will be a crucial summit if the world is to limit global heating to 1.5C.”

    I thought Glasgow was the crucial summit? And when COP 27 fails to achieve much if anything, COP 28 will be crucial too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’d have to have a heart of stone, not to laugh, until you realise that this jamboree cost the British tax payers £100 million+
    to fund this bloviation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wishful thinking on display, IMO:

    “Yes, Cop26 could have gone further – but it still brought us closer to a 1.5C world
    James Shaw
    The window to achieve that goal is vanishingly small, but it is there. Now we must seize this one last chance”

    “One last chance” must be seized now? I thought that last chance was Glasgow? Apparently not – there’s always another.

    “Like many others, I would like to have seen a stronger outcome from Cop26. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that much was achieved – and the final outcome does get us much closer to where we need to be than where we were a few weeks ago.

    For the first time countries agreed to take action on fossil fuels. Yes, it could have gone further – but let’s not forget that never before has there been a single word uttered on fossil fuels in any Cop agreement. So the agreed text is significant….

    …In short, Cop has, just about, brought us closer to being on track for a 1.5C world. Estimates range from 1.8C to 2.4C. A year ago we were looking at north of 3.5C.

    The window of opportunity to achieve that is vanishingly small, but it’s still there. The critical thing is this: whether we seize the remaining chance we have comes down to the political will to drive domestic action at home.

    It was very encouraging to see the world’s two biggest sources of greenhouse gases – China and the US – signalling their intention to work together again to drive down emissions….”.

    Wow! New Zealand’s Minister of Climate Change and I seem to live on different planets.


  4. Mark, thank you for reading it, so I don’t feel I ought to. There is a small chance that there were side deals of more importance than the main document, but I haven’t looked at the small print of those either.

    Now, I feel a song coming on too…

    There is a party
    Everyone is there
    Everyone will leave
    At exactly the same time

    When this party’s over
    It will start again
    But not be any different
    Will be exactly the same

    About two minutes in for the relevant lyric. Anyone who hasn’t seen the full movie, where have you been for the last 37 years?


  5. @Mark & Jit – I feel a song coming on as well …. clue “you walked into the party…”

    song didn’t end happy (bit weird vid to go with this version !!!)


  6. Delusional?

    “Cop26 kept the world’s 1.5C limit in reach – now we will steer it over the line
    Alok Sharma
    The Glasgow climate pact is something all parties can be proud of, but the work of the UK’s presidency is just beginning”

    “By any measure, the Glasgow climate pact signed at Cop26 is a historic agreement. It was the result of two years of marathon work, and a two-week sprint of negotiations, but we achieved what we wanted. We can credibly say that we kept the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels in reach.

    And besides that, we have won historic commitments from countries to act on coal, cars, cash and trees. These are valuable agreements that begin to fill in the details of how we will navigate this immense, worldwide challenge.

    Cop26 was the biggest political gathering of any kind ever held in the UK. Glasgow hosted representatives from 194 countries, and 120 world leaders, with 38,000 accredited delegates attending.

    From outside, the negotiations may have appeared incredibly technocratic. But they were so much more than that. They were ultimately about protecting the lives and livelihoods of those on the frontline of the climate crisis. And protecting future generations who, if we fail, will be condemned to live in a dangerous, uncertain and depleted world.

    Science tells us that the world is already on average 1.1C warmer than in pre-industrial times, and many millions of people are already suffering from the acute effects of a changing climate. Extreme weather is on the rise across the world and climate change does not recognise national borders.

    Ultimately, the Glasgow climate pact is an outcome of which all parties can be proud.

    The cooperation we have seen in this process should give the world hope. In a world of fractured global politics, countries have shown a unity of purpose on the issue of climate.”


    “Yes, there were difficulties with these negotiations, particularly in the final hours when an agreement looked in real jeopardy. But overall we saw a willingness from countries to compromise. There was growth in trust between nations, and a genuine determination to reach agreement.

    Driven by the latest science, our pact recognises the gulf between where countries are on emissions reductions and where we need to be. It emphasises the urgent need for faster action. It commits countries to revisit and strengthen their 2030 emissions reductions targets and develop mid-century net-zero strategies in 2022.

    The pact makes progress on adaptation, finance, and loss and damage resulting from the climate crisis. And, for the first time, it commits to a plan to move away from coal power and inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies.”

    There may have been a determination to reach an agreement, but the problem is that the only thing that all countries could agree upon was meaningless in terms of achieving anything. “It emphasises the urgent need for faster action.” True, but that emphasis wasn’t backed by anything. ” It commits countries to revisit and strengthen their 2030 emissions reductions targets and develop mid-century net-zero strategies in 2022.” Not true so far as I can see – he seems to be reading from a different text to the one I analysed.

    “The pact makes progress on adaptation, finance, and loss and damage resulting from the climate crisis. And, for the first time, it commits to a plan to move away from coal power and inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies.” Also not true, at least not in any meaningful, binding or enforceable way. There were lots of warm words, but nothing of substance.

    “With so many positive announcements, it could be tempting to become complacent. But this would be a mistake.” It would indeed, since the Glasgow Climate Pact changed nothing. I think the related article in the Guardian on the same day hits the nail on the head:

    “UK will press governments to stick to climate pledges, says Cop26 president
    Alok Sharma says shared goals must be steered to safety by ensuring countries deliver on their promises”

    “…“There is no formal policing process in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change system, and so we must keep up the constructive pressure, and build on the trust and goodwill generated through Cop26.”

    The lack of any policing process or sanctions for countries that fail to revise their national targets on emissions, known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs), means that the main ways of holding governments to account are through public scrutiny and political pressure.

    Australia’s government has already made clear that it does not intend to increase its targets, which are widely regarded as inadequate. The US and the EU have also indicated they do not intend to increase their ambition.

    Key countries under the spotlight are the world’s biggest emitter, China, whose promise to peak emissions by the end of this decade disappointed many analysts who argued it could go further; and the third biggest emitter, India, which announced new targets in Glasgow but has yet to formally detail them. Russia, Saudi Arabia and Brazil are also under scrutiny….”.


  7. When they say about limiting temperature rise below 1.2deg above ‘pre-industrual temperatures’, what do they mean by ‘pre-industrial’?
    Little ice age?
    Medieval warm period?
    Dark ages cool period?
    Roman warm?
    Bronze age?
    Holocene climate optimum?

    I think we should be told!



  8. “UN shipping summit criticised for ‘dangerous’ delay on emissions plan
    International Maritime Organization lacks urgency needed to tackle climate crisis, say campaigners”

    “A decision by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its member states not to revise its emissions reduction strategy until the spring of 2023 has been criticised as “dangerous” by environmental campaigners.

    At the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting, convened by the IMO, one of the first global green summits after Cop26, Kitack Lim, the UN body’s secretary general, told delegates: “The world is watching us.” And on Tuesday, the meeting chair, Hideaki Saito, spoke of the “urgency” of all sectors accelerating their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in light of the Glasgow climate pact earlier this month.

    Saito said the committee “recognised the need to strengthen the ambition” of the IMO’s current strategy to cut international greenhouse gas emissions from shipping in half by 2050. The strategy, which falls far short of what is needed to remain in line with the Paris agreement, was criticised as inadequate by the UN secretary general, António Guterres, in October….

    …A resolution for zero emissions by 2050 by the Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands was discussed for two days by delegates, but found support among only a minority of countries. They included Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Ukraine, UK, US, Vanuatu and Iceland. Others, including the EU27, Georgia, South Korea, the Bahamas and Norway supported the targets but not the 2050 resolution.

    Notably, several EU countries that endorsed the zero-emission shipping declaration at Cop26 failed to support the IMO resolution to make that a goal.

    Several countries spoke against the 2050 resolution and the 2050 zero-emission target, including Brazil, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia….”.


  9. “EU will not strengthen climate action plan in 2022
    The Glasgow climate pact calls on signatories to update their targets next year.”

    “The European Union will not update its emission reduction plan next year, the Commission said Wednesday.

    Diederik Samsom, head of cabinet for Green Deal chief Frans Timmermans, had told POLITICO’s Sustainable Future Summit on Wednesday morning that he “can’t exclude” Brussels reviewing its climate action goals in 2022.

    Eric Mamer, the Commission’s chief spokesperson, later denied that possibility, saying: “The Commission has no plans to change the agreed 2030 emissions reduction target for the EU.”

    The agreement reached at last month’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow “requested” all signatories “revisit and strengthen the 2030 targets” in their climate action plans “as necessary to align with the Paris Agreement temperature goal by the end of 2022, taking into account different national circumstances.”

    Patricia Espinosa, head of the U.N.’s climate change body, said during POLITICO’s event that the call was aimed at “all countries, even those that have already presented very ambitious goals like the European Union.”

    A Commission official said the EU’s plans were already in line with the Paris Agreement target, although some analysts say they fall short.

    “The agreement applies to all countries, but the fact is that the EU climate plan, according to EU modeling, brings us to 1.5 degrees,” the official said. “We would have had to update it if we had not been on track.””


  10. “Climate change: Storm clouds gather after COP26”

    “Another key concern heading into 2022 is that some countries may simply ignore aspects of the Glasgow climate pact that they don’t like.

    One key measure in the deal was the request for all countries to “revisit and strengthen” their national climate pledges by the time delegates gather in Egypt late in 2022.

    Despite agreeing to this, a number of countries now say they simply won’t update their plans, among them Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand’s climate minister James Shaw told national media that this provision really only applied to large emitters like India, China, Russia and Brazil which hadn’t significantly strengthened their plans in time for Glasgow.”


  11. “Climate change: ‘Fragile win’ at COP26 summit under threat”

    “COP26 President Alok Sharma has warned that progress made during the summit is at risk of “withering on the vine”.

    Mr Sharma said that the agreements reached at the Glasgow climate meeting had been a “fragile win” for the world.

    But unless the commitments made are turned into action this year, the chances of keeping global temperatures in check will be lost.

    Quoting from the popular film, Don’t Look Up, he said this was no time to “sit tight and assess”….”.


  12. “Too many new coal-fired plants planned for 1.5C climate goal, report concludes
    Number of new plants planned fell last year, but coal-generated electricity rose by 9% to record high”

    “The number of coal-fired power plants under development around the world fell last year, but far too much coal is still being burned and too many new coal-fired power plants are planned for the world to stay within safe temperature limits.

    Coal use appeared to be in long-term decline before the Covid-19 pandemic, but lockdowns around the world and economic upheaval drove an increase in new coal projects in 2020, particularly in China.

    Last year, the total coal power capacity in development fell sharply again, by about 13%, from 525GW to 457GW, a record low for new plants under development, according to a report from Global Energy Monitor published on Tuesday. The number of countries planning new plants also fell, from 41 at the beginning of 2021 to 34 countries.

    But these encouraging signs were outweighed by a slowdown in older coal-fired power stations being taken out of service. About 25GW of capacity was taken out – roughly equal to the amount of new capacity commissioned in China – and the amount of electricity generated from coal rose by 9% in 2021 to a record high, more than rebounding from a 4% fall in 2020 when Covid first struck.

    The authors of the report concluded that “coal’s last gasp is not yet in sight”, despite countries agreeing at the Cop26 UN climate summit last November to a “phase down” of coal. Last year, the International Energy Agency warned that no new exploration of fossil fuels of any kind could take place if the world was to limit global heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

    The continuing use of coal comes despite ever starker warnings from scientists in the latest assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which concluded that the world would far exceed the 1.5C limit without rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.”


  13. “‘Cash, coal, cars and trees’: what progress has been made since Cop26?
    Six months on, the war in Ukraine and ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have derailed some changes agreed on in Glasgow”

    The Ukraine war and the covid pandemic provide useful excuses, but COP 26 was always going to be a failure, in its own terms, just like all the COPs that preceded it, and no doubt like the inevitably many COPs that will follow it.

    Worth a read, to see just what an expensive GHG-emitting flop it all was.


  14. And as a follow-up:

    “‘This is about survival’: will Cop27 bring action on Glasgow climate pact?
    Amid an energy crisis caused by war in Ukraine, climate experts say November talks must act on plans to limit global heating”

    In answer to the question (will Cop27 bring action on Glasgow climate pact?) I think I can safely predict an answer in the negative.

    “But the invasion of Ukraine by Russia has upended expectations for 2022, and nothing is quite as expected. Russia is likely to attend Cop27, whatever the state of the invasion by autumn. Egypt has long been friendly to Russia which, along with Ukraine, supplies most of the country’s grain. Thirty years of climate negotiations have seen and weathered plenty of previous conflicts, and insiders say countries are practised at keeping discussions under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the parent treaty to the Paris agreement, separate from other geopolitical upheavals. Outright hostility at the summit is unlikely. A worse danger is the “indifference” and “love of the status quo” Kerry fears countries are reverting to, under cover of the war.”


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