Compromise on phasing out coal: climate summit reaches agreement

Status: 11/13/2021 9:07 p.m.

After almost two weeks of negotiations, the states agreed on a final declaration at the UN climate conference in Glasgow. In the case of the coal phase-out, however, a wording was changed at the insistence of India in order to reach a compromise.

The UN climate conference in Glasgow called for the first time to the countries of the world to initiate the phase out of coal. The approved declaration by around 200 states also calls for “inefficient” subsidies for oil, gas and coal to be abolished. However, the wording was weakened at the last minute under pressure from China and India.

EU Commissioner Frans Timmermans expressed his great disappointment about this, but still praised the demand to phase out coal as historic. In addition, the countries jointly committed themselves to the goal of stopping global warming at 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial times. To this end, they should refine their previously inadequate climate protection plans by the end of 2022. But this remains voluntary, there is no obligation.

45 percent fewer greenhouse gases by 2030

So far, the plans submitted to the UN are not sufficient to achieve the 1.5 degree target agreed in Paris in 2015. In the declaration it was now stated that in order to achieve this, global emissions of climate-damaging greenhouse gases must be reduced by 45 percent this decade. More financial aid is also promised for poor countries so that they can adapt to the fatal consequences of the climate crisis in many places. Specifically, this financial aid is to be doubled by 2025, i.e. from currently around 20 to around 40 billion US dollars (around 35 billion euros.)

For the first time, the longstanding call of poor countries to set up a money pot for aid in the event of damage and loss is taken up. This refers to destruction or forced resettlement after droughts, storm surges or hurricanes. The states are asked to pay in money for it. However, no concrete sums were given.

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