Last minute negotiations flood the closing of the UN climate conference

By Elizabeth Piper, Valerie Volcovici and Jake Spring

GLASGOW, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Negotiators moved among delegations at the UN climate talks in Scotland on Saturday, seeking a deal to give the world a chance to fight to avoid the worst effects of global warming. , while the host, UK, insisted there were only hours left.

Alok Sharma, the host’s conference chair, delayed a plenary room meeting, saying negotiators needed more time, but he still intended to close the two-week COP26 event business / cop later in the day.

“At the end of the day, what is being presented here is a balanced package, everyone has had the opportunity to give their opinion,” he said on the forum.

The final deal will require the unanimous consent of the nearly 200 countries present, from the superpowers of coal and gas to oil producers and the Pacific islands that are being engulfed by rising sea levels.

US climate envoy John Kerry was seen going back and forth between talks with Chinese negotiator Xie Zhenhua, European Union Commissioner Frans Timmermans and Sharma.

Like previous versions, the latest draft of the conference agreement attempted to balance the demands of the nations most vulnerable to the climate, the major industrial powers, and those whose consumption or export of fossil fuels is vital to their economic development.

In particular, the requirement that countries establish stricter climate commitments next year, instead of every five years, as they are currently required, was maintained, which is a recognition that existing targets to reduce gas emissions greenhouse effect are not enough.


The overall goal of the meeting is to keep within reach the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

The scientists say that exceeding that limit would trigger extreme sea level rise and catastrophes such as droughts, monster storms and wildfires far worse than those the world already suffers.

But national commitments made so far to limit greenhouse gas emissions – mainly carbon dioxide from burning coal, oil and gas – would only limit the average global temperature rise to 2.4 degrees Celsius.

Although that gap will not be closed in Glasgow, Sharma said he hoped the final deal would pave the way for deeper cuts.

China, the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, were trying to prevent the final deal from including language opposing fossil fuel subsidies, two sources told Reuters. on Friday.

However, the draft released by the United Nations, continued to point to fossil fuels, something that no conclusion of the UN climate conference has managed to do so far.

Britain tried to unblock the issue of financing plans to contain climate change, always one of the thorniest, by proposing mechanisms to ensure that the poorest nations ultimately receive more financial aid than they have been promised.

Developing countries argue that rich nations, whose historical emissions are largely responsible for global warming, must pay more to help them adapt to its consequences, in addition to reducing their carbon footprint.

The draft calls on rich countries to double funding for climate adaptation by 2025 from 2019 levels, offering funding that has been a key demand from small island nations at the conference.

Britain also said a UN committee should report next year on progress made towards the $ 100 billion in annual climate finance that rich countries had pledged by 2020 but failed to deliver. And he said governments should meet in 2022, 2024 and 2026 to discuss funding for climate change plans.

Even $ 100 billion annually is well below the real needs of the poorest countries, which could reach $ 300 billion in 2030 alone in adaptation costs, according to the United Nations, in addition to the economic losses derived from the loss of crops or weather-related disasters.

(Additional information from William James, Simon Jessop, Valerie Volcovici, Richard Valdmanis and Kate Abnett; writing by Kevin Liffey; Editing by Katy Daigle and Frances Kerry, edited in Spanish by Gabriela Donoso)

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