COP26 updates: New draft deal appears to water down curb on fossil fuels

    The first draft of the “cover decision” for the overarching agreement at the summit called for countries “to accelerate the phasing-out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels”.

    The inclusion of a reference to fossil fuels was a first for a UN decision document of this type, but was expected to get fierce pushback from some countries.

    Meanwhile, more protests are expected on the last day of negotiations with activists asking world leaders to choose between fossil fuels and a liveable planet.

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    Boris Johnson: We’ve been shifting heaven and earth to get agreement

    Boris Johnson has said the UK has been shifting heaven and earth to get delegates to see the importance of an agreement.

    The Prime Minister said we won’t clinch it all at Cop26 but we should start, according to Reuters news agency.

    He said this is the moment, and negotiating teams should agree a cover decision.

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    China: The draft text ‘had some improvements’

    China has said the current text should “further strengthen” the parts on adaptation, finance, technical and capacity building.

    A representative for the country said the deal should “strike a balance” on implementation talks for mitigation, adaptation and finance.

    He said China also thinks the text should adhere to the goals, principles and mandates of the Paris Agreement.

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    Protests under way as Cop26 enters its last day

    As delegates continue negotiations inside the SEC venue in Glasgow, activists have been protesting outside the conference, on what is scheduled to be the last day of talks.

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    Police presence outside Cop26 venue as protestors try to scale perimeter fence

    Police Scotland have detained an activist at demonstration outside the SEC venue in Glasgow.

    AFP via Getty Images

    Another protestor was apprehended by police officers while trying to scale the perimeter fence into the Cop26 climate summit.

    PA

    Crowds have gathered outside the venue as Cop26 talks enter their last scheduled day.

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    US climate envoy: The language can’t weaken on mitigation

    US climate envoy John Kerry has said there is a “spirit of determination here to get this done and to get it done well”.

    He told delegates 20 countries equal 80 per cent of the emissions and “they do bear the greatest responsibility”.

    He said world leaders must live up to the expectations of young people, who don’t want COP just to be a “place of words” – as it has to be a “place of action” in the next few hours.

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    Mr Kerry added the US strongly supports the language on adaptation in the draft decision.

    On mitigation, he said the US believes “very deeply” it’s “imperative” the text be preserved – it “cannot get weaker, it cannot go backwards from here”.

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    1.5 target is a ‘matter of life or death’ for Africa

    A representative for Kenya has said 1.5C is a “matter of life or death” for the continent, which climate change has had a devastating effect on.

    “We bleed when it rains, we cry when it doesn’t rain,” he said, alluding to the extreme weather caused by climate change.

    “1.5 is not a statistic – it is a matter of life or death.”

    For example, he said two million Kenyans are facing starvation due to crop failures caused by drought.

    He added that African countries have done their bit “within the limited resources that is within their means”.

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    Saudi Arabia: Keeping global warming limit to 1.5C a ‘no brainer’

    The Cop26 representative for Saudi Arabia said the target of keeping global temperature increases to 1.5C was a “no brainer”.

    But he warned against pushing for an agreement that would “skew the balance that we struck in the Paris Agreement”.

    He said: “I think if we all conduct ourselves and hold positions faithful to the Paris Agreement, we’ll get a good decision out of Glasgow.

    “I’m not going to go into the details of the current decision, but the one overarching discussion we are hearing is the ambition for keeping the 1.5C alive.

    “This is a no brainer. We all know that in the room. Nobody disagrees in the room.

    “The question is how we’re going to do that. On what grounds we are going to do that?”

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    ‘We are holding onto 1.5C by our fingernails’, says Grenada

    A minister for Grenada has said the new Cop26 draft deal is “the bare minimum” that world leaders should be committing to.

    Simon Stiell, climate resilience minister for Grenada, a small Caribbean island that is highly vulnerable to climate change, said: “This text is the bare minimum. The next few hours are going to determine the new dawn.

    “If the text withstands the battering it may get, we are holding onto 1.5C by our fingernails.”

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    EU climate policy chief: Everyone needs to take responsibility

    EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans said the major emitters need to “reduce their emissions so we can we keep 1.5C alive” and this must be “at the heart of our conclusions today.”

    Everyone needs to take their responsibility, Mr Timmermans said, adding the EU is “doing our part”, with targets written into law.

    Cop26 must send a clear signal about commitment to halt fossil fuel subsidies and finally turn the page on coal.

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    Norway says there must be ‘no doubt’ about 1.5C target in final text

    A spokesperson for Norway says the final text needs to be strong, ambitious and clear – it must not be “too long and complicated”.

    There must be “no doubt that it leaves a strong impression we sincerely aim to keep 1.5C alive”.

    There has to be “a clear ambition level about what to do about it”, he added.

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