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Climate summit begins coal phase-out - Environment Minister Schulz calls deal 'historic'

Climate summit begins coal phase-out – Environment Minister Schulz calls deal ‘historic’

Updated November 13, 2021 at 11:04 pm

  • After all-night meetings, mass protests in the streets and heated debates until the last minute, it is finally over.
  • About 200 countries have agreed to the Glasgow Climate Charter.
  • This brings bright spots – but it also has downsides.

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In the end there was anger and tears of disappointment, but also cheers: After two weeks of tough negotiations, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Scotland for the first time asked the world’s nations to phase out coal burning, which is harmful to the climate. The Glasgow Climate Pact, approved by nearly 200 countries on Saturday evening, also calls for the elimination of “ineffective” oil, gas and coal subsidies. However, the wording weakened at the last moment under pressure from China and India. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulz hailed the agreement as “historic”.

On the other hand, the world’s most famous climate activist Greta Thunberg has struck a devastating equilibrium. “COP26 is over. Here’s a quick summary: blah, blah, blah,” Al Suwaidi wrote on Twitter. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, expressed disappointment with the outcome. She wrote, “It’s an important step, but it’s not enough. It’s time to go into emergency mode” Guterres on Twitter.

The massive conference, with about 40,000 participants, was supposed to end on Friday, but was extended into the late hours of Saturday due to hours of discussion.

The most important decisions at a glance:

Invitation to bid farewell to coal: EU Commissioner Frans Timmermans has expressed his deep disappointment with the weak demand for exit from coal over the past few metres. Instead of phasing out, there is pressure from countries that rely heavily on coal China And if Now there is only talk of phasing out step by step.

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When several states complained bitterly about easing shortly before the final vote, British COP26 chief Alok Sharma fought back in tears. “I beg your pardon for the way it went,” said the host. “It is critical that we protect this package,” he added.

After the final blow with the hammer, the Federal Environment Minister assessed the situation SchulzThat “something really changes the world” has worked in Glasgow. “It’s now clear all over the world that there will be an exit from coal, that there will be an end to supporting fossils,” she added. Martin Kaiser, president of Greenpeace, constrained it, but under pressure from the oil, gas and coal industries, decisions lacked “clarity and speed”.

Countries want to stop global warming at 1.5 degrees

Commitment to a 1.5 degree goal: In the closing statement, the countries jointly committed to the goal of stopping global warming at 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial era. To that end, they should fine-tune their previously inappropriate climate protection plans by the end of 2022. But this remains voluntary, there is no obligation. The declaration states that global emissions of climate-damaging greenhouse gases must fall by 45 percent this decade if a 1.5 degree cap is within reach.

Helping poor countries: Poor countries have also promised more financial aid so that they can cope with the deadly consequences of the climate crisis in many places. Tens of millions of people already face more frequent and prolonged droughts and heat waves, or more violent storms and floods. Specifically, this financial assistance will double by 2025, i.e. from about 20 billion to 40 billion US dollars annually (about 35 billion euros).

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Help after climatic damage: For the first time, the long-standing demand is being addressed by poor countries to create a money pot to help in the event of damages and losses. This refers to destruction or forced resettlement after drought, storms or hurricanes. Countries are required to pay cash for it. However, no specific amounts have been given for this. Technical Support should only be provided after adverse events, but the full damage should not be paid.

Oxfam’s climate expert Jan Koelzeg described it as “again as the poorer countries of the Global South, particularly hard hit by the climate crisis, have been marginalized once again”. Their call for support in dealing with the damage and devastation caused by climate change – once the limits of adaptation are reached – is almost unheard of again.

Timmermans: “I beg you, accept this text”

The full Paris Agreement rulebook: Minister of State for the Environment Jochen Flasbarth praised the decisions on the so-called rule book of the Paris Climate Agreement, where points have been open for years. The goal from the outset was to get rid of the “remnants of legal negotiations”. “It all worked,” Flasbarth said.

On Saturday, hours of heated debate greatly delayed deliberations. The politicians stood close to each other, gesticulating wildly and arguing. Timmermans Finally, the delegates were entrapped: “I beg you, accept this text.”

The host, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, welcomed the decisions as a major step forward, but noted that there was still much work to be done. “I hope we look back at COP26 in Glasgow as the beginning of the end of climate change.” The next summit, COP27, will be held in Egypt in November 2022. (dpa/fra)

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