Can Glasgow Deliver On A Global Climate Deal?

Negotiators from about 200 countries are entering Week 2 of climate talks trying to resolve big issues around money, transparency, and timelines. As the UN conference enters its second week, attendees were sharply divided over how much progress is being made. Critics noted that some of last week’s announcements turned out to be full of caveats. One vow by more than 40 countries to phase out coal power featured vague timelines and left out major coal users like China, India and the United States.

Behind closed doors, negotiators are still debating key issues as they seek to expand and update the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement. By tradition, a final agreement requires every single country to sign on — if any one of them objects, talks can deadlock. How these disputes get resolved by the time the summit ends on Friday could determine the success of the Glasgow talks. One issue being debated this week is whether countries should have to come back to the United Nations more frequently, perhaps annually, with stronger short-term plans to cut emissions. At the moment, governments aren’t expected to submit new pledges until 2025.

Even more contentious is the question of money, which has long been a big sticking point in global climate talks. As the dangers from extreme weather rise, vulnerable countries say their financial needs are soaring. Ultimately, the real test of the summit will be whether policymakers and businesses and activists make its vision a reality back home.

By Brad Plumer and Lisa Friedman. New York Times. November 8, 2021.

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