A day of tumultuous, mixed emotions – the only way to describe the last day of COP26 in Glasgow. Negotiators and delegates spent most of Saturday, at least 9 hours, in the plenary chambers. Just before the final plenary, many negotiators held mini celebrations around the room to celebrate what had been accomplished, posing for pictures while using their hands to draw a ‘1.5’, a goal they fought to keep alive, and which stands for the international effort to try to limit future warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The applause and hugs were followed by palpable tension when, just before the adoption of the outcome text, India announced a last-minute change, replacing “phasing out coal” with “phasing down coal”.
COP26 President, Alok Sharma, apologized for the last-minute change, and, holding back tears, that the revision “was vital to protect the package” of decisions, now called the Glasgow Climate Pact. Even with the change, 197 countries adopted the pact by consensus, and the room was filled with a rousing ovation. Despite tough negotiations and compromises that were made, countries have now finalized outstanding rules of implementation for the Paris Agreement, and have also agreed to present more ambitious plans to reduce emissions next year, when COP27 will be held in Egypt.
By UN News. November 13, 2021.
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