Countries Reach Last-Minute Deal At COP26 Climate Summit
By Bill Galluccio
November 13, 2021
After more than two weeks, nations at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, reached a last-minute agreement that hopes to keep global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius. The deal is the first in history to call for a reduction of fossil fuels.
While negotiators missed a Friday deadline to reach a deal, they continued working until an agreement was hammered out between nearly 200 nations. The final bill was watered down slightly, following objections by India, over the language calling for a "phase out" of coal. The agreement was amended to call on countries to accelerate their "efforts to phase down unabated coal power, and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies."
"The approved texts are a compromise. They reflect the interests, the conditions, the contradictions, and the state of political will in the world today," said U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
"They take important steps, but unfortunately, the collective political will was not enough to overcome some deep contradictions."
U.K.'s COP26 President Alok Sharma was emotional as he addressed the delegates following the agreement saying he was "deeply sorry" for how the process unfolded.
"May I just say to all delegates I apologize for the way this process has unfolded, and I am deeply sorry," he said. "I understand the deep disappointment. It's also vital we protect this package."