COP26 draft deal published; UK PM Boris Johnson urges action
The United Nations climate agency has published the first draft of an agreement on how countries will cut greenhouse gas emissions. It urges countries to update their emissions cutting targets by next year. The draft will now be negotiated and agreed by countries attending the COP26 talks in Glasgow, Scotland. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is headed to Glasgow to call for action.
Why does this story matter?
If the draft is agreed upon, it would be significant first step in limiting global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius over this decade. Scientists and experts have said that target is crucial to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Notably, a global temperature rise of two degree Celsius could lead to a billion people being affected by fatal heat and humidity.
'Revisit and strengthen targets'
The draft, released on Wednesday, asks nations to "revisit and strengthen the 2030 targets in their nationally determined contributions, as necessary to align with the Paris Agreement temperature goal by the end of 2022." To recall, the 2015 Paris Agreement had set the goal of limiting the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5 degree Celsius.
Draft urges stopping of coal burning
The draft further urges countries to ramp up efforts to stop burning coal and phase out subsidies on fossil fuel. However, it has not set a fixed date for that goal. The agreement also encourages richer countries to scale up support for poorer countries. Rich nations have already missed a 2020 deadline to pay $100 billion a year to developing countries for climate losses.
'Need to pull out all the stops'
Johnson, the British PM, said he would meet Ministers and negotiators in Glasgow. "This is bigger than any one country and it is time for nations to put aside differences and come together for our planet and our people," he said. "We need to pull out all the stops if we're going to keep 1.5C within our grasp," the PM added.
Several deals announced at COP26
As part of the Summit, several deals have been announced. More than 100 world leaders promised to end and reverse deforestation by 2030. Over 40 nations have committed to get rid of coal. India has promised net zero emissions by 2070. Wednesday is named as transport day at COP26. The two-week conference is scheduled to conclude on Friday.