Glasgow Climate Summit Ends In Tears, Failure, And Kicking-The-Can On Commitments

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Nov 13, 2021 - 09:20 PM

The least-green climate summit in history ended in a huge win for coal - after India and China forced last minute language changes into the final text of the Glasgow Climate Pact to "Phase down" instead of "phase out" unabated coal power.

The language changes were introduced on Saturday night during the last half-hour of the final session, when India swooped with the demand, as well as adding a clause which reads "while providing targeted support to the poorest and the most vulnerable."

Specifically, the 197-nation pact would see parties commit to "escalating efforts to phase down unabated coal power and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies while providing targeted support to the poorest and the most vulnerable in line with national circumstances and recognising the need for support towards a just transition."

Previously, the text read: "including accelerating efforts towards the phaseout of unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, recognising the need for support towards a just transition."

So - India and China just kicked the door back open on what was already going to be a near-impossible task to eliminate coal, and Western nations are now committed to 'targeted support' in the form of taxpayer dollars for poorer nations.


And while the beneficiaries of said changes took a victory lap, India said (with a straight face) that it would "call upon parties to escalate development and deployment" of green technologies and a transition towards lower energy use - while China issued an even less specific support for the call "according to what India, China, South Africa and Bolivia delegates, and like-minded countries and other developing countries, expressed [as] concerns."

If ever Greta should be pissed over 'empty words,' now's the time!

Tears of failure

In response to the last minute changes, COP26 president Alok Sharma offered his apologies, saying he was "deeply sorry" for how the event wrapped up.

"May I just say to all delegates I apologise for the way this process has unfolded and I am deeply sorry," he told the crowd, adding "I also understand the deep disappointment but I think as you have noted, it’s also vital that we protect this package."

Switzerland was pissed - expressing its "profound disappointment as a result of intransparent process," adding "We do not need to phase down coal but to phase out coal."

The Swiss representative said the last-minute change to the wording on phasing out fossil fuel use would make it harder to reach the COP26 goal.

This will not bring us closer to 1.5 but make it more difficult to reach it.

Frans Timmermans, the EU envoy, said he was disappointed with the new phrasing: “The longer you take to phase out coal, the more burden you put on the natural environment and the more burden you put on your economy.” -FT

US climate envoy John Kerry simply 'had to go along with it.'

Commitment to signal maximum virtue

Aside from fancy pens, we're guessing, COP26 attendees return to their countries with a most serious task - kick the can down the road for now, then come back next year with plans to strengthen their 2030 emissions reductions targets. Rich nations have the added bonus to "at least double" the amount of money they give developing countries in exchange for adapting to climate change.

As always, there are no specifics underpinning a commitment to transfer gobs of money from rich nations to poor.