The draft text of the final Cop26 “cover decision” is pretty strong on the necessity to cut emissions by 45% this decade to keep 1.5C alive, say expert NGO observers. But they say it is much too weak on other critical issues – the money needed by vulnerable and poorer nations to fund clean development, to protect their populations against the impacts of global heating hitting already (adaptation) and to compensate for the damages already being caused (loss and damages).
They also said the EU and US had not yet stepped up in the negotiations to drive towards a strong outcome. The EU and US must form alliances with the vulnerable and poorer nations in order to face down the “blockers”, the experts said.
“The text currently put forward by the UK presidency is extremely problematic, as it does not actually address the crucial need to scale up adaptation finance and mitigation finance,”said Eddy Pérez, at Climate Action Network Canada.
“It is not enough to just acknowledge that there is a need for loss and damage finance, there needs to be greater clarity that, if we are to keep 1.5C within reach, the resources need to be there so that developing countries and emerging economies have access to the trillions of dollars that are needed to really close the gap,” he said.
Alden Meyer, at the thinktank e3g said: “Is 1.5C alive?Just barely. We’ve particularly not seen the EU and US step up to push for the financial support they need to deliver for vulnerable countries to bring balance to the [Cop26] package.”
I’ve been in this process for a long time, and I’ve seen the bargaining game go on,” he said. “But if the EU and the US hold their bargaining chips to the very end game, on Thursday morning or Friday night, their money is going to be worthless.”
“To get what they say they want in Glasgow on [emissions cuts] and transparency from countries like China and others, they need to build a much stronger high ambition coalition by giving the vulnerable countries what they need and deserve on adaptation and finance and loss and damage. And for both the US and the EU, that means crossing some of their red lines.”
Meyer also said it was “absurd” that a commitment to end fossil fuels subsidies were only entering Cop texts 13 years after the G20 first pledged to end them: “We are still paying hundreds of billions of dollars a year in taxpayer money to encourage production and consumption of fossil fuels. The first rule of finding yourself in a hole is stop digging.”
Jennifer Morgan, at Greenpeace International, said: “I think you’ll see the most vulnerable countries of the world coming out and just fighting for their very lives, which is what is at stake here.”