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'Weak terms' in COP26 draft document could raise temperatures by 2.4°C

By Yashasvini on Nov 11, 2021 | 04:31 AM IST


• COP26 draft document has gaping holes concerning finances and lacks concrete terms, which need to be addressed to ensure the Climate Summit is not a failure

• Climate Action Tracker (CAT) indicated the short-term plans put in place by countries would result in global temperatures rising to 2.4C, by 2100

The COP26 climate change draft document has suggested that countries should submit long-term strategies for reaching net-zero by the end of next year along with getting more help to combat global warming. While these are facts that have been, reiterated for quite a long time now, experts believe that the document is weak and a mere “box-ticking exercise”, as reported by BBC.

COP26 president Alok Sharma said he expected "near-final texts" to be published overnight. He said that the agreement that comes out of the conference would "set the future for our children and grandchildren".

Greenwashing promises

Around 140 nations have pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Researchers have said their short-term plans for 2030 are not strong enough to limit the rise in temperatures.

A research published at the summit on Tuesday, by Climate Action Tracker (CAT) indicated the short-term plans put in place by countries would result in global temperatures rising to 2.4C, by 2100. The Tracker is backed by several organizations including the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.

US's and China's long-term promised targets could help reduce the temperature to 2.1C. If every country fulfilled its promises to achieve long-term net-zero emissions, then it could be possible to reach 1.8 degrees Celsius.

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The report by CAT analyzed the promises made by governments before and during COP26. It concluded that, in 2030, the greenhouse gas emissions would still be twice as high as necessary for keeping temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

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CAT analyzed the policies of 40 countries and concluded that only a small number are rated "acceptable", covering a fraction of the world's emissions. Only a few countries have plans in place to reach the goal of zero emissions in the promised time.

Analyzing the loopholes

With the world off track to meet the goal, the draft document urges the nations to "revisit and strengthen" the targets for cutting emissions by 2030 in their national plans to align them with the Paris Agreement goal of well below 2C or 1.5C by the end of 2022.

Terms such as cutting down on fossil fuel subsidies will be a bone of contention during the deliberation over the final terms of the climate change policy document.

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Smaller nations that don’t contribute to a major part of the emissions and poorer countries who don’t have enough resources to introduce viable green energy options, would require assurances on finance, something which the document does not provide.

Without a concrete plan for 2030, these longer-term goals will not be achieved.

Also Read: China ready to work and cooperate with U.S., says Xi

Also Read: Macron announces relaunch of nuclear reactors to counter energy crisis

Picture Credits: BBC

With inputs from BBC

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