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Draft of Glasgow Agreement aims for global emissions goals, ending coal

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Draft of Glasgow Agreement aims for global emissions goals, ending coal
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives on Monday at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Robert Perry/EPA-EFE

Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Global leaders are expressing a desire to completely end the use of coal and ask countries around the world to cut their carbon emissions in half before the 2020s are over, according to a draft of an agreement at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Scotland.

The seven-page draft of the Glasgow Agreement also outlines other environmental goals and measures, such as denying subsidies for fossil fuel producers.

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The Glasgow Agreement is expected to be the signature accomplishment of the United Nations summit, which began on Oct. 31 and runs through Friday.

The draft shows a template for the final deal that activists hope will phase out harmful coal and place strong restrictions on gas and oil.

The draft is the starting point in creating a framework for a final agreement, and delegates from more than 200 countries will now negotiate details of the pact over the next few days.

Young environmental activists are seen last Friday at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Robert Perry/EPA-EFE

Consensus from every participating country would be required for any agreement to take effect.

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The draft calls for action in reducing non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gas emissions, and working with developing countries to address climate change.

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The release of the draft came after days of criticisms from climate activists, including Sweden's Greta Thunberg, about the lack of progress and lack of urgency at the COP26 conference 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," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, according to The New York Times.

It remains to be seen how some fossil fuel-heavy countries that have famously resisted ambitious climate measures in the past, such as Australia, China and Saudi Arabia, will respond to the draft and a final Glasgow Agreement.

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"I think it's going to be one hell of a fight this week," said Alden Meyer, a senior associate at European climate think tank E3G and a participant in COP26 negotiations, according to Axios.

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