COP26 ends in new climate deal after India intervention

COP26 summit in Glasgow concluded its extra time plenary with a deal. It recognises India's intervention for the world to "phase down" rather than "phase out" fossil fuels. Negotiators from nearly 200 countries have accepted the new climate agreement.

It means the Glasgow Climate Pact is the first-ever United Nations climate deal to plan to reduce coal, responsible for greenhouse gases with harmful climate impact. Countries have also agreed to meet next year to discuss further carbon cuts so that the goal to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius can be reached.

"I hope we can leave this conference united, having delivered something significant for people and the planet together as one," said Alok Sharma, the President of COP26.

Several countries criticised the change on fossil fuels promoted by India, even as Indian Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav asked the Glasgow climate summit how one could expect developing nations to make promises about "phasing out" coal and fossil fuel subsidies when they have still to deal with their development agendas and poverty eradication.

According to international media's report, India's environment and climate minister Bhupender Yadav said after discussions with other countries it has proposed new wording for the final agreement that would phase down unabated coal power instead of previous language to phase it out.

"Including escalating efforts to phase down unabated coal power, and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies," he told delegates.

Shortly before the plenary began, envoys from the United States and European Union met with their Indian and Chinese counterparts to discuss the coal language, according to a member of the Indian delegation.

Accelerating 2030 emission-cutting targets, increasing funding for developing nations to adapt to climate change by 2025, boosting the agenda on how to pay for loss and damage that climate change inflicts on developing countries, and agreeing to rules on carbon offset markets were also part of the deal.

According to reports, Mr Sharma, the India-born British Cabinet minister who was in-charge of the summit apologised for "the way this process has unfolded".

"I am deeply sorry," he said, amid criticism from some countries on the final agreed draft.

"I also understand the deep disappointment. But I think as you have noted, it is also vital that we protect this package," he added.

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