Cop26: Chance to keep 1.5 degree target alive, says Ryan despite 'disappointing' coal deal

There is a historic reference to coal and fossil fuels subsidies in the Glasgow Pact, though the language was watered down at the last minute.
Cop26: Chance to keep 1.5 degree target alive, says Ryan despite 'disappointing' coal deal

Emily Beament, PA Environment Correspondent

The Cop26 climate talks have agreed to get countries to strengthen their emissions-cutting targets for 2030 by the end of next year in a bid to limit dangerous warming.

Ministers and negotiators at the UN summit in Glasgow have also sent a signal on the shift away from the world’s dirtiest fuel, with a deal calling for efforts to escalate the “phase down” of unabated coal, as well as the phasing out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.

The Glasgow Pact was watered down at the last minute – following a push by India and China – from escalating the “phase out” of unabated coal, to “phase down”, prompting angry responses from European and vulnerable countries. However, it is the first explicit mentions of fossil fuels in a UN climate agreement.

Minister for Climate Action Eamon Ryan, who was in attendance on Saturday, confirmed the deal had been reached, tweeting: "It gives us a chance of keeping 1.5 degrees alive."

"The last minute deal on coal was deeply disappointing but we had to agree a deal," Mr Ryan added.

"We can no longer delay. It brings momentum at home & has to deliver climate justice for the world."

In the wake of the 'Glasgow Pact' being gavelled through – more than 24 hours after the official finishing time of the conference, there were warnings that the 1.5 degrees goal was “on life support”.

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