The deal is done. Together with lots of side-agreements, big-up pledges, finance, and no definite language on Section 6.
Not a disaster, not a spectacular success, somewhere on the not too bad side for the effort involved.
The landmark inclusion of language to phase out “unabated coal power” and “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies—leaving countries responsible for defining those parameters—remained bitterly fought until the last minute.
The final plenary session on Saturday evening saw India proposing to further water down the language around ending coal and fossil fuel subsidies from “phasing out” to “phasing down.” The proposal that was met with reluctance and disappointment from countries like Switzerland, the European Union, Mexico, the Marshall Islands, Fiji, and more, but ultimately adopted. We will I am sure put out a release today offering similar disappointment, mixed with success.
“I apologize for the way this process has unfolded and I am deeply sorry” said COP26 President Alok Sharma, adding: “I also understand the disappointment, but as, you’ve noted, is vital we protect this package.”
He needs to give himself a lie down, a hankie and a Kitkat. They all come down to the wire – all of them. And there’s at least collective will to keep 1.5 alive in principle even if it’s possibly not in reality.
Governments have limited power over the kinds of capitalism that produce massive CO2 emissions. But over the last two weeks they’ve done collectively more than the industrial polluter industries have. Germany’s car companies couldn’t get it’s shit together with other car producers, for example. The world’s collective of countries did ok.
Half the point of these is the magnified collective shaming and persuasion, which tells me we need to do more of them.
The rest of this is up to us.