politics

COP26 Climate Summit Enters Final Hours as Negotiators Urged to Take Radical Action

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

The coverage on this live blog is now over.

On the final day of talks at COP26 in Glasgow, U.K., world leaders were urged to take drastic and ambitious action to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Multiple pledges have been made throughout the summit, including deals to phase out coal, cut methane emissions and end deforestation. But activists have accused government ministers and corporations of so-called greenwashing and claimed the agreements to come out of COP26 so far aren't enough to address the climate emergency.

Here are some of the biggest developments Friday:

  • New draft COP26 text published{

    3:26 a.m.: New draft COP26 text published

    An updated draft of the COP26 text — a document that will give the pledges and agreements made during the summit legal standing — has been published. The document, which outlines COP26 President Alok Sharma's response to the breakthroughs made so far at the summit, stressed "the urgency of enhancing ambition and action in relation to mitigation, adaptation and finance in this critical decade."

    It also expressed concern that the current provision of climate finance remained insufficient for developing countries to respond to worsening climate change impacts, and urged developed economies to "urgently and significantly scale up their provision of climate finance, technology transfer and capacity-building for adaptation." Financial institutions and the private sector were also urged in the document to mobilize funding to help deliver resources at scale that would help to achieve climate plans.  

    "Limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires rapid, deep and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions, including reducing global carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030 relative to the 2010 level and to net zero around mid-century," the text said, noting with "deep regret" that developed nations' pledge to mobilize $100 billion annually for climate change mitigation has not yet been met.

    The seven-page text, which must be agreed by all delegations attending the talks, also called on an accelerated phase out of coal and fossil fuel subsidies. No firm dates or targets were set on this issue, however. If this reference is not cut from the final agreement, it will be the first time the outcome of an international climate summit has explicitly mentioned fossil fuels.

    — Chloe Taylor

    =null}
  • We can reach 1.5 degrees Celsius target next year, EU's Timmermans says{

    6:41 a.m.: We can reach 1.5 degrees Celsius target next year, EU’s Timmermans says

    The Paris Agreement's target to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius can be reached next year, Frans Timmermans, vice president of the European Commission, has told CNBC.

    "We can say with credibility that we can reach the 1.5 next year. I think that is possible," he told CNBC's Steve Sedgwick on the sidelines of COP26. "[But] we need to prove to the developing world that our efforts on financing are credible – it's not just about the exact amounts of money, it's also about the structures we put into place to make sure the financing will also be coming after 2025."

    — Chloe Taylor

    =null}
  • COP26 text 'stronger' after update, World Resources Institute says{

    8:39 a.m.: COP26 text ‘stronger’ after update, World Resources Institute says

    Friday's updated draft of the COP26 text is "stronger and more balanced" than the previous version, Helen Mountford, vice president of climate and economics at the World Resources Institute, has told CNBC.

    "It has stronger elements on adaptation finance and on loss and damage, responding to some of the demands of vulnerable countries," Mountford said in an email. "We are not done yet, but for now, we're hopeful for a good outcome. In the final hours, we need to watch carefully that the text is not weakened."

    The draft text urged developed economies to significantly scale up funding and resources to help developed nations adapt to climate change, and called for an accelerated phase out of coal and fossil fuel subsidies. It must be agreed by all delegations attending the talks in order to be ratified.

    — Chloe Taylor

    =null}
  • Boris Johnson encourages leaders to agree to COP26 climate agreement{

    11:27 a.m.: Boris Johnson encourages leaders to agree to COP26 climate agreement

    U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in the final hours of the COP26 climate summit that he's telling world leaders to tell their negotiating teams to have the "conviction and the courage to come together and agree that cover decision."

    Johnson told the BBC in a broadcast that the COP26 summit was now in the "final furlong."

    "And what needs to happen now is that people need to understand that the deal that's on the table, the so-called cover decision, that is the text and we either find a way of agreeing it or I'm afraid we risk blowing it and that's the reality," he said.

    — Vicky McKeever

    And that's all from our COP26 live blogs. Thanks so much for sticking around, see you next year.

    =null}

11:27 a.m.: Boris Johnson encourages leaders to agree to COP26 climate agreement

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in the final hours of the COP26 climate summit that he's telling world leaders to tell their negotiating teams to have the "conviction and the courage to come together and agree that cover decision."

Johnson told the BBC in a broadcast that the COP26 summit was now in the "final furlong."

"And what needs to happen now is that people need to understand that the deal that's on the table, the so-called cover decision, that is the text and we either find a way of agreeing it or I'm afraid we risk blowing it and that's the reality," he said.

— Vicky McKeever

And that's all from our COP26 live blogs. Thanks so much for sticking around, see you next year.

11:04 a.m.: Oliver Wyman CEO concerned that ESG pressure could have negative unforeseen consequences

Nick Studer, CEO of management consultancy firm Oliver Wyman, told CNBC's "Street Signs Europe" on Friday that he had a "big worry about ESG (environmental, social and governance) pressure leading to unforeseen consequences for the whole system."

For instance, Studer said that he would like to see "hard to abate, hard to mitigate emissions to be in the hands of people who are dedicated to managing through the long cycle of reducing them rather than simply sold off and given to someone else."

He explained that shareholder pressure could sometimes lead to the cleaning of individual companies but the system hadn't actually benefitted.

— Vicky McKeever

10:35 a.m.: The Amazon is 'approaching a catastrophic potential tipping point,' report warns

A report, published on the last day of the COP26 climate summit on Friday, has warned that the Amazon is "approaching a catastrophic potential tipping point due to deforestation, degradation, wildfires, and climate change."

The Amazon Assessment Report, produced by more than 200 scientists, highlighted how critical the region's river basin was to the Earth's climate system and the global carbon cycle.

For instance, the warming of the Amazon and greater use of the region's land can ultimately reduce forest resilience.

"These cascading effects would have tremendous impacts on climate and in turn agriculture, hydropower generation, and human health and well-being," the report said.

— Vicky McKeever

10:05 a.m.: John Kerry: We can't bank on a 'miraculous invention' to help meet climate goals

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry whilst meeting with Italy's Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani at Palazzo Reale for the climate and energy G20 meeting in the historical centre of Naples on July 23, 2021.
Filippo Monteforte | AFP | Getty Images
US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry whilst meeting with Italy's Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani at Palazzo Reale for the climate and energy G20 meeting in the historical centre of Naples on July 23, 2021.

John Kerry, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, said at COP26 on Friday that the world must listen to the scientists who have told us that "we have to reduce emissions by 45% in the next 10 years, in order to keep 1.5 degrees [Celsius] alive."

If countries missed this 2030 target, Kerry said we would also miss the goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, "unless there's some miraculous invention that sucks it all out of the atmosphere, or advances us beyond where we are today and we can't bank on that."


— Vicky McKeever

8:39 a.m.: COP26 text ‘stronger’ after update, World Resources Institute says

Friday's updated draft of the COP26 text is "stronger and more balanced" than the previous version, Helen Mountford, vice president of climate and economics at the World Resources Institute, has told CNBC.

"It has stronger elements on adaptation finance and on loss and damage, responding to some of the demands of vulnerable countries," Mountford said in an email. "We are not done yet, but for now, we're hopeful for a good outcome. In the final hours, we need to watch carefully that the text is not weakened."

The draft text urged developed economies to significantly scale up funding and resources to help developed nations adapt to climate change, and called for an accelerated phase out of coal and fossil fuel subsidies. It must be agreed by all delegations attending the talks in order to be ratified.

— Chloe Taylor

6:42 a.m.: EU’s Timmermans says climate transcends political differences

Frans Timmermans, vice president of the European Commission, told CNBC that COP26 had proven the climate emergency supersedes geopolitics when it comes to international partnerships.

"A couple of days ago, everyone was thinking 'where is China? They're not doing anything'," he said, noting that the country had been having "many issues" with the United States.

"Now they've said, with this joint statement, clearly there's one subject that transcends any political differences we may have, and that's the climate crisis. And we both commit to the 1.5, to tackling methane emissions, to tackling CO2 emissions – that is just a good sign. I'm really grateful for this statement, because it shows that even countries that have serious differences can say this issue should not keep us divided."

— Chloe Taylor

6:41 a.m.: We can reach 1.5 degrees Celsius target next year, EU’s Timmermans says

The Paris Agreement's target to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius can be reached next year, Frans Timmermans, vice president of the European Commission, has told CNBC.

"We can say with credibility that we can reach the 1.5 next year. I think that is possible," he told CNBC's Steve Sedgwick on the sidelines of COP26. "[But] we need to prove to the developing world that our efforts on financing are credible – it's not just about the exact amounts of money, it's also about the structures we put into place to make sure the financing will also be coming after 2025."

— Chloe Taylor

3:26 a.m.: New draft COP26 text published

An updated draft of the COP26 text — a document that will give the pledges and agreements made during the summit legal standing — has been published. The document, which outlines COP26 President Alok Sharma's response to the breakthroughs made so far at the summit, stressed "the urgency of enhancing ambition and action in relation to mitigation, adaptation and finance in this critical decade."

It also expressed concern that the current provision of climate finance remained insufficient for developing countries to respond to worsening climate change impacts, and urged developed economies to "urgently and significantly scale up their provision of climate finance, technology transfer and capacity-building for adaptation." Financial institutions and the private sector were also urged in the document to mobilize funding to help deliver resources at scale that would help to achieve climate plans.  

"Limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires rapid, deep and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions, including reducing global carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030 relative to the 2010 level and to net zero around mid-century," the text said, noting with "deep regret" that developed nations' pledge to mobilize $100 billion annually for climate change mitigation has not yet been met.

The seven-page text, which must be agreed by all delegations attending the talks, also called on an accelerated phase out of coal and fossil fuel subsidies. No firm dates or targets were set on this issue, however. If this reference is not cut from the final agreement, it will be the first time the outcome of an international climate summit has explicitly mentioned fossil fuels.

— Chloe Taylor

2:54 a.m.: COP26 negotiations could run past summit’s final day

Speaking to CNBC's Steve Sedgwick, Alok Sharma — a U.K. lawmaker serving as COP26 President — refused to rule out the possibility that talks on the final agreements from the summit would run into the weekend.

Asked if negotiations would spill over into the weekend, Sharma replied: "Let's see, shall we?"

He added that the text — a series of pledges and deals that will have legal standing — should be published "very soon."

It comes after Sharma told CNBC on Thursday that the U.K. wanted world leaders to be "ambitious" with the commitments they made during the final phase of talks.

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