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COP26: Countries reach climate deal with last-minute coal compromise

Click to play video: 'COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries' COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries
WATCH ABOVE: Victim impact statements heard in connection with Brampton crash that killed 4 – Nov 8, 2021

Almost 200 nations accepted a contentious climate compromise Saturday aimed at keeping a key global warming target alive, but it contained a last-minute change that watered down crucial language about coal.

Several countries, including small island states, said they were deeply disappointed by the change promoted by India to “phase down,” rather than “phase out” coal power, the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Nation after nation had complained earlier on the final day of two weeks of U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, about how the deal did not go far or fast enough, but they said it was better than nothing and provided incremental progress, if not success.

Negotiators from Switzerland and Mexico called the coal language change against the rules because it came so late. However, they said they had no choice but to hold their noses and go along with it.

Story continues below advertisement

Swiss environment minister, Simonetta Sommaruga, said the change will make it harder to achieve the international goal to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times.

Read more: Experts anticipate fast climate action in Canada as COP26 summit winds down

“Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe.”

Many other nations and climate campaigners pointed at India for making demands that weakened the final agreement.

“India’s last-minute change to the language to phase down but not phase out coal is quite shocking,” said Australian climate scientist Bill Hare, who tracks world emission pledges for the science-based Climate Action Tracker. “India has long been a blocker on climate action, but I have never seen it done so publicly.”

Others approached the deal from a more positive perspective. In addition to the revised coal language, the Glasgow Climate Pact included enough financial incentives to almost satisfy poorer nations and solved a long-standing problem to pave the way for carbon trading.

The agreement also says big carbon polluting nations have to come back and submit stronger emission-cutting pledges by the end of 2022.

“It’s a good deal for the world,” U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told The Associated Press. “It’s got a few problems, but it’s all in all a very good deal.”

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video: 'COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes' COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes
COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes – Nov 12, 2021

Before the India change, negotiators said the deal preserved, albeit barely, the overarching goal of limiting Earth’s warming by the end of the century to 1.5 degrees. The planet has already warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to preindustrial times.

Ahead of the Glasgow talks, the United Nations had set three criteria for success, and none of them were achieved. The U.N.`s criteria included pledges to cut carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2030, $100 billion in financial aid from rich nations to poor, and ensuring that half of that money went to helping the developing world adapt to the worst effects of climate change.

“We did not achieve these goals at this conference,” Guterres said Saturday night. “But we have some building blocks for progress.”

Negotiators on Saturday used the word “progress” more than 20 times, but rarely used the word “success.” When they did, it was mostly when speaking that they’ve reached a conclusion, not about the details in the agreement.

Story continues below advertisement

Conference President Alok Sharma said the deal drives “progress on coal, cars, cash and trees” and is “something meaningful for our people and our planet.”

Click to play video: 'Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments' Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments
Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments – Nov 9, 2021

Environmental activists were measured in their not-quite-glowing assessments, issued before India’s last-minute change.

“It’s meek, it’s weak and the 1.5 C goal is only just alive, but a signal has been sent that the era of coal is ending. And that matters,” said Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan, a veteran of the U.N. climate talks known as the Conferences of Parties.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, speaking for a group of retired leaders called The Elders, said the pact represents “some progress, but nowhere near enough to avoid climate disaster … People will see this as a historically shameful dereliction of duty.”

Indian Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav argued against a provision on phasing out coal, saying that developing countries were “entitled to the responsible use of fossil fuels.”

Story continues below advertisement

Yadav blamed “unsustainable lifestyles and wasteful consumption patterns” in rich countries for causing global warming.

Click to play video: 'Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26' Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26
Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26 – Nov 6, 2021

After Yadav first raised the specter of changing the coal language, a frustrated European Union Vice President Frans Timmermans, the 27-nation EU’s climate envoy, begged negotiators to be united for future generations.

“For heaven’s sake, don’t kill this moment,” Timmermans pleaded. “Please embrace this text so that we bring hope to the hearts of our children and grandchildren.”

Helen Mountford, vice president of the World Resources Institute think tank, said India’s demand may not matter as much as feared because the economics of cheaper, renewable fuel is making coal increasingly obsolete.

“Coal is dead. Coal is being phased out,” Mountford said. “It’s a shame that they watered it down.”

Story continues below advertisement

Kerry and several other negotiators noted that good compromises leave everyone slightly unsatisfied.

Read more: COP26: Canada, U.S. say fossil fuel subsidies should end

“Not everyone in public life … gets to make choices about life and death. Not everyone gets to make choices that actually affect an entire planet. We here are privileged today to do exactly that,” he said.

Before the coal change, small island nations that are vulnerable to catastrophic effects of climate change and had pushed for bolder actions in Glasgow said they were satisfied with the spirit of compromise, if not the outcome of the talks.

“Maldives accepts the incremental progress made in Glasgow,” said Aminath Shauna, the island nation’s minister for environment, climate change and technology. “I’d like to note that this progress is not in line with the urgency and scale with the problem at hand.”

Shauna pointed out that to stay within the warming limit that nations agreed to six years ago in Paris, the world must cut carbon dioxide emissions essentially in half in 98 months. The developing world needs the rich world to step up, she said.

“The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is a death sentence for us,” Shauna said. “We didn’t cause the climate crisis. No matter what we do, it won’t reverse this.”

Story continues below advertisement

Next year’s talks are scheduled to take place in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Dubai will host the meeting in 2023.

Click to play video: 'COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects' COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects
COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects – Nov 4, 2021

— Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosal, Karl Ritter and Ellen Knickmeyer contributed to this report.

Sponsored content

COP26: Countries reach climate deal with last-minute coal compromise

Click to play video: 'COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries' COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries
WATCH ABOVE: Victim impact statements heard in connection with Brampton crash that killed 4 – Nov 8, 2021

Almost 200 nations accepted a contentious climate compromise Saturday aimed at keeping a key global warming target alive, but it contained a last-minute change that watered down crucial language about coal.

Several countries, including small island states, said they were deeply disappointed by the change promoted by India to “phase down,” rather than “phase out” coal power, the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Nation after nation had complained earlier on the final day of two weeks of U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, about how the deal did not go far or fast enough, but they said it was better than nothing and provided incremental progress, if not success.

Story continues below advertisement

Negotiators from Switzerland and Mexico called the coal language change against the rules because it came so late. However, they said they had no choice but to hold their noses and go along with it.

Swiss environment minister, Simonetta Sommaruga, said the change will make it harder to achieve the international goal to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times.

Read more: Experts anticipate fast climate action in Canada as COP26 summit winds down

“Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe.”

Many other nations and climate campaigners pointed at India for making demands that weakened the final agreement.

“India’s last-minute change to the language to phase down but not phase out coal is quite shocking,” said Australian climate scientist Bill Hare, who tracks world emission pledges for the science-based Climate Action Tracker. “India has long been a blocker on climate action, but I have never seen it done so publicly.”

Others approached the deal from a more positive perspective. In addition to the revised coal language, the Glasgow Climate Pact included enough financial incentives to almost satisfy poorer nations and solved a long-standing problem to pave the way for carbon trading.

Story continues below advertisement

The agreement also says big carbon polluting nations have to come back and submit stronger emission-cutting pledges by the end of 2022.

“It’s a good deal for the world,” U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told The Associated Press. “It’s got a few problems, but it’s all in all a very good deal.”

Click to play video: 'COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes' COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes
COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes – Nov 12, 2021

Before the India change, negotiators said the deal preserved, albeit barely, the overarching goal of limiting Earth’s warming by the end of the century to 1.5 degrees. The planet has already warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to preindustrial times.

Ahead of the Glasgow talks, the United Nations had set three criteria for success, and none of them were achieved. The U.N.`s criteria included pledges to cut carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2030, $100 billion in financial aid from rich nations to poor, and ensuring that half of that money went to helping the developing world adapt to the worst effects of climate change.

Story continues below advertisement

“We did not achieve these goals at this conference,” Guterres said Saturday night. “But we have some building blocks for progress.”

Negotiators on Saturday used the word “progress” more than 20 times, but rarely used the word “success.” When they did, it was mostly when speaking that they’ve reached a conclusion, not about the details in the agreement.

Conference President Alok Sharma said the deal drives “progress on coal, cars, cash and trees” and is “something meaningful for our people and our planet.”

Click to play video: 'Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments' Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments
Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments – Nov 9, 2021

Environmental activists were measured in their not-quite-glowing assessments, issued before India’s last-minute change.

“It’s meek, it’s weak and the 1.5 C goal is only just alive, but a signal has been sent that the era of coal is ending. And that matters,” said Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan, a veteran of the U.N. climate talks known as the Conferences of Parties.

Story continues below advertisement

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, speaking for a group of retired leaders called The Elders, said the pact represents “some progress, but nowhere near enough to avoid climate disaster … People will see this as a historically shameful dereliction of duty.”

Indian Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav argued against a provision on phasing out coal, saying that developing countries were “entitled to the responsible use of fossil fuels.”

Yadav blamed “unsustainable lifestyles and wasteful consumption patterns” in rich countries for causing global warming.

Click to play video: 'Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26' Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26
Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26 – Nov 6, 2021

After Yadav first raised the specter of changing the coal language, a frustrated European Union Vice President Frans Timmermans, the 27-nation EU’s climate envoy, begged negotiators to be united for future generations.

“For heaven’s sake, don’t kill this moment,” Timmermans pleaded. “Please embrace this text so that we bring hope to the hearts of our children and grandchildren.”

Story continues below advertisement

Helen Mountford, vice president of the World Resources Institute think tank, said India’s demand may not matter as much as feared because the economics of cheaper, renewable fuel is making coal increasingly obsolete.

“Coal is dead. Coal is being phased out,” Mountford said. “It’s a shame that they watered it down.”

Kerry and several other negotiators noted that good compromises leave everyone slightly unsatisfied.

Read more: COP26: Canada, U.S. say fossil fuel subsidies should end

“Not everyone in public life … gets to make choices about life and death. Not everyone gets to make choices that actually affect an entire planet. We here are privileged today to do exactly that,” he said.

Before the coal change, small island nations that are vulnerable to catastrophic effects of climate change and had pushed for bolder actions in Glasgow said they were satisfied with the spirit of compromise, if not the outcome of the talks.

“Maldives accepts the incremental progress made in Glasgow,” said Aminath Shauna, the island nation’s minister for environment, climate change and technology. “I’d like to note that this progress is not in line with the urgency and scale with the problem at hand.”

Shauna pointed out that to stay within the warming limit that nations agreed to six years ago in Paris, the world must cut carbon dioxide emissions essentially in half in 98 months. The developing world needs the rich world to step up, she said.

Story continues below advertisement

“The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is a death sentence for us,” Shauna said. “We didn’t cause the climate crisis. No matter what we do, it won’t reverse this.”

Next year’s talks are scheduled to take place in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Dubai will host the meeting in 2023.

Click to play video: 'COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects' COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects
COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects – Nov 4, 2021

— Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosal, Karl Ritter and Ellen Knickmeyer contributed to this report.

Sponsored content

COP26: Countries reach climate deal with last-minute coal compromise

Click to play video: 'COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries' COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries
WATCH ABOVE: Victim impact statements heard in connection with Brampton crash that killed 4 – Nov 8, 2021

Almost 200 nations accepted a contentious climate compromise Saturday aimed at keeping a key global warming target alive, but it contained a last-minute change that watered down crucial language about coal.

Several countries, including small island states, said they were deeply disappointed by the change promoted by India to “phase down,” rather than “phase out” coal power, the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Story continues below advertisement

Nation after nation had complained earlier on the final day of two weeks of U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, about how the deal did not go far or fast enough, but they said it was better than nothing and provided incremental progress, if not success.

Negotiators from Switzerland and Mexico called the coal language change against the rules because it came so late. However, they said they had no choice but to hold their noses and go along with it.

Swiss environment minister, Simonetta Sommaruga, said the change will make it harder to achieve the international goal to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times.

Read more: Experts anticipate fast climate action in Canada as COP26 summit winds down

“Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe.”

Many other nations and climate campaigners pointed at India for making demands that weakened the final agreement.

“India’s last-minute change to the language to phase down but not phase out coal is quite shocking,” said Australian climate scientist Bill Hare, who tracks world emission pledges for the science-based Climate Action Tracker. “India has long been a blocker on climate action, but I have never seen it done so publicly.”

Story continues below advertisement

Others approached the deal from a more positive perspective. In addition to the revised coal language, the Glasgow Climate Pact included enough financial incentives to almost satisfy poorer nations and solved a long-standing problem to pave the way for carbon trading.

The agreement also says big carbon polluting nations have to come back and submit stronger emission-cutting pledges by the end of 2022.

“It’s a good deal for the world,” U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told The Associated Press. “It’s got a few problems, but it’s all in all a very good deal.”

Click to play video: 'COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes' COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes
COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes – Nov 12, 2021

Before the India change, negotiators said the deal preserved, albeit barely, the overarching goal of limiting Earth’s warming by the end of the century to 1.5 degrees. The planet has already warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to preindustrial times.

Story continues below advertisement

Ahead of the Glasgow talks, the United Nations had set three criteria for success, and none of them were achieved. The U.N.`s criteria included pledges to cut carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2030, $100 billion in financial aid from rich nations to poor, and ensuring that half of that money went to helping the developing world adapt to the worst effects of climate change.

“We did not achieve these goals at this conference,” Guterres said Saturday night. “But we have some building blocks for progress.”

Negotiators on Saturday used the word “progress” more than 20 times, but rarely used the word “success.” When they did, it was mostly when speaking that they’ve reached a conclusion, not about the details in the agreement.

Conference President Alok Sharma said the deal drives “progress on coal, cars, cash and trees” and is “something meaningful for our people and our planet.”

Click to play video: 'Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments' Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments
Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments – Nov 9, 2021

Environmental activists were measured in their not-quite-glowing assessments, issued before India’s last-minute change.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s meek, it’s weak and the 1.5 C goal is only just alive, but a signal has been sent that the era of coal is ending. And that matters,” said Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan, a veteran of the U.N. climate talks known as the Conferences of Parties.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, speaking for a group of retired leaders called The Elders, said the pact represents “some progress, but nowhere near enough to avoid climate disaster … People will see this as a historically shameful dereliction of duty.”

Indian Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav argued against a provision on phasing out coal, saying that developing countries were “entitled to the responsible use of fossil fuels.”

Yadav blamed “unsustainable lifestyles and wasteful consumption patterns” in rich countries for causing global warming.

Click to play video: 'Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26' Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26
Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26 – Nov 6, 2021

After Yadav first raised the specter of changing the coal language, a frustrated European Union Vice President Frans Timmermans, the 27-nation EU’s climate envoy, begged negotiators to be united for future generations.

Story continues below advertisement

“For heaven’s sake, don’t kill this moment,” Timmermans pleaded. “Please embrace this text so that we bring hope to the hearts of our children and grandchildren.”

Helen Mountford, vice president of the World Resources Institute think tank, said India’s demand may not matter as much as feared because the economics of cheaper, renewable fuel is making coal increasingly obsolete.

“Coal is dead. Coal is being phased out,” Mountford said. “It’s a shame that they watered it down.”

Kerry and several other negotiators noted that good compromises leave everyone slightly unsatisfied.

Read more: COP26: Canada, U.S. say fossil fuel subsidies should end

“Not everyone in public life … gets to make choices about life and death. Not everyone gets to make choices that actually affect an entire planet. We here are privileged today to do exactly that,” he said.

Before the coal change, small island nations that are vulnerable to catastrophic effects of climate change and had pushed for bolder actions in Glasgow said they were satisfied with the spirit of compromise, if not the outcome of the talks.

“Maldives accepts the incremental progress made in Glasgow,” said Aminath Shauna, the island nation’s minister for environment, climate change and technology. “I’d like to note that this progress is not in line with the urgency and scale with the problem at hand.”

Story continues below advertisement

Shauna pointed out that to stay within the warming limit that nations agreed to six years ago in Paris, the world must cut carbon dioxide emissions essentially in half in 98 months. The developing world needs the rich world to step up, she said.

“The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is a death sentence for us,” Shauna said. “We didn’t cause the climate crisis. No matter what we do, it won’t reverse this.”

Next year’s talks are scheduled to take place in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Dubai will host the meeting in 2023.

Click to play video: 'COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects' COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects
COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects – Nov 4, 2021

— Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosal, Karl Ritter and Ellen Knickmeyer contributed to this report.

Sponsored content

COP26: Countries reach climate deal with last-minute coal compromise

Click to play video: 'COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries' COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries
WATCH ABOVE: Victim impact statements heard in connection with Brampton crash that killed 4 – Nov 8, 2021

Almost 200 nations accepted a contentious climate compromise Saturday aimed at keeping a key global warming target alive, but it contained a last-minute change that watered down crucial language about coal.

Story continues below advertisement

Several countries, including small island states, said they were deeply disappointed by the change promoted by India to “phase down,” rather than “phase out” coal power, the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Nation after nation had complained earlier on the final day of two weeks of U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, about how the deal did not go far or fast enough, but they said it was better than nothing and provided incremental progress, if not success.

Negotiators from Switzerland and Mexico called the coal language change against the rules because it came so late. However, they said they had no choice but to hold their noses and go along with it.

Swiss environment minister, Simonetta Sommaruga, said the change will make it harder to achieve the international goal to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times.

Read more: Experts anticipate fast climate action in Canada as COP26 summit winds down

“Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe.”

Many other nations and climate campaigners pointed at India for making demands that weakened the final agreement.

Story continues below advertisement

“India’s last-minute change to the language to phase down but not phase out coal is quite shocking,” said Australian climate scientist Bill Hare, who tracks world emission pledges for the science-based Climate Action Tracker. “India has long been a blocker on climate action, but I have never seen it done so publicly.”

Others approached the deal from a more positive perspective. In addition to the revised coal language, the Glasgow Climate Pact included enough financial incentives to almost satisfy poorer nations and solved a long-standing problem to pave the way for carbon trading.

The agreement also says big carbon polluting nations have to come back and submit stronger emission-cutting pledges by the end of 2022.

“It’s a good deal for the world,” U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told The Associated Press. “It’s got a few problems, but it’s all in all a very good deal.”

Click to play video: 'COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes' COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes
COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes – Nov 12, 2021

Before the India change, negotiators said the deal preserved, albeit barely, the overarching goal of limiting Earth’s warming by the end of the century to 1.5 degrees. The planet has already warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to preindustrial times.

Story continues below advertisement

Ahead of the Glasgow talks, the United Nations had set three criteria for success, and none of them were achieved. The U.N.`s criteria included pledges to cut carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2030, $100 billion in financial aid from rich nations to poor, and ensuring that half of that money went to helping the developing world adapt to the worst effects of climate change.

“We did not achieve these goals at this conference,” Guterres said Saturday night. “But we have some building blocks for progress.”

Negotiators on Saturday used the word “progress” more than 20 times, but rarely used the word “success.” When they did, it was mostly when speaking that they’ve reached a conclusion, not about the details in the agreement.

Conference President Alok Sharma said the deal drives “progress on coal, cars, cash and trees” and is “something meaningful for our people and our planet.”

Click to play video: 'Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments' Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments
Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments – Nov 9, 2021

Environmental activists were measured in their not-quite-glowing assessments, issued before India’s last-minute change.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s meek, it’s weak and the 1.5 C goal is only just alive, but a signal has been sent that the era of coal is ending. And that matters,” said Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan, a veteran of the U.N. climate talks known as the Conferences of Parties.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, speaking for a group of retired leaders called The Elders, said the pact represents “some progress, but nowhere near enough to avoid climate disaster … People will see this as a historically shameful dereliction of duty.”

Indian Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav argued against a provision on phasing out coal, saying that developing countries were “entitled to the responsible use of fossil fuels.”

Yadav blamed “unsustainable lifestyles and wasteful consumption patterns” in rich countries for causing global warming.

Click to play video: 'Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26' Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26
Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26 – Nov 6, 2021

After Yadav first raised the specter of changing the coal language, a frustrated European Union Vice President Frans Timmermans, the 27-nation EU’s climate envoy, begged negotiators to be united for future generations.

Story continues below advertisement

“For heaven’s sake, don’t kill this moment,” Timmermans pleaded. “Please embrace this text so that we bring hope to the hearts of our children and grandchildren.”

Helen Mountford, vice president of the World Resources Institute think tank, said India’s demand may not matter as much as feared because the economics of cheaper, renewable fuel is making coal increasingly obsolete.

“Coal is dead. Coal is being phased out,” Mountford said. “It’s a shame that they watered it down.”

Kerry and several other negotiators noted that good compromises leave everyone slightly unsatisfied.

Read more: COP26: Canada, U.S. say fossil fuel subsidies should end

“Not everyone in public life … gets to make choices about life and death. Not everyone gets to make choices that actually affect an entire planet. We here are privileged today to do exactly that,” he said.

Before the coal change, small island nations that are vulnerable to catastrophic effects of climate change and had pushed for bolder actions in Glasgow said they were satisfied with the spirit of compromise, if not the outcome of the talks.

“Maldives accepts the incremental progress made in Glasgow,” said Aminath Shauna, the island nation’s minister for environment, climate change and technology. “I’d like to note that this progress is not in line with the urgency and scale with the problem at hand.”

Story continues below advertisement

Shauna pointed out that to stay within the warming limit that nations agreed to six years ago in Paris, the world must cut carbon dioxide emissions essentially in half in 98 months. The developing world needs the rich world to step up, she said.

“The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is a death sentence for us,” Shauna said. “We didn’t cause the climate crisis. No matter what we do, it won’t reverse this.”

Next year’s talks are scheduled to take place in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Dubai will host the meeting in 2023.

Click to play video: 'COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects' COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects
COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects – Nov 4, 2021

— Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosal, Karl Ritter and Ellen Knickmeyer contributed to this report.

Sponsored content

COP26: Countries reach climate deal with last-minute coal compromise

Click to play video: 'COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries' COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries
WATCH ABOVE: Victim impact statements heard in connection with Brampton crash that killed 4 – Nov 8, 2021

Almost 200 nations accepted a contentious climate compromise Saturday aimed at keeping a key global warming target alive, but it contained a last-minute change that watered down crucial language about coal.

Story continues below advertisement

Several countries, including small island states, said they were deeply disappointed by the change promoted by India to “phase down,” rather than “phase out” coal power, the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Nation after nation had complained earlier on the final day of two weeks of U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, about how the deal did not go far or fast enough, but they said it was better than nothing and provided incremental progress, if not success.

Negotiators from Switzerland and Mexico called the coal language change against the rules because it came so late. However, they said they had no choice but to hold their noses and go along with it.

Swiss environment minister, Simonetta Sommaruga, said the change will make it harder to achieve the international goal to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times.

Read more: Experts anticipate fast climate action in Canada as COP26 summit winds down

“Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe.”

Many other nations and climate campaigners pointed at India for making demands that weakened the final agreement.

Story continues below advertisement

“India’s last-minute change to the language to phase down but not phase out coal is quite shocking,” said Australian climate scientist Bill Hare, who tracks world emission pledges for the science-based Climate Action Tracker. “India has long been a blocker on climate action, but I have never seen it done so publicly.”

Others approached the deal from a more positive perspective. In addition to the revised coal language, the Glasgow Climate Pact included enough financial incentives to almost satisfy poorer nations and solved a long-standing problem to pave the way for carbon trading.

The agreement also says big carbon polluting nations have to come back and submit stronger emission-cutting pledges by the end of 2022.

“It’s a good deal for the world,” U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told The Associated Press. “It’s got a few problems, but it’s all in all a very good deal.”

Click to play video: 'COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes' COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes
COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes – Nov 12, 2021

Before the India change, negotiators said the deal preserved, albeit barely, the overarching goal of limiting Earth’s warming by the end of the century to 1.5 degrees. The planet has already warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to preindustrial times.

Story continues below advertisement

Ahead of the Glasgow talks, the United Nations had set three criteria for success, and none of them were achieved. The U.N.`s criteria included pledges to cut carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2030, $100 billion in financial aid from rich nations to poor, and ensuring that half of that money went to helping the developing world adapt to the worst effects of climate change.

“We did not achieve these goals at this conference,” Guterres said Saturday night. “But we have some building blocks for progress.”

Negotiators on Saturday used the word “progress” more than 20 times, but rarely used the word “success.” When they did, it was mostly when speaking that they’ve reached a conclusion, not about the details in the agreement.

Conference President Alok Sharma said the deal drives “progress on coal, cars, cash and trees” and is “something meaningful for our people and our planet.”

Click to play video: 'Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments' Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments
Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments – Nov 9, 2021

Environmental activists were measured in their not-quite-glowing assessments, issued before India’s last-minute change.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s meek, it’s weak and the 1.5 C goal is only just alive, but a signal has been sent that the era of coal is ending. And that matters,” said Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan, a veteran of the U.N. climate talks known as the Conferences of Parties.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, speaking for a group of retired leaders called The Elders, said the pact represents “some progress, but nowhere near enough to avoid climate disaster … People will see this as a historically shameful dereliction of duty.”

Indian Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav argued against a provision on phasing out coal, saying that developing countries were “entitled to the responsible use of fossil fuels.”

Yadav blamed “unsustainable lifestyles and wasteful consumption patterns” in rich countries for causing global warming.

Click to play video: 'Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26' Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26
Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26 – Nov 6, 2021

After Yadav first raised the specter of changing the coal language, a frustrated European Union Vice President Frans Timmermans, the 27-nation EU’s climate envoy, begged negotiators to be united for future generations.

Story continues below advertisement

“For heaven’s sake, don’t kill this moment,” Timmermans pleaded. “Please embrace this text so that we bring hope to the hearts of our children and grandchildren.”

Helen Mountford, vice president of the World Resources Institute think tank, said India’s demand may not matter as much as feared because the economics of cheaper, renewable fuel is making coal increasingly obsolete.

“Coal is dead. Coal is being phased out,” Mountford said. “It’s a shame that they watered it down.”

Kerry and several other negotiators noted that good compromises leave everyone slightly unsatisfied.

Read more: COP26: Canada, U.S. say fossil fuel subsidies should end

“Not everyone in public life … gets to make choices about life and death. Not everyone gets to make choices that actually affect an entire planet. We here are privileged today to do exactly that,” he said.

Before the coal change, small island nations that are vulnerable to catastrophic effects of climate change and had pushed for bolder actions in Glasgow said they were satisfied with the spirit of compromise, if not the outcome of the talks.

“Maldives accepts the incremental progress made in Glasgow,” said Aminath Shauna, the island nation’s minister for environment, climate change and technology. “I’d like to note that this progress is not in line with the urgency and scale with the problem at hand.”

Story continues below advertisement

Shauna pointed out that to stay within the warming limit that nations agreed to six years ago in Paris, the world must cut carbon dioxide emissions essentially in half in 98 months. The developing world needs the rich world to step up, she said.

“The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is a death sentence for us,” Shauna said. “We didn’t cause the climate crisis. No matter what we do, it won’t reverse this.”

Next year’s talks are scheduled to take place in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Dubai will host the meeting in 2023.

Click to play video: 'COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects' COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects
COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects – Nov 4, 2021

— Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosal, Karl Ritter and Ellen Knickmeyer contributed to this report.

Sponsored content

COP26: Countries reach climate deal with last-minute coal compromise

Click to play video: 'COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries' COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries
WATCH ABOVE: Victim impact statements heard in connection with Brampton crash that killed 4 – Nov 8, 2021

Almost 200 nations accepted a contentious climate compromise Saturday aimed at keeping a key global warming target alive, but it contained a last-minute change that watered down crucial language about coal.

Story continues below advertisement

Several countries, including small island states, said they were deeply disappointed by the change promoted by India to “phase down,” rather than “phase out” coal power, the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Nation after nation had complained earlier on the final day of two weeks of U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, about how the deal did not go far or fast enough, but they said it was better than nothing and provided incremental progress, if not success.

Negotiators from Switzerland and Mexico called the coal language change against the rules because it came so late. However, they said they had no choice but to hold their noses and go along with it.

Swiss environment minister, Simonetta Sommaruga, said the change will make it harder to achieve the international goal to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times.

Read more: Experts anticipate fast climate action in Canada as COP26 summit winds down

“Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe.”

Many other nations and climate campaigners pointed at India for making demands that weakened the final agreement.

Story continues below advertisement

“India’s last-minute change to the language to phase down but not phase out coal is quite shocking,” said Australian climate scientist Bill Hare, who tracks world emission pledges for the science-based Climate Action Tracker. “India has long been a blocker on climate action, but I have never seen it done so publicly.”

Others approached the deal from a more positive perspective. In addition to the revised coal language, the Glasgow Climate Pact included enough financial incentives to almost satisfy poorer nations and solved a long-standing problem to pave the way for carbon trading.

The agreement also says big carbon polluting nations have to come back and submit stronger emission-cutting pledges by the end of 2022.

“It’s a good deal for the world,” U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told The Associated Press. “It’s got a few problems, but it’s all in all a very good deal.”

Click to play video: 'COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes' COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes
COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes – Nov 12, 2021

Before the India change, negotiators said the deal preserved, albeit barely, the overarching goal of limiting Earth’s warming by the end of the century to 1.5 degrees. The planet has already warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to preindustrial times.

Story continues below advertisement

Ahead of the Glasgow talks, the United Nations had set three criteria for success, and none of them were achieved. The U.N.`s criteria included pledges to cut carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2030, $100 billion in financial aid from rich nations to poor, and ensuring that half of that money went to helping the developing world adapt to the worst effects of climate change.

“We did not achieve these goals at this conference,” Guterres said Saturday night. “But we have some building blocks for progress.”

Negotiators on Saturday used the word “progress” more than 20 times, but rarely used the word “success.” When they did, it was mostly when speaking that they’ve reached a conclusion, not about the details in the agreement.

Conference President Alok Sharma said the deal drives “progress on coal, cars, cash and trees” and is “something meaningful for our people and our planet.”

Click to play video: 'Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments' Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments
Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments – Nov 9, 2021

Environmental activists were measured in their not-quite-glowing assessments, issued before India’s last-minute change.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s meek, it’s weak and the 1.5 C goal is only just alive, but a signal has been sent that the era of coal is ending. And that matters,” said Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan, a veteran of the U.N. climate talks known as the Conferences of Parties.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, speaking for a group of retired leaders called The Elders, said the pact represents “some progress, but nowhere near enough to avoid climate disaster … People will see this as a historically shameful dereliction of duty.”

Indian Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav argued against a provision on phasing out coal, saying that developing countries were “entitled to the responsible use of fossil fuels.”

Yadav blamed “unsustainable lifestyles and wasteful consumption patterns” in rich countries for causing global warming.

Click to play video: 'Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26' Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26
Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26 – Nov 6, 2021

After Yadav first raised the specter of changing the coal language, a frustrated European Union Vice President Frans Timmermans, the 27-nation EU’s climate envoy, begged negotiators to be united for future generations.

Story continues below advertisement

“For heaven’s sake, don’t kill this moment,” Timmermans pleaded. “Please embrace this text so that we bring hope to the hearts of our children and grandchildren.”

Helen Mountford, vice president of the World Resources Institute think tank, said India’s demand may not matter as much as feared because the economics of cheaper, renewable fuel is making coal increasingly obsolete.

“Coal is dead. Coal is being phased out,” Mountford said. “It’s a shame that they watered it down.”

Kerry and several other negotiators noted that good compromises leave everyone slightly unsatisfied.

Read more: COP26: Canada, U.S. say fossil fuel subsidies should end

“Not everyone in public life … gets to make choices about life and death. Not everyone gets to make choices that actually affect an entire planet. We here are privileged today to do exactly that,” he said.

Before the coal change, small island nations that are vulnerable to catastrophic effects of climate change and had pushed for bolder actions in Glasgow said they were satisfied with the spirit of compromise, if not the outcome of the talks.

“Maldives accepts the incremental progress made in Glasgow,” said Aminath Shauna, the island nation’s minister for environment, climate change and technology. “I’d like to note that this progress is not in line with the urgency and scale with the problem at hand.”

Story continues below advertisement

Shauna pointed out that to stay within the warming limit that nations agreed to six years ago in Paris, the world must cut carbon dioxide emissions essentially in half in 98 months. The developing world needs the rich world to step up, she said.

“The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is a death sentence for us,” Shauna said. “We didn’t cause the climate crisis. No matter what we do, it won’t reverse this.”

Next year’s talks are scheduled to take place in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Dubai will host the meeting in 2023.

Click to play video: 'COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects' COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects
COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects – Nov 4, 2021

— Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosal, Karl Ritter and Ellen Knickmeyer contributed to this report.

Sponsored content

COP26: Countries reach climate deal with last-minute coal compromise

Click to play video: 'COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries' COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries
WATCH ABOVE: Victim impact statements heard in connection with Brampton crash that killed 4 – Nov 8, 2021

Almost 200 nations accepted a contentious climate compromise Saturday aimed at keeping a key global warming target alive, but it contained a last-minute change that watered down crucial language about coal.

Story continues below advertisement

Several countries, including small island states, said they were deeply disappointed by the change promoted by India to “phase down,” rather than “phase out” coal power, the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Nation after nation had complained earlier on the final day of two weeks of U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, about how the deal did not go far or fast enough, but they said it was better than nothing and provided incremental progress, if not success.

Negotiators from Switzerland and Mexico called the coal language change against the rules because it came so late. However, they said they had no choice but to hold their noses and go along with it.

Swiss environment minister, Simonetta Sommaruga, said the change will make it harder to achieve the international goal to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times.

Read more: Experts anticipate fast climate action in Canada as COP26 summit winds down

“Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe.”

Many other nations and climate campaigners pointed at India for making demands that weakened the final agreement.

Story continues below advertisement

“India’s last-minute change to the language to phase down but not phase out coal is quite shocking,” said Australian climate scientist Bill Hare, who tracks world emission pledges for the science-based Climate Action Tracker. “India has long been a blocker on climate action, but I have never seen it done so publicly.”

Others approached the deal from a more positive perspective. In addition to the revised coal language, the Glasgow Climate Pact included enough financial incentives to almost satisfy poorer nations and solved a long-standing problem to pave the way for carbon trading.

The agreement also says big carbon polluting nations have to come back and submit stronger emission-cutting pledges by the end of 2022.

“It’s a good deal for the world,” U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told The Associated Press. “It’s got a few problems, but it’s all in all a very good deal.”

Click to play video: 'COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes' COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes
COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes – Nov 12, 2021

Before the India change, negotiators said the deal preserved, albeit barely, the overarching goal of limiting Earth’s warming by the end of the century to 1.5 degrees. The planet has already warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to preindustrial times.

Story continues below advertisement

Ahead of the Glasgow talks, the United Nations had set three criteria for success, and none of them were achieved. The U.N.`s criteria included pledges to cut carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2030, $100 billion in financial aid from rich nations to poor, and ensuring that half of that money went to helping the developing world adapt to the worst effects of climate change.

“We did not achieve these goals at this conference,” Guterres said Saturday night. “But we have some building blocks for progress.”

Negotiators on Saturday used the word “progress” more than 20 times, but rarely used the word “success.” When they did, it was mostly when speaking that they’ve reached a conclusion, not about the details in the agreement.

Conference President Alok Sharma said the deal drives “progress on coal, cars, cash and trees” and is “something meaningful for our people and our planet.”

Click to play video: 'Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments' Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments
Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments – Nov 9, 2021

Environmental activists were measured in their not-quite-glowing assessments, issued before India’s last-minute change.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s meek, it’s weak and the 1.5 C goal is only just alive, but a signal has been sent that the era of coal is ending. And that matters,” said Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan, a veteran of the U.N. climate talks known as the Conferences of Parties.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, speaking for a group of retired leaders called The Elders, said the pact represents “some progress, but nowhere near enough to avoid climate disaster … People will see this as a historically shameful dereliction of duty.”

Indian Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav argued against a provision on phasing out coal, saying that developing countries were “entitled to the responsible use of fossil fuels.”

Yadav blamed “unsustainable lifestyles and wasteful consumption patterns” in rich countries for causing global warming.

Click to play video: 'Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26' Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26
Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26 – Nov 6, 2021

After Yadav first raised the specter of changing the coal language, a frustrated European Union Vice President Frans Timmermans, the 27-nation EU’s climate envoy, begged negotiators to be united for future generations.

Story continues below advertisement

“For heaven’s sake, don’t kill this moment,” Timmermans pleaded. “Please embrace this text so that we bring hope to the hearts of our children and grandchildren.”

Helen Mountford, vice president of the World Resources Institute think tank, said India’s demand may not matter as much as feared because the economics of cheaper, renewable fuel is making coal increasingly obsolete.

“Coal is dead. Coal is being phased out,” Mountford said. “It’s a shame that they watered it down.”

Kerry and several other negotiators noted that good compromises leave everyone slightly unsatisfied.

Read more: COP26: Canada, U.S. say fossil fuel subsidies should end

“Not everyone in public life … gets to make choices about life and death. Not everyone gets to make choices that actually affect an entire planet. We here are privileged today to do exactly that,” he said.

Before the coal change, small island nations that are vulnerable to catastrophic effects of climate change and had pushed for bolder actions in Glasgow said they were satisfied with the spirit of compromise, if not the outcome of the talks.

“Maldives accepts the incremental progress made in Glasgow,” said Aminath Shauna, the island nation’s minister for environment, climate change and technology. “I’d like to note that this progress is not in line with the urgency and scale with the problem at hand.”

Story continues below advertisement

Shauna pointed out that to stay within the warming limit that nations agreed to six years ago in Paris, the world must cut carbon dioxide emissions essentially in half in 98 months. The developing world needs the rich world to step up, she said.

“The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is a death sentence for us,” Shauna said. “We didn’t cause the climate crisis. No matter what we do, it won’t reverse this.”

Next year’s talks are scheduled to take place in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Dubai will host the meeting in 2023.

Click to play video: 'COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects' COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects
COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects – Nov 4, 2021

— Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosal, Karl Ritter and Ellen Knickmeyer contributed to this report.

Sponsored content

COP26: Countries reach climate deal with last-minute coal compromise

Click to play video: 'COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries' COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries
WATCH ABOVE: Victim impact statements heard in connection with Brampton crash that killed 4 – Nov 8, 2021

Almost 200 nations accepted a contentious climate compromise Saturday aimed at keeping a key global warming target alive, but it contained a last-minute change that watered down crucial language about coal.

Story continues below advertisement

Several countries, including small island states, said they were deeply disappointed by the change promoted by India to “phase down,” rather than “phase out” coal power, the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Nation after nation had complained earlier on the final day of two weeks of U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, about how the deal did not go far or fast enough, but they said it was better than nothing and provided incremental progress, if not success.

Negotiators from Switzerland and Mexico called the coal language change against the rules because it came so late. However, they said they had no choice but to hold their noses and go along with it.

Swiss environment minister, Simonetta Sommaruga, said the change will make it harder to achieve the international goal to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times.

Read more: Experts anticipate fast climate action in Canada as COP26 summit winds down

“Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe.”

Many other nations and climate campaigners pointed at India for making demands that weakened the final agreement.

Story continues below advertisement

“India’s last-minute change to the language to phase down but not phase out coal is quite shocking,” said Australian climate scientist Bill Hare, who tracks world emission pledges for the science-based Climate Action Tracker. “India has long been a blocker on climate action, but I have never seen it done so publicly.”

Others approached the deal from a more positive perspective. In addition to the revised coal language, the Glasgow Climate Pact included enough financial incentives to almost satisfy poorer nations and solved a long-standing problem to pave the way for carbon trading.

The agreement also says big carbon polluting nations have to come back and submit stronger emission-cutting pledges by the end of 2022.

“It’s a good deal for the world,” U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told The Associated Press. “It’s got a few problems, but it’s all in all a very good deal.”

Click to play video: 'COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes' COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes
COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes – Nov 12, 2021

Before the India change, negotiators said the deal preserved, albeit barely, the overarching goal of limiting Earth’s warming by the end of the century to 1.5 degrees. The planet has already warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to preindustrial times.

Story continues below advertisement

Ahead of the Glasgow talks, the United Nations had set three criteria for success, and none of them were achieved. The U.N.`s criteria included pledges to cut carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2030, $100 billion in financial aid from rich nations to poor, and ensuring that half of that money went to helping the developing world adapt to the worst effects of climate change.

“We did not achieve these goals at this conference,” Guterres said Saturday night. “But we have some building blocks for progress.”

Negotiators on Saturday used the word “progress” more than 20 times, but rarely used the word “success.” When they did, it was mostly when speaking that they’ve reached a conclusion, not about the details in the agreement.

Conference President Alok Sharma said the deal drives “progress on coal, cars, cash and trees” and is “something meaningful for our people and our planet.”

Click to play video: 'Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments' Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments
Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments – Nov 9, 2021

Environmental activists were measured in their not-quite-glowing assessments, issued before India’s last-minute change.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s meek, it’s weak and the 1.5 C goal is only just alive, but a signal has been sent that the era of coal is ending. And that matters,” said Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan, a veteran of the U.N. climate talks known as the Conferences of Parties.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, speaking for a group of retired leaders called The Elders, said the pact represents “some progress, but nowhere near enough to avoid climate disaster … People will see this as a historically shameful dereliction of duty.”

Indian Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav argued against a provision on phasing out coal, saying that developing countries were “entitled to the responsible use of fossil fuels.”

Yadav blamed “unsustainable lifestyles and wasteful consumption patterns” in rich countries for causing global warming.

Click to play video: 'Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26' Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26
Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26 – Nov 6, 2021

After Yadav first raised the specter of changing the coal language, a frustrated European Union Vice President Frans Timmermans, the 27-nation EU’s climate envoy, begged negotiators to be united for future generations.

Story continues below advertisement

“For heaven’s sake, don’t kill this moment,” Timmermans pleaded. “Please embrace this text so that we bring hope to the hearts of our children and grandchildren.”

Helen Mountford, vice president of the World Resources Institute think tank, said India’s demand may not matter as much as feared because the economics of cheaper, renewable fuel is making coal increasingly obsolete.

“Coal is dead. Coal is being phased out,” Mountford said. “It’s a shame that they watered it down.”

Kerry and several other negotiators noted that good compromises leave everyone slightly unsatisfied.

Read more: COP26: Canada, U.S. say fossil fuel subsidies should end

“Not everyone in public life … gets to make choices about life and death. Not everyone gets to make choices that actually affect an entire planet. We here are privileged today to do exactly that,” he said.

Before the coal change, small island nations that are vulnerable to catastrophic effects of climate change and had pushed for bolder actions in Glasgow said they were satisfied with the spirit of compromise, if not the outcome of the talks.

“Maldives accepts the incremental progress made in Glasgow,” said Aminath Shauna, the island nation’s minister for environment, climate change and technology. “I’d like to note that this progress is not in line with the urgency and scale with the problem at hand.”

Story continues below advertisement

Shauna pointed out that to stay within the warming limit that nations agreed to six years ago in Paris, the world must cut carbon dioxide emissions essentially in half in 98 months. The developing world needs the rich world to step up, she said.

“The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is a death sentence for us,” Shauna said. “We didn’t cause the climate crisis. No matter what we do, it won’t reverse this.”

Next year’s talks are scheduled to take place in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Dubai will host the meeting in 2023.

Click to play video: 'COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects' COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects
COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects – Nov 4, 2021

— Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosal, Karl Ritter and Ellen Knickmeyer contributed to this report.

Sponsored content

COP26: Countries reach climate deal with last-minute coal compromise

Click to play video: 'COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries' COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries
WATCH ABOVE: Victim impact statements heard in connection with Brampton crash that killed 4 – Nov 8, 2021

Almost 200 nations accepted a contentious climate compromise Saturday aimed at keeping a key global warming target alive, but it contained a last-minute change that watered down crucial language about coal.

Story continues below advertisement

Several countries, including small island states, said they were deeply disappointed by the change promoted by India to “phase down,” rather than “phase out” coal power, the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Nation after nation had complained earlier on the final day of two weeks of U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, about how the deal did not go far or fast enough, but they said it was better than nothing and provided incremental progress, if not success.

Negotiators from Switzerland and Mexico called the coal language change against the rules because it came so late. However, they said they had no choice but to hold their noses and go along with it.

Swiss environment minister, Simonetta Sommaruga, said the change will make it harder to achieve the international goal to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times.

Read more: Experts anticipate fast climate action in Canada as COP26 summit winds down

“Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe.”

Many other nations and climate campaigners pointed at India for making demands that weakened the final agreement.

Story continues below advertisement

“India’s last-minute change to the language to phase down but not phase out coal is quite shocking,” said Australian climate scientist Bill Hare, who tracks world emission pledges for the science-based Climate Action Tracker. “India has long been a blocker on climate action, but I have never seen it done so publicly.”

Others approached the deal from a more positive perspective. In addition to the revised coal language, the Glasgow Climate Pact included enough financial incentives to almost satisfy poorer nations and solved a long-standing problem to pave the way for carbon trading.

The agreement also says big carbon polluting nations have to come back and submit stronger emission-cutting pledges by the end of 2022.

“It’s a good deal for the world,” U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told The Associated Press. “It’s got a few problems, but it’s all in all a very good deal.”

Click to play video: 'COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes' COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes
COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes – Nov 12, 2021

Before the India change, negotiators said the deal preserved, albeit barely, the overarching goal of limiting Earth’s warming by the end of the century to 1.5 degrees. The planet has already warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to preindustrial times.

Story continues below advertisement

Ahead of the Glasgow talks, the United Nations had set three criteria for success, and none of them were achieved. The U.N.`s criteria included pledges to cut carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2030, $100 billion in financial aid from rich nations to poor, and ensuring that half of that money went to helping the developing world adapt to the worst effects of climate change.

“We did not achieve these goals at this conference,” Guterres said Saturday night. “But we have some building blocks for progress.”

Negotiators on Saturday used the word “progress” more than 20 times, but rarely used the word “success.” When they did, it was mostly when speaking that they’ve reached a conclusion, not about the details in the agreement.

Conference President Alok Sharma said the deal drives “progress on coal, cars, cash and trees” and is “something meaningful for our people and our planet.”

Click to play video: 'Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments' Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments
Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments – Nov 9, 2021

Environmental activists were measured in their not-quite-glowing assessments, issued before India’s last-minute change.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s meek, it’s weak and the 1.5 C goal is only just alive, but a signal has been sent that the era of coal is ending. And that matters,” said Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan, a veteran of the U.N. climate talks known as the Conferences of Parties.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, speaking for a group of retired leaders called The Elders, said the pact represents “some progress, but nowhere near enough to avoid climate disaster … People will see this as a historically shameful dereliction of duty.”

Indian Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav argued against a provision on phasing out coal, saying that developing countries were “entitled to the responsible use of fossil fuels.”

Yadav blamed “unsustainable lifestyles and wasteful consumption patterns” in rich countries for causing global warming.

Click to play video: 'Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26' Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26
Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26 – Nov 6, 2021

After Yadav first raised the specter of changing the coal language, a frustrated European Union Vice President Frans Timmermans, the 27-nation EU’s climate envoy, begged negotiators to be united for future generations.

Story continues below advertisement

“For heaven’s sake, don’t kill this moment,” Timmermans pleaded. “Please embrace this text so that we bring hope to the hearts of our children and grandchildren.”

Helen Mountford, vice president of the World Resources Institute think tank, said India’s demand may not matter as much as feared because the economics of cheaper, renewable fuel is making coal increasingly obsolete.

“Coal is dead. Coal is being phased out,” Mountford said. “It’s a shame that they watered it down.”

Kerry and several other negotiators noted that good compromises leave everyone slightly unsatisfied.

Read more: COP26: Canada, U.S. say fossil fuel subsidies should end

“Not everyone in public life … gets to make choices about life and death. Not everyone gets to make choices that actually affect an entire planet. We here are privileged today to do exactly that,” he said.

Before the coal change, small island nations that are vulnerable to catastrophic effects of climate change and had pushed for bolder actions in Glasgow said they were satisfied with the spirit of compromise, if not the outcome of the talks.

“Maldives accepts the incremental progress made in Glasgow,” said Aminath Shauna, the island nation’s minister for environment, climate change and technology. “I’d like to note that this progress is not in line with the urgency and scale with the problem at hand.”

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Shauna pointed out that to stay within the warming limit that nations agreed to six years ago in Paris, the world must cut carbon dioxide emissions essentially in half in 98 months. The developing world needs the rich world to step up, she said.

“The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is a death sentence for us,” Shauna said. “We didn’t cause the climate crisis. No matter what we do, it won’t reverse this.”

Next year’s talks are scheduled to take place in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Dubai will host the meeting in 2023.

Click to play video: 'COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects' COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects
COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects – Nov 4, 2021

— Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosal, Karl Ritter and Ellen Knickmeyer contributed to this report.

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COP26: Countries reach climate deal with last-minute coal compromise

Click to play video: 'COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries' COP26: Poorer nations demand more climate action from richer countries
WATCH ABOVE: Victim impact statements heard in connection with Brampton crash that killed 4 – Nov 8, 2021

Almost 200 nations accepted a contentious climate compromise Saturday aimed at keeping a key global warming target alive, but it contained a last-minute change that watered down crucial language about coal.

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Several countries, including small island states, said they were deeply disappointed by the change promoted by India to “phase down,” rather than “phase out” coal power, the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Nation after nation had complained earlier on the final day of two weeks of U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, about how the deal did not go far or fast enough, but they said it was better than nothing and provided incremental progress, if not success.

Negotiators from Switzerland and Mexico called the coal language change against the rules because it came so late. However, they said they had no choice but to hold their noses and go along with it.

Swiss environment minister, Simonetta Sommaruga, said the change will make it harder to achieve the international goal to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times.

Read more: Experts anticipate fast climate action in Canada as COP26 summit winds down

“Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe.”

Many other nations and climate campaigners pointed at India for making demands that weakened the final agreement.

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“India’s last-minute change to the language to phase down but not phase out coal is quite shocking,” said Australian climate scientist Bill Hare, who tracks world emission pledges for the science-based Climate Action Tracker. “India has long been a blocker on climate action, but I have never seen it done so publicly.”

Others approached the deal from a more positive perspective. In addition to the revised coal language, the Glasgow Climate Pact included enough financial incentives to almost satisfy poorer nations and solved a long-standing problem to pave the way for carbon trading.

The agreement also says big carbon polluting nations have to come back and submit stronger emission-cutting pledges by the end of 2022.

“It’s a good deal for the world,” U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told The Associated Press. “It’s got a few problems, but it’s all in all a very good deal.”

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COP26 summit: Negotiators still hammering out deal as deadline passes – Nov 12, 2021

Before the India change, negotiators said the deal preserved, albeit barely, the overarching goal of limiting Earth’s warming by the end of the century to 1.5 degrees. The planet has already warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to preindustrial times.

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Ahead of the Glasgow talks, the United Nations had set three criteria for success, and none of them were achieved. The U.N.`s criteria included pledges to cut carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2030, $100 billion in financial aid from rich nations to poor, and ensuring that half of that money went to helping the developing world adapt to the worst effects of climate change.

“We did not achieve these goals at this conference,” Guterres said Saturday night. “But we have some building blocks for progress.”

Negotiators on Saturday used the word “progress” more than 20 times, but rarely used the word “success.” When they did, it was mostly when speaking that they’ve reached a conclusion, not about the details in the agreement.

Conference President Alok Sharma said the deal drives “progress on coal, cars, cash and trees” and is “something meaningful for our people and our planet.”

Click to play video: 'Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments' Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments
Scientists warn planet will warm by 2.4°C despite COP26 commitments – Nov 9, 2021

Environmental activists were measured in their not-quite-glowing assessments, issued before India’s last-minute change.

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“It’s meek, it’s weak and the 1.5 C goal is only just alive, but a signal has been sent that the era of coal is ending. And that matters,” said Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan, a veteran of the U.N. climate talks known as the Conferences of Parties.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, speaking for a group of retired leaders called The Elders, said the pact represents “some progress, but nowhere near enough to avoid climate disaster … People will see this as a historically shameful dereliction of duty.”

Indian Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav argued against a provision on phasing out coal, saying that developing countries were “entitled to the responsible use of fossil fuels.”

Yadav blamed “unsustainable lifestyles and wasteful consumption patterns” in rich countries for causing global warming.

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Thousands of climate activists demand action at COP26 – Nov 6, 2021

After Yadav first raised the specter of changing the coal language, a frustrated European Union Vice President Frans Timmermans, the 27-nation EU’s climate envoy, begged negotiators to be united for future generations.

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“For heaven’s sake, don’t kill this moment,” Timmermans pleaded. “Please embrace this text so that we bring hope to the hearts of our children and grandchildren.”

Helen Mountford, vice president of the World Resources Institute think tank, said India’s demand may not matter as much as feared because the economics of cheaper, renewable fuel is making coal increasingly obsolete.

“Coal is dead. Coal is being phased out,” Mountford said. “It’s a shame that they watered it down.”

Kerry and several other negotiators noted that good compromises leave everyone slightly unsatisfied.

Read more: COP26: Canada, U.S. say fossil fuel subsidies should end

“Not everyone in public life … gets to make choices about life and death. Not everyone gets to make choices that actually affect an entire planet. We here are privileged today to do exactly that,” he said.

Before the coal change, small island nations that are vulnerable to catastrophic effects of climate change and had pushed for bolder actions in Glasgow said they were satisfied with the spirit of compromise, if not the outcome of the talks.

“Maldives accepts the incremental progress made in Glasgow,” said Aminath Shauna, the island nation’s minister for environment, climate change and technology. “I’d like to note that this progress is not in line with the urgency and scale with the problem at hand.”

Story continues below advertisement

Shauna pointed out that to stay within the warming limit that nations agreed to six years ago in Paris, the world must cut carbon dioxide emissions essentially in half in 98 months. The developing world needs the rich world to step up, she said.

“The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is a death sentence for us,” Shauna said. “We didn’t cause the climate crisis. No matter what we do, it won’t reverse this.”

Next year’s talks are scheduled to take place in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Dubai will host the meeting in 2023.

Click to play video: 'COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects' COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects
COP26: Key players missing from plans to stop international funding fossil fuel projects – Nov 4, 2021

— Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosal, Karl Ritter and Ellen Knickmeyer contributed to this report.

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