Draft Cop26 outcome calls for countries to strengthen climate action in 2022

People gather around
People gather around "Little Amal", a 3.5 metre tall puppet of a young Syrian refugee girl, during COP26

The document will have to be negotiated and agreed by countries attending the talks

Published

A first draft of a pact that could be agreed at COP26 urges countries to strengthen their emissions-cutting plans for the 2020s in the next year.

A draft “cover decision” published on Wednesday morning also urges them to set out long-term strategies by the end of next year to reach net=zero emissions by around mid=century, to curb warming to 1.5C.

The document, which was published by the UK COP26 presidency around six hours later than expected, will have to be negotiated and agreed by countries attending the talks.

It says that meeting the goal to limit global warming to 1.5C – which countries pledged to try to pursue under the Paris climate accord – needs meaningful and effective action in “this critical decade”.

Scientists have warned that keeping temperature rises to 1.5C, beyond which the worst impacts of climate change will be felt, requires global emissions to be cut by 45% by 2030 and to zero overall by mid-century – but country plans for this decade leave the world well off track for the goal.

The document calls for countries to accelerate the phasing-out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels, and for developed countries to at least double their collective provision of climate finance to help developing countries adapt to climate change, as part of scaling money for poorer nations to tackle the crisis.

Delegations are expected to be in contact with their leaders and capitals to discuss what their position on it will be – particularly in those countries whose leaders did not attend the world leaders’ summit, such as China and Russia.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged countries to “pull out all the stops” to agree climate action ahead of returning to the Glasgow summit as it enters its final days.

Negotiators are also trying to hammer out agreement on technical parts of the global climate treaty, the Paris Agreement, including common timeframes for national commitments on emissions reductions and agreed ways for countries to report on their progress, to help turn pledges into action.

There are also negotiations on providing finance for developing countries to cope with climate change and address the issue of loss and damage to people, livelihoods, land and infrastructure caused by global warming in poorer nations.

Mr Johnson said: “Negotiating teams are doing the hard yards in these final days of Cop26 to turn promises into action on climate change.

“There’s still much to do. Today I’ll be meeting with ministers and negotiators to hear about where progress has been made and where the gaps must be bridged.

“This is bigger than any one country and it is time for nations to put aside differences and come together for our planet and our people.

“We need to pull out all the stops if we’re going to keep 1.5C within our grasp.”

Alongside the negotiations, the COP26 conference is marking “transport day”, with a number of aims drawn up, including that new heavy goods vehicles sold in the UK will need to be zero emissions by 2040.

Thirty countries have also agreed to work together to make zero emissions vehicles the new normal, and plans for “green shipping corridors” will be unveiled – facilitating a shift to zero emissions vessels.

And 14 states, collectively making up for more than 40% of global aviation emissions, have put their names to a commitment to a new decarbonisation target.

The Prime Minister will be joined by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Glasgow, where he will meet heads of delegations and other groups.