Following two weeks of negotiations, a deal has finally been made at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, however, it has fallen short of what science says is necessary to avert dangerous warming.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the deal but said it was not enough to tackle the worst effects of climate change.
Wealthy countries were accused of failing to deliver much-needed finance to vulnerable states where the effects of climate change will be most prominent.
Rounding up the negotiations, COP26 President Alok Sharma stated, “It is now decision time. And the choices you are set to make are vitally important.”
As the final deal was confirmed, Sharma said, “I apologise for the way this process has unfolded. I am deeply sorry,”.
As well as adverting the worst effects of climate change, observers noted that the negotiations also fell short of what is needed to help other countries adapt or recoup damages from the disasters that are already unfolding globally with Guterres stating, “We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe.”
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg said that the talks achieved nothing but “blah, blah, blah” while the architect of the Paris Agreement Laurence Tubiana told AFP that “COP has failed to provide immediate assistance for people suffering now.”
However, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who hosted the talks, described the deal as a “big step forward” even if further work must be done.
IMAGE – “UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antón” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by US Mission Geneva