Cop26 draft calls for acceleration of net-zero carbon promises as time running out

Diplomats will negotiate a final text they are all willing to sign

Talks at the Glasgow climate summit have little time left to deliver progress that would accelerate carbon emission reductions, as the Cop26 president asked countries overnight to revisit their bottom line promises.

With fears negotiations are stalled on the issue of how quickly countries can deliver promises to reduce green house gases and meet a mid-century net zero goal, Alok Sharma, Cop president, sent a stark warning in a draft political decision.

Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, is travelling to Glasgow on Wednesday, hours after the release of the draft political decision to be negotiated over the next few days.

The first draft of the "COP cover decision" asks countries to "revisit and strengthen the 2030 targets in their nationally determined contributions, as necessary to align with the Paris Agreement temperature goal by the end of 2022."

The draft also reminds countries that under the Paris Agreement they can submit new, more ambitious climate pledges at any time and for the first time calls for countries to phase out coal and fossil fuel subsidies.

The text send messages on particular areas in which new offers are wanted, including the issue of financing for countries vulnerable to climate change. The presidency "notes with serious concern that the current provision of climate finance for adaptation is insufficient to respond to worsening climate change impacts in developing country Parties [and] urges developed country Parties to urgently scale-up their provision of climate finance for adaptation so as to respond to the needs of developing country Parties".

The draft is closely watched for what it might commit countries to do to bridge the gap between their current climate targets and the more ambitious action scientists say is needed to avert disastrous levels of warming.

Flurry of meetings to formalise Cop26 final text

Diplomats from the nearly 200 countries represented at Cop26 have intensified backroom negotiations in the plasterboard meeting rooms at the venue in the hope of completing a final text they are all willing to sign when the summit ends this weekend.

Poorer, climate-vulnerable countries have called for countries to cap warming at 1.5C, which is a temperature increase scientists believe is just short of calamitous.

The push for more regular reviews of climate plans is seen as necessary because countries' current 2030 pledges would lead to 2.4C of warming. "We still have a mountain to climb over the next few days, and what has been collectively committed to goes some way, but certainly not all the way, to keeping 1.5 within reach," Mr Sharma said.

The draft, which the UN released just before 06.00 GMT about six hours later than expected, also calls on countries to "accelerate the phasing-out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels," a demand of climate change campaigners and "urges" developed countries to "urgently scale-up" financial support for developing countries to respond to their needs to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Boris to the rescue?

Mr Johnson is travelling to Glasgow by train and will meet with Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary general, at the summit venue. The British leader sent a plea for countries to "pull out all the stops" for a deal.

"There’s still much to do," he said. "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."

Cop26 day 10 - in pictures

Updated: November 10th 2021, 11:04 AM