The Latest: Island nations press case as COP26 winds down

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry and European Commission climate official Frans Timmermans have huddled for about an hour with diplomats of island nations whose survival is threatened by rising oceans

Via AP news wire
Friday 12 November 2021 14:06

The Latest on the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow:

GLASGOW, Scotland -- U.S. climate envoy John Kerry and European Commission climate official Frans Timmermans have huddled for about an hour with diplomats of island nations whose survival is threatened by rising oceans.

Negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland on the world’s next moves in response to global warming entered their final hours Friday.

Many of the island nations at risk of disappearing under water under the current track of global warming are among the blocs pressing hardest to resolve some of the key debated points in the negotiations. Those include cutting fossil fuel pollution fast and soon enough to sharply rein in the Earth’s warming, and demands for the U.S. and other developed nations historically responsible for much of climate change to provide financial aid to developing countries.

In a statement, diplomats of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific said sticking to an emissions-cutting target that would allow theirs and other island nations to survive must be the “North star” for any deal.

They also demanded an end to government subsidies for fossil fuels, and doubling of financial support to help less-developed nations deal with climate change.

Kerry went out a different door after the talks and did not speak to reporters. Timmermans, asked about his mood on the last day of scheduled talks, pulled down his face mask to show his smile.

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GLASGOW, Scotland — Alok Sharma the British official presiding over this year’s U.N. climate talks, has dismissed suggestions that he is trying to ratchet up pressure on negotiators in an effort to get them to seal a deal at the Glasgow meeting.

“I think people have sometimes described me as ‘no drama Sharma’,” he said Thursday, barely cracking a smile.

Sharma said the draft agreements already circulated showed that “a lot has been achieved.”

“But we are still some way away from finalizing those very critical issues which have been outstanding,” he added. “And I don’t think we can overemphasize how difficult this is. If it was easy we would have resolved this over the past six years.”

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Follow all AP stories on climate change at https://apnews.com/hub/climate.

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