The Glasgow deal is not nearly enough, and yet it is so much better than a failure would have been

The final text could go further but some significant achievements have been locked in

Saturday 13 November 2021 21:30
<p>Alok Sharma, president of Cop26, in Glasgow </p>

Alok Sharma, president of Cop26, in Glasgow

In the end, it was better that something was agreed in Glasgow than nothing being agreed. As we feared, the final text was not enough to ensure that the aim of restricting the rise in global average temperatures to 1.5 degrees will be met, although it has not yet been definitively missed either.

The last-minute reservations of the Chinese and Indian governments do not bode well for the next stage of negotiations, which will begin almost immediately. One of the important achievements of the final deal was that it committed all the signatories to come up with enhanced plans for emissions reductions next year. But the absence of Boris Johnson from the delayed final session of the conference told us all we needed to know about whether he thought it had been a success.

There were significant achievements, of course, in that some of the biggest polluters, notably the US and the EU, committed themselves to tougher carbon targets over the next decade. The change of government in the White House has produced a sharp and welcome change of direction, with important green legislation now going through the US Congress. The UK, Japan and South Korea have also tightened up their targets for 2030.

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