Here is the summary of the ninth day of the COP26 in Glasgow on November 13, 2021:

  • The latest draft of the final text has landed. Here is some background analysis to help make sense of it all…

Extra time… then penalties?

There has been movement overnight on some crucial elements. The points of contention on Article 6 Carbon Markets have narrowed (US and Japan appear to have won on making cancellation of credits voluntary, not mandatory). Developing countries seem to have secured the doubling of adaptation finance, though without the detail on delivery many were looking for. The goal of nailing down $600 billion in climate finance by 2025 has slipped back to a commitment of $100 billion a year (in place since 2009 but as yet undelivered), but with added urgency. However, it’s not over and the absolute redline issues remain.

Lost and damaged

Once again, the issue of how climate-vulnerable countries cope with increasingly savage impacts that wipe percentage points off their annual GDP looms over a UN climate summit. John Kerry and Frans Timmermans appear to have refused to accept anything tougher at COP26 than a series of ‘dialogues. In the words of Power Shift Africa director Mohamed Adow: “Not much progress, particularly on loss and damage financing. Instead of agreeing to a loss and damage finance facility, vulnerable countries are being pushed to settle for a never-ending talk shop.”

Media huddle: Today at 11am UK time join Power Shift Africa’s Mohamed Adow and Gilles Dufrasne from Carbon Market Watch to discuss the new draft texts. Register for the zoom link here.

**Plenary currently scheduled for 12pm – countries expected to react strongly to issues above**

CMA text [13/11 – 0800]: paragraph analysis

  • Para 18: Developed countries double collective adaptation finance from 2019 levels by 2025
  • Para 27 New UN work programme to scale up GHG cuts, reporting at COP27 in 2022
  • Para 28: ‘Urges’ [strong language] countries who have not landed new plans to do so by 2022
  • Para 29: Requests all countries to raise climate targets in line with 1.5-2C by and of 2022
  • Para 30: Commissions annual UN assessment of climate plans from 2022
  • Para 36: Signal to countries to accelerate shift off fossil fuels, coal to renewable energy
  • Para 44: Notes “deep regret” of developed countries for missing $100bn target 
  • Para 46: Urges countries’ to ‘fully deliver on the $100 billion goal ‘urgently’ through 2025
  • Para 66: Welcomes the further operationalization of the Santiago network
  • Para 67: Santiago network will be provided with funds to support technical assistance 
  • Para 70: Urges countries to provide funds to the Santiago network
  • Para 73: [New] Establishes a dialogue to discuss the arrangements for funding [Deletes facility]

**This traffic-light text tracker will be assessing changes through the day**

Old text for comparison

  • Para 27: New UN work programme to scale up GHG cuts, reporting at COP27 in 2022
  • Para 28: ‘Urges’ [strong language] countries who have not landed new plans to do so by 2022
  • Para 29: Requests all countries to raise climate targets in line with 1.5-2C by and of 2022
  • Para 30: Commissions annual UN assessment of climate plans from 2022
  • Para 32: Urges [strong] countries to deliver net-zero mid-century plans by 2022
  • Para 36: Signal to countries to accelerate shift off fossil fuels, coal to renewable energy
  • Para 44: Notes “deep regret” of developed countries for missing $100bn target 
  • Para 46: Urges countries’ to ‘fully deliver on the $100 billion goal ‘urgently’ through 2025
  • Para 66: Welcomes further operationalisation of the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage
  • Para 67: Decides [very strong] the Santiago Network will have a technical assistance facility to provide financial support for technical assistance on loss and damage 

Judgement day

We’ll know the likelihood of this text is the final one based on how countries react in the plenary currently scheduled for later today. Alok Sharma wants to go home, we all want to go home, but expect fireworks as this text will have fired up developing and vulnerable countries. 

Article 6

The text is improving, closing down some of the outrageous loopholes like including double-counting, and REDD+ not being in the text. But we also see no movement on adaptation finance under 6.2, probably due to the US, Japan and Australia blocking it. Overall, analysts reckon it’s a better text, but it’s not tight enough to stop bad-faith companies and countries gaming the system.

Finance text

As $$$ pops up in all corners of the agreement it can be hard to keep across it. It’s not just a case of the good, the bad and the ugly, but also the downright mysterious, with some issues treated differently across the three texts. According to experts, here are some of the developments:

  1. On the long-term finance text, language on adaptation finance is still very weak. No collective increase, no timeline, no baseline, only “considering doubling”, and no explicit mentioning of public and grant-based sources. What has been added, in line with what developing countries have asked for,  is an explicit mention of public finance as “a substantial component of climate finance.”  
  2. The language on the $100bn isn’t any stronger, which remains a disappointment 
  3. On the collective goal, it sets out an inclusive way of working, providing for several meetings, which means it could be substantive, but the expert dialogues could turn into the kind of talk shop this process is sometimes prone to. 

Science warning

Growing numbers of scientists are alarmed by the lack of near-term, verifiable and ambitious climate solutions from governments at this vital COP. The group of academics behind the Warning to Humanity letters over the years, garnering tens of thousands of scientist signatories, has just issued a new paper that lays out a six-part plan for delivering climate action in line with IPCC recommendations for a 1.5C world. Published on Friday 12 November, with over 1000 scientists already signing on in support, the paper outlines the scientists’ plans and challenges global leaders to deliver them. 

Assessing COP26

As the clock ticks down, we will all reflect on what this COP delivered. On top of the negotiated decision are of course Boris Johnson’s cars, cash, coal and trees deals. Many pronouncements have been made over their impact but, as ever, the truth will be in what policies countries now put in place as a result of their pledges. Read our takeaways on the good, the bad and the ugly here.