EU CEO says COP26 is a good start

EU CEO says COP26 is a good start

Glasgow – Latest COP26 climate talks in Glasgow:

BRUSSELS – The head of the European Union’s executive body said Saturday’s agreement at the United Nations climate conference “gives us confidence that we can provide a safe and prosperous space for humanity on this planet”, but warns that “there is still hard work ahead”.

Ursula von der Leyen is the president of the European Commission, and she says “there will be no time to relax”.

The EU’s chief negotiator says the agreed text “keeps alive the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C”.

Franz Timmermans adds that it is “a text that recognizes the needs of developing countries for climate finance, and establishes a process to meet those needs.”

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Glasgow, Scotland – US climate envoy John Kerry has voiced support for the draft climate agreement under consideration at the United Nations summit in Glasgow.

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While every country would be uncomfortable with part of a potential deal, Kerry told conference attendees on Saturday, “We all know the old saying in negotiations: You can’t make the best the enemy of the good. And that’s fine. It’s a powerful statement.”

He said climate change is an issue that has allowed countries like the United States and China to overcome differences on other issues and come together for the greater good.

He said, “Not everyone in public life… makes decisions about life and death. Not everyone can make decisions that actually affect an entire planet. We are here today for the honor to do just that.”

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GLASCOW, Scotland – India’s environment minister has sought to block efforts to include references to phasing out coal and fossil fuel subsidies in a deal proposed at this year’s United Nations climate summit.

Bhubandar Yadav told negotiators on Saturday that there was no consensus on key issues and blamed “unsustainable lifestyles and wasteful consumption patterns” in rich nations for causing global warming.

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He said developing countries “are entitled to responsible use of fossil fuels”.

EU climate official Frans Timmermans responded shortly afterwards by warning negotiators that negotiators “risk getting stuck in this marathon a few meters away before reaching the finish line”.

“For heaven’s sake, don’t kill this moment,” Timmermans said. “Please embrace this text so that we bring hope to the hearts of our children and grandchildren.”

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Glasgow, Scotland – Money continues to be the critical point of contention between rich and poor nations and is delaying nations from a possible deal at the United Nations climate summit, according to the Maldives’ environment, climate change and technology minister.

Small island states have long lobbied for an independent mechanism to compensate for the irreversible losses due to climate change. Maldives Minister Aminath Shona said on Saturday that the current proposal at talks in Glasgow, Scotland, does not do what is needed to bridge the gap between the developed and developing worlds.

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“I still haven’t found a script and language that could bring the two sides together on this issue.” She said.

A draft proposal released in the morning said the participating countries decided to “establish a dialogue” on the issue of compensation for climate damage.

Shona said this is not enough urgency when cyclones and floods affect basic services such as drinking water in the Maldives.

But she also acknowledged that Signal was a minor win that took a lot of work for many years, and so “we don’t want to remove it completely.”

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Glasgow, Scotland – The British official chairing the UN climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland says negotiators have reached a “moment of truth” for their children, grandchildren and the planet.

Alok Sharma said the talks late on Friday and on Saturday made progress.

“Our collective climate ambition and actions so far have failed to deliver on the promises we made in Paris” six years ago, he said, but recent draft agreements have provided concrete steps and milestones to make that happen.

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Sharma urged countries to take a short break to formalize the proposals before meeting again later on Saturday to pass them.

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Glasgow, Scotland – The head of a group of African negotiators at the United Nations climate talks in Glasgow said he believes their concerns have not been heard by the developed world.

US climate envoy John Kerry met with representatives from Africa and other parts of the developing world on Saturday afternoon to discuss proposals for a potential loss and damage fund for poor countries affected by the irreversible effects of climate change and credit in the carbon trading market. .

Lee White, Gabon’s Minister of Forestry and Climate Change who chairs the African Negotiators Group, told Egyptian representatives afterwards that the last-minute side conference was “the first real discussion I had…in a meeting with John Kerry with so many people standing.”

“You saw the process because you’re involved in it,” White said in comments heard by The Associated Press.

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He said developing countries would likely meet to discuss the draft and “whether we can live with the text or not”. White says he believes the process of reaching a final agreement will need to bypass negotiators and involve ministers.

“It’s political now,” he said.

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Glasgow, Scotland – Smaller last-minute negotiations have delayed the larger group of countries from adopting a potential agreement at the United Nations climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland.

Conference Chairman Alok Sharma pledged that negotiations would conclude on Saturday afternoon, one day later than scheduled, and lead to a “balanced package”.

“A number of parties are still willing to have a discussion and resolve issues,” Sharma said more than 100 minutes after the scheduled “inventory” discussion of the latest draft began, but that hasn’t happened. “I hope we can get some decisions before we officially start this plenary session.”

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Sharma described the latest proposals that negotiators spent their day researching “collectively, a package that really moves things forward for everyone”.

Australia’s Environment Minister, Leonir Gosler, said earlier on Saturday: “We will fight hard for a good and ambitious result. We still have intense hours ahead.”

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Glasgow, Scotland – Several charities are giving money to start a separate, independent mechanism for rich countries to support countries vulnerable to being affected by climate change.

The groups say in a statement that they will contribute an initial $3 million to start the “Glasgow Loss and Damage Facility” – an effective way to give money to poor countries in exchange for irreversible damage from climate shocks.

This proposed separate fund is one of the crucial stumbling blocks in the negotiations, as rich countries oppose it.

The non-profit Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the European Climate Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and others are calling on all countries and financial institutions to support the fund.

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

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