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It could have been worse, but our leaders failed us at Cop26. That’s the truth of it

By John Vidal

13 Nov 2021 · 3 min read

Where now? Governments have agreed a weak climate deal which gets us a smidgen closer to holding temperatures to a rise of 1.5C. But as regards all the most important pledges to phase out coal, reduce subsidies and protect forests, Glasgow failed.

The fossil fuel lobby, led by India, held its line, dramatically succeeding in watering down – at the last minute and without due, transparent process – the move to ‘phase out’ coal power, pledging instead to ‘phase down’. The poor came away with next to nothing, there was little urgency and we are still heading for catastrophe. Any chance of halving fast-rising emissions by 2030 – the declared aim of the talks – is now negligible.

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