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COP26 climate talks are stuck on finance for vulnerable countries

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An indigenous woman takes part in a protest outside JP Morgan during Cop26 in Glasgow. Picture: Reuters

An indigenous woman takes part in a protest outside JP Morgan during Cop26 in Glasgow. Picture: Reuters

An indigenous woman takes part in a protest outside JP Morgan during Cop26 in Glasgow. Picture: Reuters

TALKS at the COP26 climate summit look set to go down to the wire as the next draft of a proposed agreement will only be published early on Friday morning on what is meant to be the final day of the gathering.

Talks president Alok Sharma told a full meeting of countries mid-morning today that there was still a lot of work to be done towards getting agreement on a final wording,

He has tasked a team of negotiators to lead further talks on key issues with dissenting countries throughout today and will gather all attending ministers at 8.30pm this evening to discuss their reports.

He said the next draft would be informed by their findings and would be published “very early tomorrow morning”.

He has scheduled another full meeting of ministers for 11am on Friday morning to receive their feedback on the text.

Overnight no full second draft appeared but instead a tranche of individual texts were published dealing with specific areas where it is difficult to find consensus.

They dealt with the issue of finance for developing countries for clean energy and climate resilient infrastructure and a proposed loss and damage fund for countries hit by climate catastrophes.

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They also covered transparency which is how countries should verify, report and peer review their claims regarding emissions and emissions reduction.

There were also further proposals around regulating carbon markets – the buying and selling of carbon credits between countries and companies that more than meet their emissions targets and those that overshoot.

Mr Sharma said he was concerned in particular by the gap between countries on issues around finance.

“I am under no illusion that any party in this room is wholly satisfied with where the texts currently stand,” he said.

“I am fully aware of the breadth of your national circumstances and positions and your commitment to championing them.”

“I will be clear, we are not there yet. There is still a lot more work to be done.”

He called for another “gear shift” in negotiations and said: “Please bring the currency of compromise to your discussions.

“Now is the time to bring forward any new technical solutions,” he added. “Otherwise we are going to be literally out of time.”

A first draft of the agreement was published before dawn on Wednesday morning and proposed new demands on countries, including a full phase-out of fossil fuels and the ratcheting up of emissions cuts targets by the end of next year.

There has been pushback by the major oil and coal producing countries to these clauses.

It is believed there may be willingness to take out the fossil fuel clause if the stronger wording on loss and damage, finance and transparency are accepted.

There has already been a degree of progress on the carbon markets as no major decision has to be taken until next year.

Mr Sharma urged the delegates to remember why they were at the summit.

"The world is watching us and they are willing us to work together and reach consensus and we know that we can not afford to fail them,” he said.


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