GLASGOW (Scotland) -- A draft of Wednesday's final document at the U.N. Climate talks was released by the governments.
The early version of the document that circulated at the negotiations, Scotland also expressed "alarm" and concern about the extent to which the Earth has warmed up and urged countries to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by half by 2030. The pledges made by governments so far don't amount to the frequently stated goal.
Some countries, particularly those whose existence is at risk from climate change, were concerned that the draft did not provide enough money for poor countries to adapt to global warming and pay for the irreversible loss.
"Urging," 'calling', 'encouraging' and inviting' are not the decisive words that this moment requires," Aubrey Webson (Antigua and Barbuda’s U.N. ambassador) said in a statement. He was referring to language in draft.
He added that the time was running out at the climate summit and that a clear message needed to be sent: "To our kids, and the most vulnerable community, we heard you and are taking this seriously."
The draft would encourage countries to urge each other to "accelerate phasing out coal and subsidies for fossilfuels". However, it does not explicitly mention ending oil and gas use. Although there has been a lot of pressure from developed countries to close down coal-fired power stations, which are a significant source of heat-trapping gasses, the fuel is still a crucial and inexpensive source of electricity for countries such as China and India.
The United States is hotbutton topic regarding the future of coal. A dispute among Democrats has stalled President Joe Biden’s signature climate bill.
Although the language regarding moving away from coal is important and important, it limits the effectiveness of the pledge, according to Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace International director, and a long-time observer of climate talks.
"This is not the plan to solve climate emergencies. Morgan stated that this won't give street children the confidence they need.
Although the draft does not yet contain full agreements on the three main goals that the U.N. established going into the negotiations, it may disappoint poorer countries due to a dearth of financial commitments from the richer ones. To ensure that half the money is used to adapt to global warming and to reduce emissions, rich countries must give $100 billion to poorer nations each year.
However, the draft provides insight into the issues that must be resolved during the conference's last days. It is expected that the conference will end Friday, but it could extend beyond that date. There is still much to negotiate and to make decisions. The nearly 200 countries attending the conference must approve any outcome.
According to the draft, the world should aim to reach "net-zero" (emissions by mid-century. This means that countries must only emit as much greenhouse gas as can absorb again via natural or artificial means.
It also acknowledged "with regret" the failure of rich countries to meet their climate aid commitments.
The promise of financial aid is not being fulfilled by poorer countries, who need it to develop green energy systems and adapt to extreme climate changes.
Mohammed Nasheed, Maldives' parliament speaker and ambassador for dozens of countries most at risk from climate change, stated that "without financial support little can been done to reduce its debilitating effect on vulnerable communities around the globe."
This document reiterates the Paris 2015 goals of keeping warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degree Fahrenheit). A more strict target of keeping warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.75 degrees Fahrenheit), which is preferred, would be to limit climate change's damage "much lower."
The document highlights the challenges of meeting these goals and "expresses concern that human activities have contributed to around 1.1 C (2 F), of global warming to-date, and that the impacts are already being felt across every region."
The small island nations that are most vulnerable to global warming worry that not enough is being done to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. They also fear that temperature rises of up to 2 degrees could be disastrous for their countries.
"The greatest single greatest threat to our security, livelihood, and well-being is climate change for the Pacific (small island countries). Bruce Bilimon from the Marshall Islands' Health and Human Services Minister, stated Wednesday that they do not require more scientific evidence or targets without plans to reach them. "The 1.5 limit cannot be negotiable."
A separate draft proposal was also released to address other issues at the talks. These included rules for international carbon markets, and how often countries must report on their efforts.
Draft calls for countries without national goals in line with 1.5- or 2-degree limits to set new targets next year. The provision could be applicable to all countries, depending on how it is read. The World Resources Institute considered this a win for countries that are vulnerable.
David Waskow, Director of WRI International Climate Initiative, stated Wednesday that "this is crucial language." "Countries are expected to respond in the timeframe they have given to adjust.
Morgan of Greenpeace said that it would have been better to require new goals each year.
The draft vaguely "exhorts" developed countries to compensate developing nations for "loss or damage" as a nod at one of the major issues facing poorer countries. This is a phrase that some rich countries don't like. However, there are no financial commitments.
Saudi Arabia rebutted Wednesday's claims made by environmental groups, that it was trying to slow down negotiations or water-down commitments in the climate talks.
Prince Abdulaziz bin salman al Saud, the energy minister of an oil-rich kingdom, said to reporters that it was false, fraudulent, and a lie.
The talks are entering their final stage. British's Alok Sharma is the chairman of the negotiations. He acknowledged that there were "significant issues still unresolved."
As negotiators prepared to begin another long night of negotiations, he said that "My big, huge request of all of you was to please come equipped with the currency of compromise." "What we agree to in Glasgow will determine the future of our children and grandchildren. I am certain that we will not fail them."