The official closing day of the Glasgow Climate Summit did not lead to an agreement on a final declaration. The 197 delegations negotiated the content of the declaration well into the evening, but concluded that it is necessary to speak at least until Saturday.
A new draft statement should be published in the morning. Delegations will then meet on that in the afternoon, the president of the summit, Alok Sharma reported.
Much of the day was discussed in Glasgow about a new text proposal for a final statement, published in the morning. Mixed reactions from the participating countries came to this.
For example, China indicated that the second text was better than the first one. But, according to the country, certain aspects needed to be tightened, for example in the area of finance and the rules that countries must adhere to in order to implement the Paris climate agreement.
Point of contention: money for poor countries
One of the biggest points of contention was once again the financial support of rich countries for poor countries. This money should help poorer countries, among other things, reduce the use of fossil fuels and adapt to the effects of climate change.
According to environmental minister White of the West African country Gabon, the negotiations on this subject were “a bit in a stalemate” because of mutual distrust between the rich and poor countries, he said to AP news agency. In particular, the US was bothered by him.
The US climate envoy Kerry had called for a dramatic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions this decade and not to further dilute texts in the draft statement. Among other things, Kerry advocated an end to fossil fuel subsidies. According to him, action must now be “to avert the worst consequences of the climate crisis”.
Commissioner Timmermans came up with a similar, urgent message in his speech. He cited his 1-year-old grandson. “If we succeed, he will live in a livable world. With a clean economy and clean air. If we fail, hell fight other people for water and food. Thats the harsh reality.”
According to Timmermans, at the summit “the 1.5 degree” should be kept alive, aiming at the level of global warming agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, where it was agreed that warming should be limited to well below 2 degrees and preferably below 1 5 degree.
The delegations had local time in Glasgow on paper until 6pm local time to reach agreement on a final statement. When that deal didnt come, it was already counted that the summit would be extended until Saturday. In the past, climate conferences have lasted more often until the weekend.
Earlier in the final day, numerous demonstrators inside and outside the conference centre had demonstrated their dissatisfaction with the lack of decisiveness of the world leaders in their view. Outside the centre, among other things, Extinction Rebellion climate action group was active. Indoors hundreds of supporters of civil society organisations and action groups started a protest march.
They were admitted as observers to the so-called blue zone, where the official programme of the summit takes place.
On Thursday, UN Secretary General Guterres said that the summit “very likely” will not deliver the commitments needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. However, countries may agree to make those commitments by the end of next year.