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COP26 draft decision text – E3G responds

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, speaking at COP26. image via Flickr: COP26
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, speaking at COP26. image via Flickr: COP26

The draft text is starting to reflect the highest ambition of what is being put forward in the rooms – but there’s a clear disconnect to the urgent messages and calls to action by leaders at the beginning of COP26.  

In this draft text there are timelines and political hooks for revising emissions reduction ambition as soon as 2022, and throughout the 2020s to “keep 1.5 alive”. It strongly acknowledges the gap in action and what the science tells us needs to be done to close it. But it’s not yet as strong as the political direction given by leaders. And it’s not yet bringing accountability to the political pledges. It’s also imbalanced, with political ambition still lacking on adaptation, mitigation and finance. It’s not yet enough to land the public confidence that COP26 has accelerated climate action. 

This shows that country negotiators haven’t been bringing the political ambition of their leaders into the negotiating rooms in consultations on this draft cover decision. We’ve particularly not seen EU and US political leaders, or negotiators step up to push for the strong accountability hooks we need, or for the financial support that they know they need to deliver for vulnerable countries to bring balance to the package. 

The question now is whether countries want to take the political fight to water this down and take things out or build up the balance and bring things in. It will go to leaders. 

On finance and solidarity, leaders have a chance to bring things in not just into this COP decision text, but in delivering commitments alongside it at the COP26 stage. 

Quotes – COP26 draft decision text

Alex Scott, E3G Climate Diplomacy and Geopolitics lead said:  

It’s important to acknowledge upfront that there are timelines and political hooks for coming back on 2030 ambition in there. But they don’t yet match the political ambition of leaders in the start of COP26 and it’s completely imbalanced with what’s being offered at the moment as adaptation, loss and damage, and finance which shows that that ambition isn’t coming through in the room. We need the EU and US to step up.  

Responding to the COP26 draft text of Decision  

Jennifer Tollmann, Senior Policy Advisor at E3G said: 

This is not yet a text that meets the calls of either World leaders or citizens to keep 1.5C in reach. The next 48 hours will decide whether ministers work together to drastically increase ambition across the board, or give a win to Russia, Saudi Arabia and Brazil and lose any clear signals that all countries will have to come back with more ambition this decade. 
EU ministers are make or break here – not the least because they are leading critical consultations – but this will require them to lead the way by getting behind a broader acceleration package that includes concrete actions and finance for adaptation and loss and damage.

Taylor Dimsdale, Program Director of Risk and Resilience at E3G said:  

“Protection and support for vulnerable countries in the face of climate impacts is a clear benchmark for success for Glasgow. That means balance between adaptation and mitigation, along with more resources including finance for loss and damage. It’s not too late to deliver but you can’t call the current draft balanced.  

Asking developed countries to double their collective adaptation finance is a good start but it needs a deadline. More encouraging is the language calling for financial institutions to explore how vulnerability can be reflected in access to concessional finance; that could be hugely significant for vulnerable countries.  

It calls on pretty much every government and institution under the sun to scale up support – including finance – for Loss and Damage but doesn’t offer anything concrete on mechanisms to deliver that money.

Iskander Erzini Venoit, Policy Advisor at E3G said 

The proposed texts provide a foundation which must be built up, not watered down, particularly in terms of finance – for mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage – if we are to come out of Glasgow with a package to “keep 1.5 alive” and respond to the urgent financial needs of developing countries and vulnerable communities.

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Notes to Editors

  1. E3G is an independent climate change think tank accelerating the transition to a climate safe world. E3G specialises in climate diplomacy, climate risk, energy policy and climate finance. -> About
  2. To receive updates and analysis from COP26 via E3G’s daily media WhatsApp broadcast, register here.


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