Delegates from almost 200 countries agreed on a global agreement to boost climate action on Saturday, 13 November, after a last-minute intervention lead by India and China, who sought to amend the language around reducing coal and fossil-fuel subsidies.
India and China, supported by South Africa on coal and Iran and Nigeria convinced the world to include coal to the 'phase down', instead of 'phase out' after days of negotiations.
India’s environment minister Bhupender Yadav, in an earlier speech, had raised objections to the wording of the draft and had said, "How can anyone expect that developing countries make promises about phasing out coal and fossil fuels subsidies?"
Following the agreement, a visibly emotional COP26 President Alok Sharma apologised for the last minute changes.
“May I just say to all delegates I apologise for the way this process has unfolded. I also understand the deep disappointment but I think, as you have noted, it’s also vital that we protect this package,” Sharma said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that the outcome of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow is not enough.
"The approved texts are a compromise. They reflect the interests, the conditions, the contradictions and the state of political will in the world today. They take important steps. But unfortunately, the collective political will was not enough to overcome some deep contradictions," Guterres was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency on the conclusion of COP26 on Saturday.