Latest climate summit draft waters down fossil fuel language

The latest iteration of an agreement at a global climate summit has watered down its call for countries to phase out coal and fossil fuel subsidies. 

While a previous draft released early Thursday morning called upon countries to "accelerate the phasing-out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels," the new one says they should accelerate the phaseout of "unabated" coal power and "inefficient" subsidies for fossil fuel. 
These qualifiers still leave space for the continued use of coal power when it uses technology to capture its emissions and for some government subsidies for fossil fuels to remain in place. 
Such carbon capture technologies have been met with some doubts about whether it actually captures the amount of planet-warming gases they purport to and whether they're efficient given current high costs.

If the current draft is adopted, this agreement would still be the first out of a global climate summit to mention fossil fuels at all, but the call is significantly weaker than in the previous draft.


Burning fossil fuels is the main driver of climate change.

This section also adds a mention of clean energy, calling for "rapidly scaling up clean power generation."

On Friday morning, president of the COP26 climate summit Alok Sharma said he hoped that the latest draft agreements will be adopted today.

"In my view, they do bring us another step closer towards a comprehensive, ambitious and balanced set of outcomes which I hope parties will adopt by consensus at the close of play today," he said.

The latest draft also has some other changes from the initial version.

It acknowledged with "deep regret" that countries failed to meet their goal of mobilizing $100 billion per year to assist developing countries.

It also strengthens language surrounding the "loss and damage" that developing countries are facing because of climate change, urging developed countries to provide specific funds to address this.
This story was updated at 9:50 a.m.