Saturday, November 27

What they are saying about the UN climate deal


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GLASGOW — Reactions to the climate deal agreed at the COP26 conference in Scotland on Saturday:

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON

“We asked nations to come together for our planet at COP26, and they have answered that call. I hope that we will look back on COP26 in Glasgow as the beginning of the end of climate change, and I will continue to work tirelessly towards that goal.”

CAMILA ISABEL ZEPEDA LIZAMA, DIRECTOR GENERAL OF GLOBAL ISSUES, MEXICO MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

“We believe we have been sidelined in a non-transparent and noninclusive process. We all have remaining concerns but were told we could not reopen the text. (…) Mexico for example believes the language on human rights should have been strengthened and are very , very disappointed that such demands were not heard, while others can still ask to water down their promises.”

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SVENJA SCHULZE, GERMAN ENVIRONMENT MINISTER

“Glasgow is bringing a clear acceleration for climate change, and more speed is necessary. (…) The fossil fuel era is coming to an end, the energy transition is becoming the model worldwide.”

ALOK SHARMA, COP26 PRESIDENT

“I think today we can say with credibility that we’ve kept 1.5 (degrees Celsius) within reach. But its pulse is weak, and we will only survive if we keep our promises. (…) History has been made here in Glasgow and we now need to ensure that the next chapter charts the success of the commitments that we have solidly made here together in the Glasgow climate pact.”

TINA STEGE, CLIMATE ENVOY, MARSHALL ISLANDS

“This package is not perfect. The coal change and a weak outcome on loss and damage are blows. But it is real progress and elements of the Glasgow Package are a lifeline for my country. We must not discount the crucial wins covered in this package “

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MANISH BAPNA, PRESIDENT, CEO, NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL

“COP26 decisively moved the world forward but now the climate fight must begin anew if we hope to hold global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Promises made in Glasgow — on climate ambition and clean energy, on helping vulnerable communities rebuild and climate finance, and on curbing dangerous fossil fuels and protecting forests — must be kept, strengthened, and accelerated, beginning today.”

TIM BENTON, DIRECTOR, ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY, CHATHAM HOUSE

“Not enough has been done at this meeting to reduce emissions consistent with avoiding dangerous climate change in decades to come. There have been lots of pledges and the launching of encouraging new international initiatives, some more meaningful than others. But genuine urgency and a willingness to match words with action and to close the yawning gap between pledges and detailed, short-term plans – is still missing.”

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BERT WANDER, ACTING CEO, AVAAZ:

“While compromises at COP26 keep the 1.5C target within reach, it is hanging by a thread. Glasgow has delivered procedural gains on emissions cuts, and important signals on the need to deliver urgently-needed funds to vulnerable countries, but it is nowhere near enough. If we are to cut emissions in half by the end of the decade, we need an urgent transformation in how governments approach the climate crisis.”

UN SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTONIO GUTERRES

“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.”

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GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JENNIFER MORGAN

“They changed a word but they can’t change the signal coming out of this COP, that the era of coal is ending. If you’re a coal company executive this COP saw a bad outcome.”

MANUEL PULGAR-VIDAL, WWF GLOBAL LEAD ON CLIMATE

“We must acknowledge that progress was made. There are now new opportunities for countries to deliver on what they know must be done to avoid a climate catastrophe. But unless they sharply pivot to implementation and show substantial results, they will continue to have their credibility challenged.”

KAVEH GUILANPOUR, VP OF INTERNATIONAL STRATEGIES, CENTER FOR CLIMATE AND ENERGY SOLUTIONS

“The Paris Agreement is working. It was never expected to solve the climate emergency in one go – but to do so over time. In 2014, before the Agreement was adopted, the world was heading toward close to 4 degrees Celsius of global heating. Coming out of COP26, new commitments made mean that we are heading toward closer to around 2 degrees. Glasgow was an important step in keeping open the possibility of limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees.”

(Compiled by Reuters staff in Glasgow; Editing by Mark Potter, Frances Kerry and Daniel Wallis)

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