From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Glasgow Agreement
Mains level : Success and failures of Glasgow COP
The Glasgow Agreement was finally adopted after a last-minute intervention by India to water down language on “phasing out” coal to merely “phasing down”.
- The Glasgow meeting was the 26th session of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP26.
- These meetings are held every year to construct a global response to climate change.
- Each of these meetings produce a set of decisions which are given different names.
- In the current case, this has been called the Glasgow Climate Pact.
- Earlier, these meetings have also delivered two treaty-like international agreements, the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and the Paris Agreement in 2015.
What was achieved?
- The Glasgow agreement has emphasised that stronger action in the current decade was most critical to achieving the 1.5-degree target.
- Accordingly, it has asked/decided:
- To strengthen their 2030 climate action plans, or NDCs (nationally-determined contributions), by next year
- Establish a work programme to urgently scale-up mitigation ambition and implementation
- To convene an annual meeting of ministers to raise ambition of 2030 climate actions
- Annual synthesis report on what countries were doing
- To convene a meeting of world leaders in 2023 to scale-up ambition of climate action
- Countries to make efforts to reduce usage of coal as a source of fuel, and abolish “inefficient” subsidies on fossil fuels
- Phase-down of coal, and phase-out of fossil fuels. This is the first time that coal has been explicitly mentioned in any COP decision.
- Most of the countries, especially the smaller and poorer ones, and the small island states, consider adaptation to be the most important component of climate action.
- They have been demanding that at least half of all climate finance should be directed towards adaptation efforts.
- As such, the Glasgow Climate Pact has:
- Asked the developed countries to at least double the money being provided for adaptation by 2025 from the 2019 levels.
- Created a two-year work programme to define a global goal on adaptation.
- Every climate action has financial implications. It is now estimated that trillions of dollars are required every year to fund all the actions necessary to achieve the climate targets.
- Developed countries are under an obligation, due to their historical responsibility in emitting greenhouse gases.
- They need to provide finance and technology to the developing nations to help them deal with climate change.
- In 2009, developed countries had promised to mobilise at least $100 billion every year from 2020.
- The 2020 deadline has long passed but the $100 billion promise has not been fulfilled.
- The developed nations have now said that they will arrange this amount by 2023.
 Accounting earlier failures
The pact has:
- Expressed “deep regrets” over the failure of the developed countries to deliver on their $100 billion promise.
- It has asked them to arrange this money urgently and in every year till 2025
- Initiated discussions on setting the new target for climate finance, beyond $100 billion for the post-2025 period
- Asked the developed countries to provide transparent information about the money they plan to provide
 Loss and Damage:
The frequency of climate disasters has been rising rapidly, and many of these caused largescale devastation.
- There is no institutional mechanism to compensate these nations for the losses, or provide them help in the form of relief and rehabilitation.
- The loss and damage provision in the Paris Agreement seeks to address that.
- Thanks to a push from many nations, substantive discussions on loss and damage could take place in Glasgow.
- One of the earlier drafts included a provision for setting up of a facility to coordinate loss and damage activities.
 Carbon Markets:
- Carbon markets facilitate the trading of emission reductions.
- They are considered a very important and effective instrument to reduce overall emissions.
- A carbon market existed under Kyoto Protocol but is no longer there because the Protocol itself expired last year.
- Developing countries like India, China or Brazil have large amounts of carbon credits left over because of the lack of demand as many countries abandoned their emission reduction targets.
- The Glasgow Pact has offered some reprieve to the developing nations.
- It has allowed these carbon credits to be used in meeting countries’ first NDC targets.
Parallel Processes announced
A lot of substantial action in Glasgow happened in parallel processes that were not a part of the official COP discussions.
- India announced a Panchamrita (a mixture of five elements) of climate actions.
- Brazil would advance its net-zero target year from 2060 to 2050.
- China promised to come out with a detailed roadmap for its commitment to let emissions peak in 2030, and also for its 2060 net-zero target. Israel announced a net zero target for 2050.
- Over 100 countries pledged to reduce methane emissions by at least 30 per cent from present levels by 2030.
- Another set of over 100 countries promised to arrest and reverse deforestation by 2030.
- Over 30 countries signed on to a declaration promising to work towards a transition to 100 percent zero-emission cars by the year 2040, at least in the leading car markets of the world.