World leaders at COP26 strike agreement to 'phase down' unabated coal and call on wealthy nations to double funding to vulnerable nations

Saturday's COP26 conference ended with a deal between countries on how to address climate changes.
The agreement mentions fossil fuels for the first time as a contributor to climate change.

The New York Times reported that a plan to "phaseout" unabated coal was changed to a "phase up" after a last-minute change.

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More than 200 diplomats from over 200 countries agreed to COP26 on a way forward to combat climate change. This was at the conclusion of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland.

According to The New York Times the agreement between countries was based on the idea that they would return next year to the conference with more detailed strategies about how they plan to address climate change. The Times reported that the agreement also required wealthy countries to "at minimum double" the amount of money allocated to assist vulnerable nations adapting to changing climates.

After continued divisions among countries, the agreement was reached to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to support developing nations, on Saturday.

Around 40,000 politicians and campaigners attended COP26, as well as business representatives. This included representatives from the fossil fuel industry, who were more than any other country's delegation.

According to The Times, the agreement does not provide the full funding required for developing countries to combat extreme weather events or build clean energy infrastructure. The language of the agreement stipulates that nations will pledge to "phase down" unabated coal use rather than "phase it out," as the earlier draft stated.

According to Politico, India was the one who pushed for this change. Politico reported that Bhupender Yadav, India's environment minister, told negotiators on Saturday that developing countries are entitled to responsible use of fossil fuels.

According to The New York Times, Simonetta Sommaruga (Switzerland's representative) said that "We don't need to phase down but to phase out." "We are disappointed about both the process and the last-minute change. This will not get us closer to 1.5, but it will make it harder to reach that goal.

CNN reports that Saturday's agreement was the first time that any fossil fuel, such as coal, has been mentioned in connection with climate change.

According to the Times, the agreement set out how the world should reduce carbon dioxide emissions by half by 2030 and greenhouse gases including methane. The Times reported that it also contained rules to hold countries accountable for the required changes.