Glasgow’s task was to develop credible plans to achieve this and although the summit made modest progress, we cannot kid ourselves. Emissions reduction plans are still far from being achieved. The commitments made in Glasgow for 2030 – even if fully implemented – represent less than 25% of the ambition required.
Rather than the manageable 1.5 degrees, they set us on the right track for a devastating 2.4 degrees.
This is why – according to the Secretary General of the UN – the objective of 1.5 degrees is now left to “maintenance of life”.
So now we have to provide intensive care. It starts with being honest about what is wrong. The summit was held back by a naive boosterism which only served to embolden the big emitters.
The Prime Minister praised the inadequate net zero plans. Australia has been called heroic, even though their plan was so slow it was 4 degrees of global warming.
By providing this coverage, we had little chance of influencing other major emitters and we saw many more disappointing national plans.
The Prime Minister described modest sectoral commitments as transformational. Earlier in Cop, the government claimed that â190 countries and organizationsâ had agreed to end coal.
Take a closer look: only 46 of them were countries, of which only 23 were new signatories, out of these 23, 10 do not even use coal!
And the remaining 13 did not include the largest users of coal – China, the United States, India and Australia.
Without public pressure, the big emitters became emboldened and banded together to gut the wording of the main coal deal. Only someone who thinks words don’t make sense could now argue that a coal phase-out agreement is the same as a phase-out agreement.
And there was the long overdue $ 100 billion in climate finance. It still has not been delivered although this money was pledged to developing countries over a decade ago.
The failure has damaged trust and created a huge obstacle to building the coalition that can drive climate action between the most vulnerable developing countries and ambitious developed countries.