US climate envoy Kerry called for drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions before the end of this decade and not to water down the draft declaration any further. Kerry has advocated, among others, for an end to fossil fuel subsidies. He said action must be taken now “to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis”.
In his speech, EU Commissioner Timmermans sent out a similar urgent message. He cited his 1 year old grandson. “If we are successful, he will live in a livable world. With a clean economy and clean air. If we fail, he will fight with other people for water and food. That’s the harsh reality.”
According to Timmermans, “1.5 degrees” should be kept alive at the top, referring to the degree of global warming that was agreed to in the Paris climate agreement in 2015. It was then agreed that warming should be limited well below 2. degrees and preferably below 1.5 degrees.
Delegations had until 6 p.m. Glasgow local time on paper to agree on a final statement. When this agreement did not materialize, there were already plans for the summit to be extended until Saturday. In the past, climate conferences often lasted until weekends.
Earlier on the closing day, many protesters inside and outside the conference center expressed their displeasure at the lack of resolve of world leaders, in their view. The climate action group Extinction Rebellion was also active outside the center. Inside, hundreds of supporters of civil society organizations and activist groups launched a protest march.
They were admitted as observers in the so-called blue zone, where the official summit program takes place.
On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Guterres said the summit was “very likely” to fail to deliver on the commitments needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Countries can agree that they will make these commitments before the end of next year.
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