Global media outlets have weighed in on the COP26 accord, which was reached Saturday night and intends to eradicate the worst effects of climate change. Nearly 200 countries backed the United Nations-brokered agreement, which hit stumbling hurdles over coal phasing, fossil fuel subsidies, and financial aid to low-income countries. India and China, two of the world’s largest coal consumers, insisted on a last-minute tweak in the pact’s fossil fuel terminology, from “phase out” to “phase down.” Opposing countries eventually succumbed after initial misgivings.
The United Kingdom in Europe.
As the two-week talks took place in Scotland’s largest city, The Scottish Mail headlined, “Glasgow achieves a climate pact for the globe.” On Sunday, Scotland began with a more solemn statement: “Make no mistake, we are still on the road to hell.”
“Sharma apologizes for watered-down coal deal,” The Independent newspaper in London headlined, referring to the COP26 president, who grew visibly distraught during the final proceedings on Saturday night. “India and China derail Cop pact to ditch coal,” the Sunday Times wrote, while the Sunday Telegraph called it a “coal climbdown.” It was referred to as a “Cop out” by the Mail on Sunday.
“World leaders fail to respect climate pledge,” Deutsche Welle’s English-language edition claimed. According to the report, the United Nations summit was “slammed as a failure after India and China reduced wording on phasing out fossil fuels,” according to the report.
According to Das Bild, tabloid in Germany “Weltweiter Kohleausstieg eingeleitet,” roughly translates to “Global phase-out of coal began.” It was the first time a COP conference had made concrete coal and fossil fuels choices, despite the language being considerably softened down.
France’s Le Monde headline read, “La COP26 accouche d’un agreement en demi-teinte,” emphasizing the deal’s divided reaction. It stated that countries had not matched the aspirations of the more vulnerable countries in the South from the north. Le Figaro went on to say that the arrangement struck on Saturday night would likely cause a lot of angst.
The United States of America
“Negotiators reach a climate accord but remain far from controlling warming,” the New York Times began. “Nations reach an agreement to hasten climate action, but the world still off goal,” the Washington Post’s headline read. “World governments agree to strengthen emissions pledges, but concerns remain,” the Wall Street Journal wrote, highlighting some of the pact’s skepticism.
The announcements received less coverage in Chinese newspapers. Still, the deal included “commitments to significantly increase financial support through the Adaptation Fund as developed countries were urged to double their support to developing countries by 2025,” according to Xinhua, a state-run news agency. “However, it remains to be seen whether developed countries, whose development is responsible for the majority of today’s climate change repercussions,” according to the Xinhua report.
China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion. The COP26 accord fails to establish a fund to compensate countries for losses and damages caused by climate change. This exclusion was met with “great disappointment” by the G-77 group of developing countries. China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, which published a statement on Sunday saying COP26 had “concluded peacefully,” was quoted by the Global Times.
On the English-language editions of Indian news websites, there was also less focus on the climate summit. According to the Hindustan Times, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres admitted that the arrangement was a compromise.