COP26 concluded. We have a global climate agreement.

The Glasgow COP26 climate summit has ended with an agreement. After two weeks of negotiations, delegates from nearly 200 countries, including Poland, adopted a final document on November 13, 2021, aimed at halting climate change.

This is undoubtedly a historic date not only for the environment, but for all of humanity. , “The Glasgow Pact” is the first-ever climate agreement to phase out fossil fuels, including coal. The agreement also assumes emission reductions and promises more money for developing countries – to help them adapt to the effects of climate change.

Significantly, however, the final provisions of the deal reached are not enough to limit the rise in average global temperatures to 1.5 degrees C compared to the pre-industrial era.

This is because until the end of the negotiations there was a discussion about a provision included in earlier negotiating drafts, concerning the commitment of countries to phase out phase out” of coal. This provision was met with criticism from China and India in particular. Indian Climate Minister Bhupender Yadav stressed that developing countries cannot promise to phase out coal technologies when they , “still have to address their development programs and poverty eradication.

In the face of opposition, the text of the agreement eventually included only a provision to , “phase down” (from “phase in”) the use of coal technologies.

For this reason, according to some, the COP26 consensus is disappointing. Disappointment was not even concealed by COP26 Chairman Alok Sharma himself, who said at the end of the summit that he was , “very sorry” about how the deliberations went. However, he explained that it is very important to protect the agreement as a whole. , “I am very sorry. I also feel deep disappointment. But I think it is also important, as you have seen, that we protect this package,” he said, fighting back tears.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called the result , “a compromise that reflects the interests, contradictions and state of political will in the world today. He stressed that the agreement reached is an important step, but not enough. , “The time has come to go into emergency mode. The climate battle is the fight of our lives, and this fight must be won”. To those disappointed by the agreement’s provisions, most of whom were young activists, he said motivatingly:

, “However, progress does not always proceed in a straight line – there are detours and obstacles. I know that we can achieve the goal. This is the fight of our lives. A fight we must win. Never give up, never take a step backwards. I am with you!”

The agreement was also criticized by Franz Timmermans, one of the executive vice presidents of the European Commission and the European Union’s representative at COP26 in Glasgow, saying:

, “The longer it takes us to get rid of coal, the more of a burden we put on the environment. It’s also a burden on the economy, because coal is simply not a sensible economic option”. At the same time, he stressed that, despite everything, the Glasgow Climate Pack is a historic agreement that will help the European Union to , “get rid of coal.

The content of the concluded agreement also does not satisfy Polish experts. According to Joanna Flisowska, head of the climate and energy team at Greenpeace:

, “The COP26 climate summit has moved us forward, but we are still far from a breakthrough that would stop the climate crisis, so it is necessary to further increase ambition. The key is not declarations but actions that will be taken in the next decade. Whether we move away from fossil fuels will determine our future. That’s why it’s important that, for the first time, the decision summarizing the climate summit speaks explicitly about the need to move away from fossil fuel subsidies and the need to move away from coal, albeit less forcefully here. The end of the Glasgow summit must usher in a decade of ambitious climate action and the move away from coal, gas and oil must be at the center of it”.

As Dominika Lasota of the Youth Climate Strike, a member of the alternative delegation to COP26, points out:

, “The Glasgow climate summit ends with another compromise between the safety of people and the well-being of nature, and the interests of the fossil fuel industry. Although the agreement that was adopted includes greater emission reduction targets, it still leads us toward a tragic 2.4°C warming. In the final hours of the negotiations, rulers from the U.S., the U.K. and the European Union decided to block ambitious funding for climate action and ignored calls from people around the world to increase emission reduction targets. They have set their sights on their own profits rather than the safety of us all”.

Key tenets of the climate agreement

As part of the agreement, the countries pledged to meet next year to make further decisions to further reduce carbon emissions allowing a limit on temperature increases of up to 1.5 degrees C could be achieved. As experts point out, the pledges adopted, if implemented, can only limit global warming to 2.4 degrees C.

Rich countries are expected to financially support developing countries. Their support, compared to 2019 levels, is to be doubled by 2025. There will also be an organization to support vulnerable countries in so-called loss and damage, i.e. the costs and damages already incurred due to climate change .The international community is to reduce coal power, whose emissions are not being caught, and end “inefficient financing of fossil fuels,” but keeping in mind the wealth of countries, and putting more emphasis on clean energy sources.

Moreover, the final document commits countries to take , “accelerated action to extinguish” fossil fuels’. The summit also expanded the agreement to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030, with more than 100 countries joining.

The biggest success of COP26 is certainly the agreement by more than 100 countries, which contain 85% of the world’s forests, to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030. In addition, the governments of 28 countries pledged to remove deforestation from global trade in food and other agricultural products such as palm oil, soy and cocoa.


There is no doubt, the Glasgow climate conference took a significant step forward in environmental and climate protection. As Reuters points out, the agreement for the first time in the history of UN climate conferences, recognized coal as the most important contributor to climate change as well as defining the role of fossil fuels in the current climate crisis. The European Commission believes that the Pact, adopted Saturday, upholds the commitments of the Paris Agreement and offers a chance to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C.

In a communiqué published Saturday evening, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stressed that the Glasgow Pact , “gives us confidence that we can ensure a safe and prosperous space for humanity on this planet,” adding, however, that “there will be no time to relax and there is still hard work ahead.

Despite this, we are still far from the breakthrough needed to stop the climate catastrophe. According to many, politicians have not agreed on sufficiently ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, allowing to limit the negative effects of climate change. This is not tantamount to a ceasefire in the fight for the planet. Climate activists are already announcing that they are ready to take further action in this regard.