COP26 deal reached as nations seek to avid climate disaster

UN climate talks in Scotland ended with a global agreement that aimed at the minimum to keep alive hopes of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius, and so continue a realistic chance of saving the world from extreme climate change.

Alok Sharma, the conference chairman, banged down his gavel to signal that there were no decisive objections from the almost 200 national delegations present in Glasgow, ranging from coal- and gas-fuelled superpowers to oil producers and Pacific islands being swallowed by the rise in sea levels.

The deal came despite a last-gasp intervention from China and India seeking to water down language on fossil fuels in the summit’s text.

“I apologise for the way this course of action has unfolded. I am deeply sorry,” Sharma told the hall, drawing sympathetic applause from the many who spoke out against the Sino-Indian step.

Conference chairman Alok Sharma reacts as he speaks during COP26 in Glasgow on Saturday. Photo: Reuters

Conference chairman Alok Sharma reacts as he speaks during COP26 in Glasgow on Saturday. Photo: Reuters

That turned to much louder cheers from the delegates when Sharma declared the climate agreement formally adopted, as attendees hugged and high-fived.

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