London: China and India will need to explain to developing nations why they pushed to water down language on efforts to phase out coal at the COP26 conference, the event’s president Alok Sharma said.
UN climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, ended recently with a deal that targeted fossil fuels for the first time.
But India, backed by China and other coal-dependent developing nations, rejected a clause calling for a “phase out” of coal-fired power, and the text was changed to “phase down”.
“In terms of China and India, they will on this particular issue have to explain themselves,” Sharma told a news conference at Downing Street in London.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said COP26 had delivered a mandate to cut the use of coal-powered generation that was backed up by real action from individual counties.
But he said his delight at the progress achieved was tinged by disappointment that the deal did not go further.
“Sadly, that’s the nature of diplomacy,” he said. “We can lobby, we can cajole, we can encourage, but we cannot force sovereign nations to do what they do not wish to do.”