The COP26 conference’s president, Alok Sharma, said on Sunday that China and India will have to explain to developing countries why they pushed to weaken language on measures to phase out coal.
Last week’s United Nations climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, finished on Saturday with a deal that for the first time targeted fossil fuels.
However, India, with the support of China and other coal-dependent developing countries, rejected a provision asking for coal-fired power to be “phased out,” and the text was altered to “phase down.”
“In terms of China and India, they will have to explain themselves on this particular problem,” Sharma said at a press conference at Downing Street in London.
“Whether the language was ‘phase down’ or ‘phase-out,’ it doesn’t seem to make that much difference to me as a speaker of English,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson remarked. The general direction of travel is the same.”
According to Johnson, COP26 delivered a mandate to reduce coal-powered electricity, which was backed up by real action from specific counties.
“When you sum it all up, Glasgow has unquestionably rung the death knell for coal power,” he stated during the press conference.