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Statement: Draft COP26 agreement would accelerate global climate action, but firm deadlines are needed

All participating countries must now negotiate and ratify the pact
For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON -- With world leaders in Glasgow for the COP26 climate summit, the United Nations climate agency on Wednesday released a draft of an agreement that urges participating nations to accelerate the pace of global climate action. It calls on countries to phase out coal and end subsidies for oil and gas. It also encourages them to “revisit and strengthen” their commitments to slashing global warming pollution in service of the Paris Agreement goal of keeping the average global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), compared to preindustrial levels. The draft agreement, which contains no specific deadlines, will now be negotiated by the 200 participating countries in Glasgow in hopes of striking a deal by the end of the two-week summit on Friday.

U.S. PIRG’s Director of Environment Campaigns Matt Casale, issued the following statement: 

“Ending fossil fuel subsidies is a no-brainer. We shouldn’t be using hard earned taxpayer dollars to fuel climate change. In the U.S. alone, we give away $20 billion every year to the fossil fuel industry in the form of tax breaks and direct subsidies. Globally, in 2020, nations subsidized the industry to the tune of an astonishing $5.9 trillion.  

“We are heartened to see a strong stance against subsidies for oil and gas in the draft agreement, and encourage the participating countries to fully embrace the call by adding a specific and urgent deadline to stop subsidizing climate change.”

Lisa Frank, Environment America’s Washington Legislative Office Executive Director, said:

“Climate change is the challenge of our generation and solving it takes action at the local, state, national and international levels. The United States is not only the second-leading contributor to current greenhouse gas emissions but also the largest historic emitter. Moving forward, we must be climate leaders on the world stage. We hope to see the U.S. firmly get behind the goals laid out in this draft agreement and help continue to strengthen it in negotiations. 

“We certainly have the ability to make the energy transition we need. Renewables are on the rise in America. Between 2011 and 2020, wind, solar and geothermal power production increased at an average rate of 15% per year. If that same pace continues, the U.S. could meet all of its current electricity needs with renewable energy by 2035. It is high time we commit to phasing out fossil fuels and make the switch to 100% renewables.”

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