COP26 had big ambitions; here’s why it fell short

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COP26 was billed as the last, best chance to save the planet. So what happened inside the conference center, and will it really solve our climate emergency?

“I apologize for the way this process has unfolded, and I am deeply sorry.”

Speaking after the Glasgow Climate Pact had been agreed by nearly 200 countries, Alok Sharma, the U.K.’s COP26 president, captured the feeling of disappointment held by many inside the conference center.

China and India, which are among the world’s biggest burners of coal, had amended the language in the pact from a “phase out” of coal to a “phase down.”

It capped off a summit which, despite a flurry of climate pledges, still sees the world on a path to a rise of 2.4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, according to the world’s leading climate scientists.

It’s a far cry from the crucial 1.5 degrees Celsius rise that would limit the worst effects of the climate emergency, a target dating from the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement.

Watch the video above to find out what happened in Glasgow and why COP26 struggled to achieve its aims.

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