The agreement – although not legally binding – will set the global agenda on climate change for the next decade:
It was agreed countries will meet next year to pledge further cuts to emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) – a greenhouse gas that causes climate change.
This is to try to keep temperature rises within 1.5C – which scientists say is required to prevent a “climate catastrophe”. Current pledges, if met, will only limit global warming to about 2.4C.
For the first time at a COP conference, there was an explicit plan to reduce the use of coal – which is responsible for 40% of annual CO2 emissions.
However, countries only agreed to a weaker commitment to “phase down” rather than “phase out” coal after a late intervention by China and India.
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The agreement pledged to significantly increase money to help poor countries cope with the effects of climate change and make the switch to clean energy.
There’s also the prospect of a trillion-dollar-a-year fund from 2025 – after a previous pledge for richer countries to provide $100bn (£72bn) a year by 2020 was missed.
While some observers say the COP26 agreement represented the “start of a breakthrough”, some African and Latin American countries felt not enough progress was made.
- Why hasn’t the climate pledge to poor countries been met?
Fossil fuel subsidies
World leaders agreed to phase out subsidies that artificially lower the price of coal, oil, or natural gas.
However, no firm dates have been set.
- How much is still spent supporting oil, coal and gas?