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The World Calls Time On Coal At COP26

The international community has endorsed an accelerated coal phase down and an end to fossil fuel subsidies in an historic COP26 final decision text, sending a clear message to Scott Morrison that his failed climate policy will no longer be tolerated, says Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

Overnight, negotiators in Glasgow agreed to work for an accelerated phaseout of coal, an end to fossil fuel subsidies, and urged developed countries to fully deliver US$100 billion of climate finance for poorer nations, and for all countries to strengthen their emissions reduction plans next year instead of in five years.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO David Ritter said that, while the final text of the agreement is far from perfect, the message to Australia and other fossil fuel producers is clear.

“This is not the deal the world needed, but it is what has been delivered - and the momentum is in the right direction. The task ahead is relentless pressure on the fossil fuel corporations and reckless governments such as Australia’s.”

“And make no mistake - one clear positive is that the governments of the world have agreed for the first time that the age of coal is over. The language could be stronger, but the message to Scott Morrison and his government is clear - Australia needs to rapidly exit coal and stop lavishing billions in subsidies on this polluting industry.”

“The Morrison Government has refused to act to reduce emissions, employing climate denial and then delaying tactics, even as the climate crisis accelerates in front of our eyes. Now, it's clear Morrison's failed climate policy has no place in a world that understands and is acting on the existential threat posed by fossil fuels.”

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“The requirement for new national climate commitments in 2022 means that for all his empty plan, garbage modelling, sneaking and dissembling, Scott Morrison has nowhere to hide-because the world has noticed and the world will be watching.”"

“Throughout the closing sessions of COP26 ministers and negotiators said they owed it to their children and grandchildren to do their utmost to keep the 1.5C goal alive. Scott Morrison must now tell the young people of Australia why he was prepared to sacrifice their futures so the biggest polluters could blacken the skies and the lungs of our children.”

Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s COP26 Pacific delegate Shiva Gounden said the deal offered the Pacific Islands a glimmer of hope but for the region, its people and cultures to safeguard their long term survival, the world needs to honour its commitments.

“While recognising the role that coal plays in driving the climate crisis is an important first step, for Pacific peoples on the climate frontline we need stronger and more meaningful commitments. Our very survival as countries depends upon it, and world leaders must go even further at COP27, and support Vanuatu’s bid for an International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on climate change and human rights as a next step on the path to climate justice.”

“It’s disappointing that the reference to phasing out coal was weakened. There is no place and future for fossil fuels but for the greater good we need to build on this important, though imperfect, Glasgow Agreement and work even harder to bring an end to the era of fossil fuels as a lifeline for our Pacific family,” he said.

“This is the decade that will determine if our Pacific homes and way of life will continue or if our most vulnerable will see their homes sink under the seas. Countries must come to COP27 with plans consistent with the 1.5C goal that is the red line for our region. Anything less will be another betrayal of the brave and resilient peoples of the Pacific.”

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