Cop26: India, ‘phase down’ comes from an agreement between the US and China

ROME, NOV 18 – It was not India that imposed the term “phase down” for coal-fired power plants and subsidies to fossil fuels in the final document of the COP26 in Glasgow, blasting the “phase out” foreseen in the first drafts. The milder term “reduction” was introduced after negotiations between the US, China, India, the EU and the British presidency, because it was the one already used in the agreement a few days earlier between China and the United States on climate action. This was argued by some negotiators from the Indian delegation in Glasgow, heard by the Indian newspaper Hindustan Times. According to their reconstruction, the term phase out referring to coal-fired power plants and subsidies to fossil fuels had been recommended by the small island states, gathered in the Aosis coalition. The Indians did not agree with the “phase out” of subsidies to fossil fuels: in their country these are mainly in favor of the poorest population, and New Delhi wanted to safeguard this form of social support. But the transition from “eliminate” to “reduce”, for the Indian negotiators “has matured following discussions between British President Alok Sharma, the United States (with climate envoy John Kerry), China (with the Climate envoy Xie Zhenhua), India (with Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav) and the EU (with Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans). The presidency then asked the Indian minister to read the compromise text. But Yadav made it clear in his speech that that was not India’s position alone, but it was agreed with the presidency and other stakeholders ”. (HANDLE).

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