A NEW draft of the deal that could be agreed at the Glasgow COP26 climate talks appears to have watered down its push to curb fossil fuels.

The first draft of the “cover decision” for the overarching agreement at the summit called for countries “to accelerate the phasing-out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels”.

In a new draft produced this morning, that has changed to calling on countries to accelerate the shift to clean energy systems, “including by rapidly scaling up clean power generation and accelerating the phaseout of unabated coal power and of inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels”.

The inclusion of a reference to fossil fuels was a first for a UN decision document of this type but was expected to get fierce pushback from some countries – and still may not survive to the final text.

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Talks went on through the night and look set to overrun from their finish time of Friday evening as negotiators come under pressure to resolve issues around finance for poor countries, fossil fuels, the efforts of countries to cut emissions in the 2020s and rules on carbon markets and transparency.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would not bet on Friday being the last day of Cop26.

Asked if Friday is the last day of the summit, she told Sky News: “I wouldn’t bet lots of money on that. I hope we see progress today.

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“I certainly hope that finishing at six o’clock tonight, which is the plan, would be possible.

“Equally, I would not be surprised to know that it was going into tomorrow. That’s not unusual at COP, so nobody should read anything particular into that if it does happen.”

Asked about her view on the new draft text, Sturgeon said: “There may have been inches forward in this latest draft but there’s still time to get it even further forward and to really make the Glasgow Agreement one that lives up to the urgency of the emergency we face.

“In these final hours, the Prime Minister if necessary should come back here and drive this deal over the line.”

The National:

Asked if she was calling for Boris Johnson to come to Glasgow, Sturgeon said: “If that is what it is going to take, then yes. He was here on Wednesday, I welcomed that. In his shoes, I may have stayed here for the remainder of the summit, but come back … every shoulder to the wheel.

“I’m not in the negotiating room. That can feel frustrating sometimes. But get there, and make sure that no stone is left unturned in getting this agreement to where it needs to be.”

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The latest draft appears to have strengthened language on getting countries to “revisit and strengthen the 2030 targets” in their national action plans by the end of 2022 to align with global goals to limit temperature rises to “well below” 2C and try to limit them to 1.5C.

The new version “requests” countries do so, thought to be stronger language within the UN system than the previous version, which only urged them to do so.

There is now a date – missing from the first draft – for when developed countries should double the provision of finance to help developing countries adapt to climate change – by 2025.