Tuesday, 25 January, 2022
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Deal is historic, not a failure, says COP26 President Alok Sharma

Deal is historic, not a failure, says COP26 President Alok Sharma

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COP26 President Alok Sharma says the last minute deal change to "phase down" coal is not a failure.

He tells BBC One's Andrew Marr Show: "I wouldn’t describe what we did yesterday as a failure – it is a historic achievement.

"We kept the 1.5C target within reach, we closed off the Paris agreement – which for six years had eluded the world – we did that under a UK presidency, we’ve ensured more money for climate vulnerable countries.

"I think we can say we are on the way to consigning coal to history."

Emphasising that this is the first time ever there has been language about coal in a COP decision, he says: "At the end of the day, China and India are going to have to explain themselves to the most climate vulnerable countries in the world – and you saw the reaction of those most vulnerable countries to that change [in the deal]."

Asked about how he broke down on stage in the event's final moments, he explains: "We managed to get an enormous amount over the line and, on a personal level, I have invested an enormous amount over the last two years... and, of course, I’d had about six hours sleep in the previous 72 hours – it was an emotional moment."