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Greta Thunberg criticises “vague” COP26 agreement as more “blah, blah, blah”

"I have to say unfortunately it turned out just the way I and many others had expected"

By Hollie Geraghty

Greta Thunberg waves on an escalator surrounded by crowds as she arrives in Glasgow
Greta Thunberg was mobbed by crowds when she arrived in Glasgow for COP26 (Photo: Instagram).

Greta Thunberg has criticised the agreement that was reached at COP26 as “very vague” and said it only watered down the “blah, blah, blah”.

Her comments came after China and India agreed to “phase down” coal power rather than “phase out” after the countries showed opposition in earlier negotiations.

Speaking to BBC Scotland News, Thunberg said: “I have to say unfortunately it turned out just the way I and many others had expected.

“They even succeeded at watering down the blah, blah, blah which is quite an achievement. There is still no guarantee that we will reach the Paris Agreement.

“You can still interpret it [the Glasgow pact] in many different ways – we can still expand fossil fuel infrastructure, we can increase the global emissions. It’s very, very vague.”

The Glasgow Climate Pact is the first ever climate agreement to plan to reduce coal.

While it urges for emission cuts and promises to offer financial aid to developing countries adapting to climate impacts, pledges do not limit temperature rise to 1.5C.

The 18-year-old climate activist also took to Twitter on Saturday (November 13) after talks came to a close and told followers “the real work continues outside these halls. And we will never give up, ever”.

She quoted a Tweet posted on November 7 which read: “Unless we achieve immediate, drastic, unprecedented, annual emission cuts at the source then that means we’re failing when it comes to this climate crisis.” 

She added that “small steps in the right direction”, “making some progress”, or “winning slowly” equals losing.

Meanwhile, COP26 president Alok Sharma defended the “historic” language related to the agreement.

“This is the first time ever that we have got language about coal in a Cop decision – I think that is absolutely historic,” he told the BBC’s ‘The Andrew Marr Show’.

When asked if the pact failed to meet expectations, Sharma said: “I wouldn’t describe what we did yesterday as a failure. It’s a historic achievement. We kept 1.5 in reach.”