The final agreement is the most significant global climate pact since the Paris agreement, but it’s far from perfect.

By Shannon Osaka, Grist

After two weeks of discussion, infighting, and occasional tears, negotiators at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland, finally reached an agreement on Saturday night that preserves the hope of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

The final 10-page agreement will not, on its own, save the planet — but it represents the most dramatic step forward for international climate progress since the Paris Agreement in 2015. Negotiators, representing most of the world’s countries, agreed to revisit and strengthen their national pledges to cut carbon emissions by the end of 2022, three years earlier than originally planned; they also completed the long-awaited “Paris rulebook” which will determine how countries submit and report their climate progress going forward.

COP26 logo with a flame border beneath it

“Taken together, this package charts a course for the world to deliver on promises made in Paris,” said Alok Sharma, the president of COP26. “This is real progress in keeping 1.5 degrees (Celsius or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) within reach.”

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