Green groups greet climate deal with hope, frustration after last-minute compromise

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Environmental groups and politicians in Canada are reacting with a mix of discouragement and determination to a last-minute deal reached at the United Nations climate talks.

Almost 200 countries have accepted a contentious climate compromise aimed at preserving a key target in the fight against global warming, which contained a final change that watered down crucial language about coal.

Several countries, including small island states, say they were deeply disappointed by the edit promoted by India to "phase down" rather than "phase out" coal power, the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Sierra Club's Canadian chapter says the deal marks a "disappointing end" to the two-week summit in Glasgow, Scotland, saying it marks a "small step" toward keeping the global temperature increase below 1.5 C rather than "the leap we need."

Climate Action Network Canada, which was also in attendance, is warning Canadian politicians they will be held to the deal's pledges.

Green Party MP Elizabeth May says in a Twitter post from Scotland that the diluted language on coal marks a move to appease India, China and others, and hope for staying within the 1.5 C limit is "barely alive" but "not lost."

The advocates' views reflected those of many states, as nation after nation complained on the final day of the U.N. conference that the agreement did not go far or fast enough. They said, however, that it was better than nothing and provided incremental progress, if not success.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 13, 2021.

—With files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press

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