COP26: Saudi Arabia, China accused of stalling deal

COP26: Saudi Arabia, China accused of stalling emissions deal
2 min read
10 November, 2021
Saudi Arabia reportedly refused to be transparent about its emissions at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, along with China.
Saudi Arabia reportedly rejected a proposal to be transparent about carbon emissions [Getty]

Saudi Arabia has been criticised for reportedly refusing to be transparent about its emissions at COP26 in Glasgow, along with China.

The powerhouses are being accused of blocking progress at the climate summit, the Times reported earlier this week, after senior negotiators at the conference told the publication that the two countries rejected a proposal to be transparent about carbon emissions.

China and Saudi Arabia are said to be concerned that by sharing this data, they will reveal economic growth numbers. They also reportedly object to the wording of the text, which pushes to limit warming to 1.5C as per the Paris agreement. However, as they both rely heavily on coal and oil, this emphasis could be problematic.

It is believed that the delay is preventing the establishment of a global market for carbon offsetting.

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Dire consequences of global warming

It is predicted that one billion people will be impacted by extreme heat stress if the global temperature is raised by 2C, according to research by the UK Met Office released at the Cop26 climate summit.

Researchers have been warning that the Middle East faces heat that will render parts of it unliveable in the near future.

A 2015 study found that the Gulf is expected to experience severe heatwaves that will make it inhospitable for human survival if the climate change is not controlled.

Another study, by the journal Nature, found that by 2100 some 600 million inhabitants of the MENA region - 50 percent -  could experience “super-extreme” weather events, including heat that lasts months and could be “potentially life-threatening for humans”.

“We anticipate that the maximum temperature during … heatwaves in some urban centres and megacities in the MENA could reach or even exceed 60 °C, which would be tremendously disruptive for society,” the scientists wrote.