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COP26: A surprise announcement, green transport deals and a first look at the COP26 draft agreement

Just as COP26 was about to wrap up its work for Wednesday, the United States and China helped end the day on a positive note with the joint announcement that the two nations have agreed to work together on more ambitious climate action in this decade, doing more to cut emissions, including from methane.

The UN Secretary-General, who returned to Glasgow Wednesay, welcomed their agreement in a tweet:

“Tackling the climate crisis requires international collaboration and solidarity, and this is an important step in the right direction,” António Guterres wrote.

In a joint statement presented by the climate envoys from both nations, the US and China drew a roadmap for ongoing cooperation to tackle climate change.

Meanwhile, with 48 hours left for countries to close out their negotiations, COP26 has officially entered the final stretch.

To that end, the UK Presidency on Wednesday published a draft of the final outcome document of the conference, calling on countries to step up ambition and define their ‘Net-Zero’ strategies as early as 2022.

It is also the first time that ‘loss and damage’ and a call to end fossil fuel subsidies have been included in such a document – a step which drew mixed reactions from some civil society organizations, as well as a broader call for a much more ambitious text.

Alok Sharma, COP26 President, said that finalizing the text, including the recent decisions, will be challenging.

“But we know what is at risk if we do not reach an ambitious outcome: climate-vulnerable countries at the frontline of the climate crisis will continue to bear the brunt before it engulfs us all,” he said, adding that he expects an agreement by Friday evening.

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