COP26: Document leak reveals nations lobbying to change key climate report

A huge leak of documents seen by BBC News shows how countries are trying to change a crucial scientific report on how to tackle climate change.

The leak reveals Saudi Arabia, Japan and Australia are among countries asking the UN to play down the need to move rapidly away from fossil fuels.

It also shows some wealthy nations are questioning paying more to poorer states to move to greener technologies.

This “lobbying” raises questions for the COP26 climate summit in November.

It shows countries pushing back on UN recommendations for action just days before they will be asked to make significant commitments to slow down climate change and keep global warming to 1.5 degrees.

The leaked documents consist of more than 32,000 submissions made by governments, companies and other interested parties to the team of scientists compiling a UN report designed to bring together the best scientific evidence on how to tackle climate change.

These “assessment reports” are produced every six to seven years by the the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body tasked with evaluating the science of climate change,

The report will be used by governments to decide what action is needed to tackle climate change and will be a crucial input to negotiations at the Glasgow conference.

The authority of these reports derives in part from the fact that virtually all the governments of the world participate in the process to reach a consensus.

The comments from governments the BBC has read are overwhelmingly designed to be constructive and to improve the quality of the final report.

The cache of comments and the latest draft of the report were released to Greenpeace UK’s team of investigative journalists, Unearthed, which passed it on to BBC News.

-BBC

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