The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, on Saturday recognised India’s intervention to “phase down” rather than “phase out” use of coal as a fuel. This came a day after India had proposed this change in the agreement of the Glasgow Climate Pact, which was signed by 200 countries.

However, the proposal to make the change in the agreement has faced opposition from several countries.

Australian climate scientist Bill Hare said India’s last-minute recommendation of changing the climate pact’s language was shocking, AP reported. “India has long been a blocker on climate action, but I have never seen it done so publicly,” he said.

Tina Stege, climate envoy for the Marshall Islands said that the pact was not perfect, according to The Guardian.

“The coal change and a weak outcome on loss and damage are blows,” she said. “But it is real progress and elements of [it] are a lifeline for my country. We must not discount the crucial wins covered in this package.”

Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav has defended India’s push to “phase down” the use of fossil fuels, saying that developing countries could not promise to “phase out” coal and fossil fuel subsidies as they are dealing with the agenda of development, PTI reported.

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