By Hamish Cardwell of RNZ
The outcome of the COP26 climate summit won't help anyone sleep at night with the world still on track for catastrophic warming, but New Zealand observers say there has been some good come out of it.
After two weeks of talks that blew 30 hours past deadline, a deal has been struck at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
It promises more climate aid to developing countries, brings forward the deadline to increase pledges to cut emissions, and paves the way for international carbon markets.
The Glasgow Climate Pact is the first climate deal to explicitly plan to reduce coal.
But a dramatic last-minute move by India and China saw wording softened, which has enraged environmental groups and island nations.
Meanwhile, developing countries say the doubling of financial support to adapt to climate change is a step, but nowhere near enough.
Climate Change Minister James Shaw said the agreement was the least worst outcome, but it was not enough to keep warming below the crucial 1.5C mark.
The combined reduction measures and pledges equate to about 2.4C of warming.
'The interests of rich countries have taken priority'
Oxfam is deeply unhappy about the weakening of measures for coal, and the absence of any mention of oil and gas in the agreement.
Alex Johnston said the rights of those living in low-lying countries have been traded away.
"The interests of rich countries have taken priority here, it's really disappointing."
Johnston said rich countries also blocked calls to pay reparations to poor ones for climate damage, known in COP parlance as "loss and damage."
Coal Action Network campaigner Cindy Baxter said the outcome would not help anyone sleep at night.
She said the last-minute changes gutting coal reductions and the lack of action on loss and damage was profoundly disappointing.
"When you've lost something you can't adapt to it, you can't get it back. There is loss of life, there's loss of coastlines, there's loss of islands.
"There is need for them to be paid out for that by the [rich] countries that [caused the damage]."
Baxter said countries acknowledged they had not done enough and momentum was building for change.
'It's done a workman-like job' - former NZ Climate Ambassador and Kyoto chair
Former New Zealand climate change ambassador Adrian Macey said if he was in charge of this summit he would be satisfied with the result.
He said there was incremental progress but it was not to be sniffed at.
"It's done a workman-like job of progressing the things it had to do, and quite a few issues have had a step forward - nothing more than might be expected and probably a lot less than people were hoping for.
"But it's done a job."
Macey said pledges made during the conference on reducing methane, coal and ending deforestation are also positive developments.
Carbon markets compromise
At COP26 an agreement was finally struck to establish international carbon markets after negotiations failed several times in the years leading up to it.
It is particularly important for New Zealand because to meet our pledge to cut emissions we need will have to buy two-thirds of our reductions offshore.
University of Cambridge climate researcher Dr Natalie Jones said compromises were reached on issues about transparency and double counting - that if a country sells an emission reduction it can't also count it in its own pledges.
She said the countries calling for more stringent accounting rules basically got what they wanted.
There was also a compromise that would allow some leftover carbon credits to be used in the new system.
Dr Jones said while not all countries were happy, it is a huge improvement on previous deals.
But she said some serious issues remained.
"A few observers and NGOs are concerned about lack of [indigenous] rights protections in the text. And so I think that's the main thing that ... New Zealand [should] be a bit more concerned about."
New finance goal one to watch
And a key tension at COP26 is the failure of rich countries to follow through on their finance goal to give $100b in climate aid a year for five years from 2020.
Dr Jones said countries have decided on a process for coming up with a new finance goal for 2025 to 2030.
Poor countries say the goal needs to be boosted to more than $1 trillion a year to meet the scope of what is needed.
"Anyone interested in ... international climate politics I would say, watch out for this, it's going to be big news over the next couple of years."