Boris Johnson yesterday made an impassioned plea to ‘keep alive’ the dream of combating global warming – declaring this week’s climate change summit to be ‘the world’s moment of truth’.
The Prime Minister raised concerns about civilisation ‘going backwards” as world leaders met in Glasgow. He suggested that they should not come together to take decisive action.
Johnson did not however downplay the possibility of success at today’s COP26 UN climate summit.
Speaking at the G20 meeting in Rome, the PM – who last month rated the chances of an agreement in Glasgow at just ‘six out of ten’ – confessed that the odds were ‘about the same’.
Boris Johnson yesterday made an impassioned plea to ‘keep alive’ the dream of combating global warming – declaring this week’s climate change summit to be ‘the world’s moment of truth’
Johnson praised the importance of Glasgow’s event, saying that COP26 would be the world’s moment for truth.
“The question everyone is asking is whether or not we seize the moment before it is gone. The PM, who is due to fly from Rome to Scotland this evening, added: ‘Together, we can mark the beginning of the end of climate change – and end the uncertainty once and for all.’
The COP26 conference, which will immediately follow the G20 meeting has been billed by the UK as one of its largest such events with 25,000 delegates representing 196 countries.
A massive security operation will guard a number of world leaders amid fears about thousands of eco-activists descended on the Scottish city. But Insulate Britain protesters stated yesterday that they are not going.
Mr Johnson’s hopes of a major agreement over the next fortnight have been dented by the decision of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin – key players in any deal to combat global warming – not to attend in person.
Alok Sharma, COP26 President and Cabinet Minister, appeared to rule out allowing the Chinese leader to address the summit via video link. He told The Mail on Sunday that anyone who is unable to attend could send messages that we will post on the appropriate websites so people can see them. But the summit of world leaders has a physical representation and is only for world leaders.
The Prime Minister raised concerns about civilisation ‘going backwards” as world leaders gathered in Glasgow. He suggested that they should not come together to take decisive action.
Yesterday, Rome saw a draft communique that stated that the G20 countries would intensify their efforts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This is the level scientists believe is necessary to avoid catastrophe.
Critics claimed that there were no new radical commitments to curb harmful emission. The PM openly admitted yesterday that there was ‘no chance’ of getting a firm agreement this week, telling ITV News: ‘What we could conceivably do – if everyone gets their act together – is we could get an agreement that means that COP26 in Glasgow is a weigh station that allows us to end climate change and allows us to keep alive that dream of restricting the growth to 1.5 degrees.
“That would make an enormous difference to the prospects for humanity.”
Today, the Prince of Wales will make an unusual political intervention to inform world leaders that they have an ‘overwhelming obligation to generations yet to be born’.
Prince Charles will address the G20 meeting at Rome and issue his most severe warning yet about climate change, ahead of the COP26 summit at Glasgow.
The heir to the throne will likely hint at his sympathy for Greta Thunberg by saying: ‘It’s impossible not to hear young people’s despairing voices. They see you as the stewards and protectors of the planet, with the viability of their destiny in your hands.
According to the Archbishop, Canterbury, the outcome of this climate summit will determine the fate of millions.
Sir David Attenborough, who marked the summit’s beginning, highlighted how rewilding landscapes could save humanity.
The Wildlife Trusts produced a short film to celebrate COP26. The veteran broadcaster stated that nature could capture carbon dioxide and help protect us against extreme weather and flooding.