Today, the President of COP26 scuttled any hopes of a major breakthrough in climate change at the summit. He stated that it would be “really, really difficult” for world leaders to reach a deal. 

Alok Sharma stated that it now takes two weeks for an agreement to be reached as thousands of delegates from around the world arrive in Glasgow.    

The UN summit aims to convince countries to take action to limit global warming to less than 1.5 degrees.  

Sharma stated that he is “driving towards” achieving this goal, but did not guarantee that summit success. 

He exhorted world leaders to “leave the ghosts behind them” because he said they had to fulfill their promises to reduce harmful emissions.    

Alok Sharma today dampened hopes of a major climate change breakthrough at the COP26 summit in Glasgow

Alok Sharma has scuttled any hopes of a major breakthrough in climate change at the COP26 summit.

World leaders are due to meet in the city to try to hammer out a deal to reduce harmful emissions and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees

The city will host world leaders who are expected to reach an agreement to reduce harmful emissions and limit global heating to 1.5 degrees.

Downing Street claimed that COP26 will be the largest ever hosted event in the UK, with 25,000 delegates coming from 196 countries as well as the European Union.

The two-week conference will feature talks and debates by ministers, climate negotiators and civil society leaders.

Boris Johnson stated last week that it would be ‘touch-and-go’ if the gathering is a success, having previously been bullish about the chances of a breakthrough. 

Last night, the Prime Minster stated that the summit will be the “world’s moment for truth”.   

Sharma responded to the claim that countries have not fulfilled their climate change commitments under the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement. He said that ‘Well, you’re right, this is on global leaders at the final of the day. They made the Paris commitments that we would limit temperature increases to well below 2 degrees Celsius. Continuing efforts to 1.5, and now in Glasgow, they must deliver.

“We have the G20 ongoing and those world leader will arrive here tomorrow for a world leaders’ summit. I want to make it clear to them: Leave behind the ghosts and the past. It is Halloween today, but let’s not forget about the past. Let’s get on with the future and unite around one issue that is important for all of us, which is protecting the planet. 

When Mr Sharma was told that Mr Johnson seemed to have changed his tone about the likelihood of success at summit, he replied: “The Prime Minister is absolutely correct, it will be really, really difficult at this summit.

“We have two weeks to finish this. He also mentioned that less than 30 percent of the global economic economy was covered by a net zero goal when he assumed the presidency at COP26. 

“We are now at over 80%, almost all G20 nations that are being discussed have set a net zero goal for the middle century.”

When asked directly if a deal would be made at the summit, Mr Sharma did not respond. 

He told Sky News: ‘That is what I am driving towards and I think what I have always said is that what we need to come from out of Glasgow is to be able to say with credibility that we have kept 1.5 alive.’

After a trip to Rome (Italy), Mr Johnson will arrive in Glasgow tonight. He was there to attend a meeting with the G20.

He expressed concern last week that the summit on climate change could ‘go wrong’ and fail. 

He said: ‘We need as many people as possible to agree go to net zero so that they are not producing too much carbon dioxide by the middle of the century.

“Now, I believe it can be done. This summit will be very, very difficult.

‘And I’m very worried, because it might go wrong and we might not get the agreements that we need. It’s just a matter of time. 

Johnson spoke out last night to say that he hopes that world leaders will arrive at Glasgow ready to take ‘decisive measures’. 

Boris Johnson said last week it will be 'touch and go' if the gathering will be a success having previously been bullish on the chances of a breakthrough

Boris Johnson, who had previously been bullish on the prospects of a breakthrough, said that it would be a ‘touch and forget’ decision if the gathering succeeds.

He said: “Cop26” will be the moment of truth for the world. Everyone is asking the same question: Do we seize the moment or let it slip?

“I hope world leaders will hear them, and come to Glasgow ready with decisive action.

‘Together, we can mark the beginning of the end of climate change – and end the uncertainty once and for all.’

An earlier claim made by Mr Sharma that he was angry at Mr Johnson for creating expectations ahead the summit amid Cabinet fears that it would be a damp squib’ was made this month.

Mr Sharma was reported to be ‘raging at’ the PM for ‘ramping up” hopes of a breakthrough at Glasgow. 

Ministers feel that the Government’s message before the summit was too bullish and is ‘completely beyond control’. Allies of Mr Sharma denied that he was angry at the PM.