Home » Boris Johnson Pleads With World Leaders To Put In The ‘hard Yards’ And Rescue Cop26 Climate Deal

Boris Johnson Pleads With World Leaders To Put In The ‘hard Yards’ And Rescue Cop26 Climate Deal

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Boris Johnson made a desperate plea to world leaders to agree a green deal at Cop26 today as the summit threatened to end without a groundbreaking climate agreement.

The Prime Minister, who has staked a large amount of political capital on a high-profile emissions deal, spoke as he made his second visit to Glasgow today.

He used a televised press conference to warns leaders ‘the world knows what a mess our planet is in’ and called for more ‘ambition’ to achieve a deal.

He was speaking as a first draft of a deal for Cop26 calls on countries to strengthen their emissions-cutting plans in the next year in a bid to keep a goal to limit warming to 1.5C within reach.

It also calls for faster phasing out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels – a first for a UN deal – but there is likely to be strong resistance to this from some countries and it could be taken out of any final agreement.

Developing countries and campaigners have also raised concerns over the provision of finance for poorer nations to cope with the impact of climate change in the draft deal.

Mr Johnson told reporters: ‘Here in Glasgow the world is closer than it has ever been to signalling the beginning of the end of anthropogenic climate change.

‘It is now within reach. At Cop26 in these final days we just need to reach out together and grasp it.

‘So my question to my fellow world leaders as we enter the last hours of Cop26 is: will you help us do that? Will you help us grasp the opportunity or will you stand in the way?’

The Prime Minister, who has staked a large amount of political capital on a high-profile emissions deal, spoke as he made his second visit to Glasgow today.

Mr Johnson told reporters: ‘The line is in sight but if we’re going to get there we need a determined push to get us over the line. We need to be more ambitious and we need more credible plans for implementation.

Nicola Sturgeon says climate change is a ‘feminist issue’

Nicola Sturgeon said that climate change is a ‘feminist issue’ as she joined US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at Cop 26 today.

Scotland’s First Minister told the UN climate summit in Glasgow that the voices of women must be at the centre of helping to tackle environmental damage.

She demanded more women and girls are involved in decision-making roles, saying the fact that a minority of the 120 world leaders earlier who addressed the event in Scotland were female ‘must change’.

Women are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, as they form a large majority of the world’s poor, often depend on small-scale farming for their livelihoods and can comprise 80 per cent of those displaced by climate-related disasters.

Speaking today as she chaired a panel at an event focusing on advancing gender equality in climate action, Ms Sturgeon said: ‘There is no doubt we must ensure that climate change is a feminist issue.

‘We must make sure that the experiences of women and girls across the world, so often disproportionately impacted by climate change, are understood as we devise the solutions.

The draft ‘cover decision’, the final version of which must be agreed by a consensus of nearly 200 countries at the Glasgow summit, was published today.

Scientists have warned that keeping temperature rises to 1.5C, to avoid the worst impacts of climate change which would be felt with greater warming, requires global emissions to be cut by 45 per cent by 2030, and to zero overall by mid-century – but countries’ plans for this decade leave the world well off track.

The draft is published after analysis warned existing plans for this decade put the world on track for 2.4C of warming – well above the goals internationally agreed in the Paris accord to curb temperature rises to ‘well below’ 2C and try to limit them to 1.5C.

Greenpeace UK’s head of climate, Kate Blagojevic, said Mr Johnson’s pleas were ‘little more than insincere midweek muzac’.

‘The Prime Minister has continually failed to grasp that success at COP26 requires real climate action and real leadership from the host,’ she said.

‘To show solidarity with those most affected by the climate crisis, he’d have publicly signed a cheque helping to meet the needs from developing nations for significant sums of new money to allow them to prepare for and repair the damage from flooding, fires and food shortages.

‘Simply redirecting funds raided from the already depleted aid budget will have dire consequences for millions of people from impoverished communities. This Boris Johnson speech fails to meet the moment again today.’

It came as a new report revealed the world will heat up by 2.4C despite the pledges being made by leaders at the Cop26 climate summit, a report has warned.

The Climate Action Tracker analysis, published yesterday, also warns that, based on action countries are currently taking, temperatures could climb to 2.7C over the century.

Under the Paris Agreement secured in 2015, countries committed to keeping temperature rises to ‘well below’ 2C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit them to 1.5C and provide finance for poorer countries to help them cope with the crisis.

But experts have found that domestic action pledged by countries in plans known as ‘nationally determined contributions’ under the Paris deal was not enough to meet the goals.

And despite a requirement countries come back ahead of Cop26 with more ambitious plans for action up to 2030, the world is still far off track, the report warned.

Bill Hare, the chief executive of Climate Analytics, one of the organisations behind CAT, told the Guardian: ‘We are concerned that some countries are trying to portray [Cop26] as if the 1.5C limit is nearly in the bag.

‘But it’s not, it’s very far from it, and they are downplaying the need to get short-term targets for 2030 in line with 1.5C.’

It comes as Boris Johnson is heading back to the COP26 summit tomorrow to urge negotiators to be ‘ambitious’ in the frantic last few days.

The PM is travelling to Glasgow to take stock of the discussions on a final package that could help limit potentially disastrous climate change.

Mr Johnson has been targeting pledges on ‘coal, cars, cash and trees’ at the UN gathering, with officials behind the scenes pleased with the way things have been going.

Downing Street will be hoping that the premier’s return can get more measures over the line, as well as allowing him to take credit for progress.

However, COP26 President Alok Sharma tried to play down expectations insisting there is still ‘a mountain to climb’.

A No10 spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister is going up to meet negotiators, to get an update on progress in the talks and encourage ambitious action in the final days of the negotiations.’

The first draft of the ‘cover decision’, to be published overnight, aims to address the gap between action by countries and what is needed to tackle the crisis in line with the global climate treaty, the Paris Agreement.

It could set out a path for accelerating action to cut greenhouse gases in this decade to keep global warming to 1.5C, with countries potentially revisiting their emissions-reduction plans in the next few years.

There are also likely to be moves to increase finance for developing countries to help them adapt to the impacts of a changing climate.

It will be published after new analysis suggests plans by countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade put the world on track for 2.4C of warming.

The Climate Action Tracker analysis also warns that, based on action countries are actually taking, temperatures could climb to 2.7C over the century.

Under the Paris Agreement secured in 2015, countries committed to keeping temperature rises to ‘well below’ 2C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit them to 1.5C and provide finance for poorer countries to help them cope with the crisis.

But domestic action pledged by countries in plans known as ‘nationally determined contributions’ under the Paris deal was not enough to meet the goals.

And despite a requirement countries come back ahead of Cop26 with more ambitious plans for action up to 2030, the world is still far off track.

The next ‘ratchet’ for increasing ambition under the Paris Agreement comes in 2025, though nations can set out new, enhanced plans at any time, and would see countries setting out action for post-2030.

With scientists warning that emissions must be cut by nearly half in the 2020s to curb temperature rises to 1.5C in the long term, leaving further action to the 2030s would mean letting the target slip away – and putting the world at risk of more dangerous sea level rises, storms, droughts, crop damage and floods.

Vulnerable countries are pushing for nations to submit national plans which are in line with limiting temperatures to 1.5C in the next year and long term plans to meet the target by 2023, though there is pushback from other countries.

Negotiators are also trying to hammer out the last parts of how the Paris Agreement will function, on carbon markets, transparency and common timeframes for action plans, to make it effective and operational.

And while countries have made pledges at Glasgow on a number of areas such as phasing out coal, cutting methane and halting deforestation, concerns have been raised about how they will be held to account on their promises.

Climate change activists in Glasgow today dressed as world leaders, from left to right: Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Boris Johnson, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, and US President Joe Biden

Ahead of the publication of the draft cover decision, Mr Sharma said: ‘The time has now come to find political consensus on the areas of divergence and we have only a few days left.’

He added: ‘We are making progress at Cop26 but we still have a mountain to climb over the next few days.

‘And what has been collectively committed to goes some way, but certainly not all the way, to keeping 1.5C within reach. The gap in ambition has narrowed.

‘Now the world needs confidence that we will shift immediately into implementation, that the pledges made here will be delivered, and that the policies and investment will swiftly follow.’

He said the cover decision was likely to require negotiating teams to consult their leaders and capitals, and asked them to do so with urgency.