COP26: Boris Johnson hits out at countries ‘dragging their heels’ over climate pledges

The Prime Minister has criticised countries who “really should know better” after tough negotiations during the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow

Boris Johnson has said that some countries have “dragged their heels” in attempting to reach climate pledges made in the Paris Agreement in 2015. (Credit: Getty)

Boris Johnson has hit out at countries who “really should know better” for “dragging their heels” on Paris climate commitments.

The Prime Minister has criticised those who have not made the strides to meet climate targets originally created as part of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.

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Thousands of world leaders and delegates descended on Glasgow for the COP26 climate summit, where countries were told to take more action to keep the terms of the Paris Agreement alive.

At a glance: 5 key points

  • Boris Johnson has criticised countries for “dragging their heels” over commitments made in the Paris Climate Agreement to limit rising global warming temperatures from reaching over 1.5 degrees
  • As part of the Glasgow Climate Pact, which was created at the end of the COP26 summit in the Scottish city, countries are being told to up their efforts in making sure that the 1.5 target is achievable
  • Scientists say that at the current rate of change, global warming will increase by 2.4 degrees, leading to an extreme climate change impact for vulnerable nations
  • Following the conclusion of the COP26 summit, Johnson hailed the conference a success
  • Speaking in the House of Commons, he said that the summit marked the first fightback against fossil fuels and coal usage across the world

What did Boris Johnson say?

The Prime Minister returned to the House of Commons to share his thoughts on the COP26 conference.

Despite criticism from some climate activists on the outcome of the agreement, Johnson said that the summit had been a “success” although warned that “nothing is more dangerous than patting ourselves on the back and telling ourselves that the job is done.”

Referring to draft agreements and the final document, activists and climate experts warned that language had been “watered down” on the topic of fossil fuels to appease some nations.

However, the Prime Minister said that in Glasgow the world “took the first bite” after delivering the first COP agreement to mention fossil fuels.

He then went on to mention that he was not saying that “we can safely close the book on climate change”, saying that countries who have “dragged their heels on their Paris commitments” will make reaching a net-zero future across the world difficult.

However, Johnson said that if countries did fulfill their climate pledges, the Glasgow summit would be remembered as when “the world began to turn the tide”.

What have others said about the COP26 outcome?

Despite Johnson remaining adamant that the summit was a success, Labour Leader Keir Starmer branded the event a “missed opportunity”.

He said: “The Prime Minister has been the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. And Glasgow has been a missed opportunity, a stumble forward when we needed to make great strides,” he said.

“More climate delay, when we needed delivery. And 1.5C is now on life support. We still have the chance to keep 1.5C alive, but only with intensive care.

“We have to speak honestly about the challenge we face to rebuild the coalition that we need, and to take on the big emitters. We can and we must change course.”

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