COP26: Boris Johnson says Glasgow climate change summit will be ‘world’s moment of truth’

The Prime Minister urged world leaders to use the summit to bring about an end to climate change

Boris Johnson said the COP26 climate change summit will be the “world’s moment of truth”.

The Prime Minister urged world leaders to use the summit to bring about an end to climate change - with events in Glasgow beginning today (31 October).

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At a glance: 5 key points

  • Ahead of the United Nations summit, the Prime Minister pressed fellow world leaders to seize the moment and deliver on the target of preventing global temperatures from rising by more than 1.5C degrees above pre-industrial levels.
  • Cop26 will be one of the biggest events the UK has ever hosted, with 25,000 delegates expected from 196 countries and the European Union, Downing Street said.
  • Ministers, climate negotiators, civil society and business leaders are set to take part in talks and debates over the course of the two-week conference.
  • The Conservative Party leader has not struck an optimistic tone in the lead-up to the conference, repeating in interviews while in the Italian capital that he still rated the chances of success in Scotland as no more than six out of 10.
  • His Labour rival accused the Prime Minister of “lowering expectations” in the run-up to the crucial negotiations with such comments, potentially putting Cop’s environmental targets at “risk”.

What’s been said

Mr Johnson, who is due to fly from the G20 in Rome to Glasgow on Sunday evening, said: “Cop26 will be the world’s moment of truth.

“The question everyone is asking is whether we seize this moment or let it slip away.

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

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

Sir Keir Starmer told the Sunday Telegraph: “The Prime Minister is turning into a commentator rather than a leader in relation to Cop26, lowering expectations by a commentary instead of (showing) leadership on the global stage.”

Background

The Cop26 summit is aiming to urge countries to advance their net-zero commitments to the middle of the century and reduce emissions rapidly over the next decade through commitments on phasing out coal, switching to electric cars and planting trees.

Developed nations are also being urged to stump up the finance – 100 billion US dollars (£73 billion) per annum – needed by poorer nations to deal with climate change.

Number 10 said there is also a need to finalise the Paris Agreement at the event.

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