Do not sit on your hands at Cop26 talks, Johnson tells world leaders


oris Johnson has appealed to other leaders not to sit on their hands as the world asks for action on climate change at the Cop26 talks.

The Prime Minister said there had been a “surge of really positive game-changing announcements” in areas such as finance and forests in the first week of the talks, but warned the negotiations were now tough.

The Cop26 conference “is not going to fix” climate change in one go, Mr Johnson warned, but it could come away with “the first genuine road map for a solution to anthropogenic climate change that I can think of in my lifetime”.

He warned that a failure to deliver would create a huge – and deserved – backlash.

Mr Johnson returned briefly to the summit in Glasgow on Wednesday as a draft of a deal that could be agreed was published.

He is heading home again in the face of calls from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to stay in Glasgow until a deal was struck, and from shadow business secretary Ed Miliband who said he should “stay and fight” for strong action with private diplomacy and public argument.

The draft of the agreement urges countries to “revisit and strengthen” the targets for cutting emissions by 2030 in their national plans to align them with the temperature goal in the international Paris Agreement of keeping warming “well below” 2C and trying to keep it to 1.5C.

The document published on Wednesday also urges countries to set out long-term strategies by the end of next year to reach net-zero emissions by about mid-century.

It includes a call for developed countries to at least double their collective provision of climate finance to help developing countries adapt to climate change, as part of scaling up finance for poorer nations to tackle the crisis, and to address loss and damage caused by increasingly extreme weather.

The draft decision 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.

Quizzed on whether the UK would support a bid by Denmark and Costa Rica, to be announced on Thursday, to phase out oil and gas, the Prime Minister did not rule it out – saying he wanted to move beyond hydrocarbons completely in the UK.

(PA Graphics) / PA Graphics

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