THE PRESIDENT of COP26 will today warn world leaders that the Glasgow climate conference cannot merely be a “talking shop” – and stress that the international community has “no choice but to deliver” action.
The COP26 global climate conference will be held in Glasgow next month – branded the last, best hope of bringing forward action to limit global warming below the potential tipping point of 1.5C.
But concerns have been raised that the summit, hosted by Boris Johnson’s UK Government, could fail to provide the collective action needed to protect the planet.
The UK Government’s President-Designate for COP26, Alok Sharma, will today press the need for COP26 to be a success and follow up the agreement reached at COP21 in Paris in 2015.
The Paris Agreement committed countries to limit global temperature rises to below 2C with an ambition of 1.5C. It is hoped COP26 will spell out a binding agreement for 1.5C.
Mr Sharma will outline his vision for the Glasgow conference in a speech at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris today.
In his appeal, Mr Sharma will highlight the need for nations to draw up climate actions plans to significantly cut emissions by 2030 and become net zero by the middle of the century.
MSPs have agreed legal targets to cut Scotland’s 1990 levels of emissions by 75% by 2030 and become net zero by 2045.
Mr Sharma will demand concrete action for nations’ plans to be delivered including an agreement to reduce burning of coal and cut methane emissions.
He is expected to say: “COP26 is not a photo op or a talking shop.
“It must be the forum where we put the world on track to deliver on climate. And that is down to leaders. It is leaders who made a promise to the world in this great city six years ago. And it is leaders that must honour it.
“Responsibility rests with each and every country. And we must all play our part. Because on climate, the world will succeed, or fail as one.”
The President-Designate will also call on global leaders to honour their pledge of $100 billion of annual support to help developing countries mitigate the impacts of climate change. The funding was promised every year from 2020 to 2025 but is yet to materialise.
Mr Sharma will be clear that new commitments on public and private finance must be brought forward to support the countries most vulnerable to climate change and progress on adaptation to the effects of our changing climate, accounting for the loss and damage that it can cause.
He will add: “It will be an extraordinary COP in extraordinary times. But collectively, we must pull together to make it work. Forging unity from the unfamiliar. Because we have no choice but to deliver.
“Each country must step-up. And as COP26 President I will ensure that every voice is heard. That the smallest nations are sitting face to face with the world’s great powers. As equal parties to the process.”