Will Boris Johnson’s return to Cop26 make a difference?


Boris Johnson will return to Glasgow on Wednesday to urge the countries negotiating at Cop26 to “put their differences aside and unite for our planet and our people.”

“This is more than any one country,” the Prime Minister said in a statement issued by the UK government on Tuesday. “We need to do our best if we want to keep 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.”

Stretching all the feet is what really needs to happen.

Analysis published on Tuesday shows that the world is still by the end of the century, it will warm to 2.7 degrees Celsius, a million miles from the 1.5 degrees Celsius ambition set by the Paris Agreement. Despite all the big buzz and lofty ambitions last week, the authors of the report from the NGO Carbon Action Tracker were scathing about the status quo.

“Local policy implementation is progressing slowly,” they said. “There is a huge gap in credibility, action and commitment that casts a long and dark shadow of doubt on the net zero goals.”

“In these last days of Cop26, the negotiating teams are doing everything they can to turn promises into action on climate change,” Johnson said. “There is still a lot to be done. I will meet with ministers and negotiators to find out where progress has been made and where gaps need to be closed. ”

Since Sunday, October 31, negotiators from nearly 200 countries have been intensively negotiating to come to an agreement on a number of issues. This includes agreeing on an overall timeline for meeting national emission reduction commitments and a methodology for countries to report on their climate change actions. Promotion of finance for climate-vulnerable countries is also a key issue.

The UK, as President of Cop26, is expected to release an updated draft of the accompanying document at midnight on Tuesday. This is the text that will form the basis of the final agreement, which all countries must sign by Friday evening.

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The road to zero

First project published early Tuesday, was rejected by Greenpeace and many other groups for not mentioning fossil fuels, despite a consensus from experts led by the International Energy Agency on the need to immediately stop coal, oil and gas production.

“What’s very worrying here in Glasgow is that the first draft of the climate pact text is already extremely weak,” said Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International. “Usually the text starts with some kind of ambition, which is then blurred. “To keep 1.5 alive, four words must be added: ‘phase-out of fossil fuels’ and countries must return next year to close the gap.”

The Prime Minister will be joined by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Glasgow.


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