COP26: Must make bold compromises for climate deal, warns Johnson

British PM Boris Johnson (right) greets US President Joe Biden at the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, on Monday. Photo: AP/PTI
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged all participants at the climate change summit at Glasgow to “pull together and drive for the line” to secure ambitious action on climate change.

Exhorting ministers and negotiators at the 26th edition of the Conference of the Parties (Cop26), Johnson said they must be ready to “make the bold compromises and ambitious commitments needed”. 

As the first week of the crunch UN climate talks in Glasgow ends, the Prime Minister said countries must come back to the table for the second, and final week of negotiations ready to make bold compromises and ambitious commitments.

The first week of the talks have seen much of the attention focus on the attendance by world leaders and announcements of countries signing up to pledges to end deforestation, end fossil fuel funding abroad, phase out coal and cut the powerful greenhouse gas methane.   “There is one week left for COP26 to deliver for the world, and we must all pull together and drive for the line,” he said.

He said nations had brought “ambition and action to help limit rising temperatures”, and referred to the pledges that have been made during COP26 — including on deforestation and methane emissions. “But we cannot underestimate the task at hand to keep 1.5° C alive,” he added. “Countries must come back to the table this week ready to make the bold compromises and ambitious commitments needed.” 

Laurent Fabius, the former French foreign minister who helped forge the Paris climate accord, said the general atmosphere had improved since the talks began on October 31 and “most negotiators want an agreement”.

Covid honour system puts cases at 0.1%

As 25,000 delegates from around the world stand pile into negotiating rooms, cram into security queues and huddle over texts, the threat of Covid is always present. And sure enough, some delegates are falling sick at COP26.  The Scottish government puts the infection rate at the summit at around 0.1 per cent. The data is based on an honour system. To get into the conference centre delegates have to do a lateral-flow test in their hotel, register a negative result on a website, and receive a text message back as confirmation to show security guards. Bloomberg

Negotiators eye resolving 4 key issues 

As this year’s UN climate talks go into their second week, negotiations on key topics are inching forward. Officials are looking to find the answer to the following four. Top result from the conference, which is a statement of intent; climate financing, which looks to solve who pays; carbon trading, which is a key demand of many countries; and transparency and rigour in national emissions-cutting target, which lets governments set their own emissions-cutting targets. Progress on these will be the thing to watch out for. Agencies

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