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“If we don’t act now, it will be too late,” Johnson warns ahead of Cop26 | Cop26

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World leaders have been warned that Cop26 must “mark the beginning of the end of climate change” amid last-minute talks that could help determine the future of the planet.

With the long-awaited environmental summit set to begin on Monday, Boris Johnson launched his plea by declaring that “too many countries are still doing too little”.

Speaking on his way to Italy to meet with other prime ministers and presidents of the G20 group of industrialized nations, Johnson said without action the modern world could suffer the same fate as the Roman Empire and experience decline dramatic.

“Humanity, civilization, society can go backwards as well as go forward, and when things start to go wrong they can go wrong with extraordinary speed,” he said.

“You saw it with the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, and I’m afraid to say it’s true today that unless we can tackle climate change, we could to see our civilization, our world also retreat. “

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What is the Cop26?


For nearly three decades, the world’s governments have come together almost every year to forge a global response to the climate emergency. Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) of 1992, every country on Earth is bound by treaty to “avoid dangerous climate change” and find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse globally in a fair manner.

Cop stands for Conference of the Parties under the UNFCCC. This year is the 26th iteration, postponed for one year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and which will be hosted by the UK in Glasgow.

The conference will officially open on October 31, and more than 120 world leaders will meet in the first few days. They will then leave, leaving the complex negotiations to their representatives, mainly environment ministers or similar senior officials. In total, around 25,000 people are expected to attend the conference. Talks are expected to end at 6 p.m. on Friday, November 12.

Fiona harvey Environment correspondent

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Saying that he had insisted on Chinese President Xi Jinping about his country’s use of coal during a phone call earlier on Friday, he compared the situation to a football game in which humanity is ” 5-1 at halftime ”.

The main focus of the conference will be to urge countries to keep the global temperature rise at 1.5 ° C – and failure to do so could lead to irreversible changes, said one of the world’s leading climatologists. of the world.

Professor Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said Cop26 cannot be treated like other political negotiations.

“An increase of 1.5C is not an arbitrary number, it is not a political number. It is a planetary frontier. Every fraction of a degree more is dangerous.

While Johnson has been criticized this week for his own inaction in the fight against emissions – Wednesday’s budget again freezing fuel taxes and slashing levies on shorter domestic flights – he has arrived in Rome carrying a direct message to other G20 leaders.

“Too many countries are still doing too little,” said the prime minister’s spokesperson, outlining the message that will be delivered.

“As the country with the greatest historical and modern contributions to global warming, which have built their economies on the back of burning dirty fossil fuels, the G20 holds the key to unlocking global action and making the progress we we need so much to live up to our commitments.

“While the G20 countries are largely responsible for the problem, it is the poorest nations who are already feeling the consequences. On Monday, the leaders of the G20 will come face to face with the leaders of these countries at Cop26 and will be held accountable for their actions. If we don’t act now, it will be too late.

In Rome, Johnson is expected to set the stage for the climate summit by demanding “concrete action on coal, cars and trees so that we can keep 1.5 alive and stay on track to net zero” , said his spokesperson. The spokesperson spoke of the government’s hope of maintaining the possibility of limiting global warming to 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels, as provided for in the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Johnson will hold bilateral talks with Scott Morrison, the Australian Prime Minister, whose own record in reducing emissions has been heavily criticized, as well as with Canadian Justin Trudeau and Italy’s Mario Draghi.

Johnson is not to hold a one-on-one meeting with Joe Biden, the US president, who will be at the G20 and Cop26, although the couple will attend a meeting in Rome on the Iran nuclear deal.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will also be present, who should be accompanied by his probable successor, Olaf Scholz, currently Minister of Finance.

UN Secretary General António Guterres stressed the importance of the G20 summit and the Glasgow conference, saying “there is a serious risk that Glasgow will not deliver”.

“If we want real success and not just a mirage, we need more ambition and more action,” Guterres said on Friday.

“This will only be possible with a massive mobilization of political will, and it requires trust between key players,” he said, adding that such trust was rare.

Johnson will travel directly to Glasgow from Rome, where he officially opens Cop26 on Monday with a keynote address. An estimated 120 world leaders from 196 countries are expected, along with 30,000 delegates.

Prime Minister will present summit as last chance for humanity to start tackling climate emergency, his spokesman calling it “critical moment for world leaders to show they can show ambition climate necessary “.

In addition to his opening speech in Glasgow, Johnson is also expected to host a roundtable on ‘action and solidarity’, bringing together leaders from major emitters and climate-vulnerable countries.

A series of planned bilateral meetings include appointments with Narendra Modi, the President of India, and the leaders of Egypt, Indonesia, Japan, Bangladesh and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

He will leave Glasgow later on Tuesday – leaders tend to only attend Cop summits at the start – and so far has no plans to return at the end of November 12, although this possibility to be kept open.

Protests took place in 26 countries on Friday, specifically targeting the financial centers of the world’s largest economies.

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg joined protesters at a “climate justice memorial” in the city of London on Friday.

“As long as we continue to ignore the historical responsibility of the countries of the North and continue to ignore it, the negotiations will not be successful,” she said.

Ahead of Cop, Downing Street announced a £ 160million fund to finance the development of floating offshore wind facilities in Wales and Scotland, as part of a wider plan to increase energy supply sustainable in the UK.

A separate announcement outlined plans to donate an additional 20 million Covid vaccines to the World Health Organization’s Covax program, which distributes them to the poorest countries.

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