Boris Johnson warns ‘no more excuses’ for climate change failures

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 (AP)
(AP)

The COP26 summit will be a “failure” unless countries up their game in the battle against global warming in the next few days, Boris Johnson warned today.

The Prime Minister issued the gloomy outlook for the crunch talks in Glasgow which started today and last for nearly two weeks.

Speaking at the end of a G20 summit in Rome he stressed commitments so far were not enough to strike a succesful deal in Scotland.

“If we are going to prevent COP26 from being a failure then that must change,” he said.

“I must be clear that if Glasgow fails, then the whole thing fails.”

He added: “The Paris agreement (on global warming) will have crumbled at the first reckoning.

“The world’s only viable mechanism for dealing with climate change will be holed beneath the water.”

While there had been “reasonable” steps taken at the G20, they were not enough and had only “inched forward” the fight against global warming.

He stressed that only 12 G20 members had committed to reach net zero by 2050 or earlier.

“Barely half have submitted improved plans on how to cut carbon emissions since the Paris Agreement in 2015,” he added.

Wealthy nations had so far “failed” to provide $100 billion (£73 billion) a year to help poorer countries go green.

He stressed that the United Nations is warning that carbon emissions will rise by 15 per cent by 2030 when they needed to halve to keep on track the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels.

Countries “most responsible for historic and present day emissions” were not yet doing their “fair share” of work to deal with climate change.

He agreed that a G20 communique was “vague” with its commitment to net zero on or around 2050.

However, refusing to give up hope, he added: “There is a chance we can make progress.”

But he emphasised it needed more “will and leadership”.

The Prime Minister said there were “no compelling excuses” delaying introducing measures to control climate change.

“Not only have we acknowledged the problem, we have already seen first hand the devastation that climate change causes - heatwaves and droughts to wild fires and hurricanes,” he stressed.

“And unlike many other global challenges, the solution to climate change is clear - it lies in consigning dirty fossil fuels like coal to history, in ditching gas guzzling modes of transport and recognising the role nature plays in preserving life on this planet and enhancing the power through renewable energy rather than orchestrating its destruction.”

He highlighted “some progress” in recent weeks with Saudi Arabia, Australia and Russia making net zero commitment.

This meant 80 per cent of the global economy would “wipe out” its contribution to climate change by the middle of the century, up from 30 per cent, which he claimed as a success of the UK’s Cop26 leadership.

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