Cop26 Glasgow news – live: $18bn pledged to end coal as John Kerry says humanity will not cope with more warming

·63-min read

Britain’s Cop26 president, Alok Sharma, has revealed that so far during the conference, $18bn (£13bn) had been pledged to help deliver the transition from coal to clean energy.

He told a press conference: “We know this transition must be just and new tools for delivering the transition are emerging - development banks, philanthropists and the private sector are coming behind it, and helping countries across the world.

“We have seen over the last day or so an announcement of around $18bn in new support so far this Cop for the transition from coal to clean power.”

Elsewhere, Greenpeace has warned that the “first cracks” have appeared in Cop26 climate deals after an Indonesian official disputed that an agreement on deforestation signed by more than 100 countries this week contained a pledge to halt deforestation by 2030.

“The declaration issued does not refer at all to the ‘end deforestation by 2030’,” vice foreign minister, Mahendra Siregar, said in a statement. Indonesia‘s environment minister earlier said such an arrangement would “inappropriate and unfair”.

Read More

Cop26: Boris Johnson says there are ‘opportunities’ for UK from melting ice caps

Cop26: 190 countries and organisations agree to end coal-fired power

Cop26: What has been achieved and agreed by leaders at the climate summit?

Key Points

  • Group of 190 countries and organisations agree to end coal-fired power

  • Pikachu protest against Japan’s backing of coal

  • ‘Climate change will continue to cause severe hardships’ – Kerry

  • Cop26 pledges would limit warming to 1.8C, says IEA

  • Dozens of Insulate Britain protesters glue hands and feet to floor outside parliament

  • Insulate Britain putting police in sticky situations – continued

  • ‘Biden entourage in convoy of 23-plus cars and helicopter’ – video

  • LA mayor tests positive for Covid after meeting heads of state

  • Biden’s aide tests positive for Covid

  • Something fishy going on in ‘corrupt’ seafood industry

Biden’s aide tests positive for Covid

00:15 , Lamiat Sabin

An aide of US president Joe Biden has tested positive for Covid.

The person had been travelling with Mr Biden to Rome and then to Glasgow for the Cop26 conference, it has been confirmed by his administration.

The fully-vaccinated aide is asymptomatic and is remaining in Scotland to quarantine while undergoing additional tests.

They tested positive with a lateral flow test issued at the UN climate summit.

Mr Biden had tested negative for the virus on Tuesday, the White House said.

The White House said that a few staff members who were in close contact with the individual did not return to the US with Mr Biden aboard Air Force One, and instead flew home on a different government plane.

Prince Charles says it would be ‘difficult’ for him to join protest

Thursday 4 November 2021 23:45 , Lamiat Sabin

Greta Thunberg’s fellow climate protesters are understood to have invited the Prince of Wales to a protest – but he said that taking part would be “difficult”.

The Swedish climate activist has urged people to join the climate strike protest tomorrow as part of her Fridays for Future marches.

PA has reported that a Cop26 youth group is said to have asked the prince to join them.

Speaking from Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Prince Charles told negotiators: “There’s a lot of anger and a lot of frustration. There’s a big march tomorrow, which some people have said I should join – that’s more difficult – but the point is, please don’t forget these people out there. Don’t forget that it’s their future.”

‘Biden entourage in convoy of 23-plus cars and helicopter’ – video

Thursday 4 November 2021 23:00 , Lamiat Sabin

It appears the US President is unable or unwilling to travel light during Cop26 as he has been chauffeured around Scotland in a convoy of at least 23 cars plus a helicopter – according to a member of the public.

A Twitter user with the name Robbie Corbett said Joe Biden passed by Livingston on his way to the climate conference.

He pointed out the dissonance of the president attending a climate summit with many staff taxiied around in many cars.

Mr Biden’s convoy of cars has also been seen a number of times driving through Glasgow since the conference started.

New Zealand has increased climate aid to 1.3bn NZ dollars

Thursday 4 November 2021 22:50 , Lamiat Sabin

Jacinda Ardern reiterated New Zealand’s announcement last month that the country has increased its climate aid commitment to 1.3 billion NZ dollars (£683 million).

Appearing via video link at the CBI industry event this evening, the NZ PM said the revised sum “represents a quadrupling of the climate aid we provide to the countries most affected by the climate crisis”.

She said this includes countries in the Pacific region, where the majority of the support will go.

 (PA)
(PA)

Ms Ardern said New Zealand is the first country in the world to pass a law that introduces mandatory climate-related reporting for the financial sector, and urged countries including the UK to follow suit.

Also, she added that New Zealand’s free trade agreement with the UK is her country’s first bilateral trade agreement to include specific articles on climate change and sustainable agriculture.

“The deal includes agreement to take steps to eliminate harmful fossil fuel subsidies where they exist, and to support the transition to clean energy,” Ms Ardern said.

“Beyond climate change, prohibitions have been agreed on subsidies that contribute to overfishing as well as on subsidies for those engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

“And over 260 environmentally beneficial products, such as solar power panels and bicycles, will have tariffs eliminated, the largest list of environment goods ever agreed in a bilateral free trade agreement.”

Minister: World will turn ‘into a hell’ if global warming continues

Thursday 4 November 2021 22:40 , Lamiat Sabin

Kwasi Kwarteng has said that “we will turn our world into a hell if we do not tackle climate change”.

The business secretary, speaking after John Kerry at the CBI dinner, said: “The net-zero agenda, critical as it is to our future, does not mean that we have to somehow regress into a pre-industrial poverty.

“We can grow our economy sensibly, just in the way that Secretary Kerry described, through innovation, through enterprise and through what I would call creative investment

“We understand in the marrow of our bones that going green is good for business and, as the Prime Minister said, green is good and it’s absolutely fundamental to our message.”

Mr Kerry, the US climate envoy, said that humanity will not be able to “fundamentally cope” with the effects of global warming.

Decarbonisation ‘big bet’ for post-Brexit business, says CBI boss

Thursday 4 November 2021 22:30 , Lamiat Sabin

Earlier, the boss of the Confederation of British Industry – where heads of state have taken it in turns to address business delegates from the UK – has said that decarbonisation is the “big bet” after Brexit.

Tony Danker said at the CBI-hosted dinner tonight: “Here in the UK, post-Brexit, post-Covid, decarbonisation is our big bet.

“It is bringing substance to the Prime Minister’s levelling-up agenda by bringing higher value industries and jobs to different corners of our country.

“It gives new definition to the idea of global Britain. We can and we will export to the world our new green products and services.”

‘Climate change will continue to cause severe hardships’ – Kerry

Thursday 4 November 2021 21:50 , Lamiat Sabin

The US’ climate envoy has warned that climate change is going to bring challenges that humanity does not know “how to fundamentally cope with”.

 (PA)
(PA)

Speaking at a CBI dinner in Glasgow, he said: “Already we have millions of people moving around looking for alternative places to live, but what would happen in 2C or 3C (of warming) is beyond comprehension.”

He continued: “The fact is we will see changes that we don’t even know how to fundamentally cope with – where disease spreads even more easily.

“When we see what happens now to nations – with the fires and the floods and mudslides, water drying up now in the western parts of the US and the Hoover Dam lower than it has been since 1937.”

Mr Kerry said: “We had people dying in their basement in a storm last month in New York, 150 people froze to death in Texas because of the implications of a lack of proper infrastructure development for adaptation and resilience purposes.”

Climate finance to be paid to poorer countries a year earlier than expected

Thursday 4 November 2021 21:40 , Lamiat Sabin

Developed nations will be able to deliver £70 billion ($100bn) of climate finance to developing countries by 2022, John Kerry has said.

Heads of state had promised to deliver the funding by 2020, but latest estimates suggested that targets would not be reached until 2023.

US climate envoy Mr Kerry said: “No Cop in history has had the feel of what I feel in Glasgow here today – new energy, new urgency, a new sense of possibility, and we have never had as much corporate presence and commitment as we have today.

“I believe that we are going to be able to raise the ambition beyond anything we imagined – already we have finance that is very significant.”

He cited commitments by Japan to put £7bn ($10bn) into efforts to lower global temperatures over the next five years, allowing a further £6bn ($8bn) in private finance to be leveraged.

Mr Kerry added: “That means for 2022 we now have the full 100 billion dollars we wanted to have, and 100 billion going forward, so we take that issue off the table.

“My friends, you have seen a revolution here before you in this community, you are now leading the largest economic transformation in the world.”

US climate envoy tells British firms to back renewable energy

Thursday 4 November 2021 21:30 , Lamiat Sabin

John Kerry told British businesses that “everybody is going to have to be part of this transition” to renewable energy.

Speaking at the CBI dinner, the US climate envoy said the nation was partnering with the UAE to help India deliver 450 gigawatts of renewable energy in the next eight years.

He said: “We are going to bring the finance and we are going to bring the technology – we have appointed a full-time person to be on the ground in India to hold hands and lock them into those deals and bring that money to the table.”

Mr Kerry added: “That’s how we’re going to do it folks, no automatic pilot here – everybody is going to have to be part of this transition.

“But businesses more than anybody is the one entity that we really need at the table this time to make the difference.”

US ‘not as bad as you think on climate even when Trump was at the helm’

Thursday 4 November 2021 21:19 , Lamiat Sabin

John Kerry, the US’ climate envoy, has claimed that America has “kept moving forward” in attempts to tackle climate change even during Donald Trump’s presidency.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by the Confederation of British Industry, he said: “I said this at the time but none of us who were leaving Paris could have guaranteed to our citizens to hold the earth’s temperature to 2C, let alone 1.5C.

“We knew we weren’t, but we weren’t faking – what we knew we were doing was bringing 195 countries together to galvanise action and to send a message to you, to the private sector that 195 countries are going to create a market, we’re going to do something different.”

Mr Kerry said Mr Trump’s presidency had “stopped the money from flowing” but added that the actions of individual mayors and governors “kept America moving forward”.

He continued: “We are not quite as bad as you think we are – in fact 75% of new electricity that has come on line in the last few years has come from renewable energy.”

Sunak says he hopes he’s showing his kids that he’s ‘trying to save the tigers’

Thursday 4 November 2021 20:30 , Lamiat Sabin

Rishi Sunak has said that the Cop26 climate change conference for him is about “reassuring my kids that I am doing what I can to save the tigers”.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Confederation of British Industry in Glasgow, the Chancellor said in a pre-recorded video: “[The conference] means something different for all of us but for me it’s about two things – preparing our economy and reassuring my kids that I’m doing what I can to save the tigers.”

 (PA)
(PA)

He continued: “It is clearer than ever that this will need a collective effort with governments, financial institutions, businesses and people working together.

“Already a massive transformation in our financial systems is under way, with trillions of pounds of finance being mobilised for a green industrial revolution.”

He added: “This is only possible because governments are working hand in hand with the private sector.”

UN ‘refuses to say how many Cop26 delegates have Covid'

Thursday 4 November 2021 19:39 , Lamiat Sabin

The UN has reportedly refused to state how many delegates have contracted Covid at the Cop26 conference.

Officials say case numbers at the conference are “not substantial” and are lower than in the general population – according to the i newspaper.

It comes after reports that a number of people – such as LA mayor Eric Garcetti – have tested positive for the virus this week.

More than 100 police officers have been forced to isolate with suspected Covid or are awaiting PCR results, the Daily Mail reports.

At least 30,000 people from 200 countries have attended the UN’s climate change conference in Glasgow.

Sturgeon checks out ‘revolutionary’ indoor tower farm

Thursday 4 November 2021 18:46 , Lamiat Sabin

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has gone to view a vertical farm showcased at Cop26.

Scottish company Intelligent Growth Solutions has developed a system of suspending the towers from the ceiling of any structure to “revolutionise” the indoor growing market.

 (PA)
(PA)

The company has just announced that is has received more than £42 million from equity-based funds.

The towers are nine-metres-high and consist of boxes stacked above the ones with gaps of 30cm.

The conditions of plant growth can be fully controlled with heat and light settings, the company – which sells the towers to farmers – says on its website.

Ed Miliband warns against ‘letting big emitters off the hook’

Thursday 4 November 2021 18:23 , Lamiat Sabin

Countries must not “shift the goalposts” at Cop26 by focusing on long-term targets instead of urgent national action, Ed Miliband has warned.

The shadow business secretary, who is at the summit in Glasgow, said the central issue should be closing the gap between the action countries were taking and the cuts needed to emissions to avoid global warming.

Focusing on other things risked letting the big greenhouse gas emitters “let off the hook”, the former Labour leader said.

It comes as heads of state have agreed pacts on forests, finance and coal.

Mr Miliband said there has been some “significant progress” on tackling climate change in recent years but that it is “still significantly inadequate.”

He told the PA news agency: “We can’t have shifting of the goalposts. Neither the net zero targets for the middle of the century nor the sectoral announcements can be allowed to let the big emitters off the hook.”

Insulate Britain putting police in sticky situations – continued

Thursday 4 November 2021 18:00 , Lamiat Sabin

A picture has emerged of an Insulate Britain protester having glued his hand to a police van today.

Earlier, we reported that about 40 demonstrators blocked traffic in Parliament Square this morning by gluing themselves to the road.

Met Police have arrested 34 people following the protest after specialist teams were dispatched to get them unstuck.

Read the full report here:

Insulate Britain protesters glue their hands and feet to road outside parliament

Summary of key events so far

Thursday 4 November 2021 17:40 , Lamiat Sabin

Cop26 so far has been a blend of crucial international climate change pacts, some eye-catching protest costumes, and accusations of hypocrisy levelled at heads of state.

Here’s Harry Cockburn with a quick recap

The key moments from the Cop26 climate summit so far

Sturgeon dismisses claims of strikebreaking during Cop26

Thursday 4 November 2021 17:20 , Lamiat Sabin

FM Nicola Sturgeon has dismissed claims that Glasgow City Council are attempting to break a strike during Cop26.

Waste collectors and street cleaners are taking industrial action during the conference over a dispute about pay.

GMB union is accusing the council of plotting to draft in agency workers to break the strike action.

During First Minister’s Questions, Scottish Labour MSP for the Glasgow region Paul Sweeney said that “bussing in blackleg private contractors to try to break the strike is disgraceful and a paltry short-term fix to this long-running dispute.”

Ms Sturgeon dismissed claims of anti-strike action, adding: “The council do have a concern about Bonfire Night posing an additional fire risk if rubbish is not collected.

“So what they are considering is cover to mitigate these risks. What they are not considering is using contractors to fulfil the regular duties of striking staff.”

‘Climate crisis effects gender equality,’ stress young activists

Thursday 4 November 2021 17:00 , Lamiat Sabin

Malala Yousafzai, Vanessa Nakate and Leah Thomas have urged world leaders to listen to marginalised women and people of colour who are on the front line of the climate crisis.

The young activists spoke at a New York Times fringe event near the Cop26 conference in Glasgow.

They said politicians and negotiators at the global gathering should stop using false praise as a way to pass on the responsibility of tackling global warming to the younger generations.

Full story here by my colleague Holly Bancroft

Political leaders ‘placing burden of saving world on young activists’

Pikachu protest against Japan’s backing of coal

Thursday 4 November 2021 16:40 , Lamiat Sabin

Protesters dressed as Pikachu have gathered opposite the Cop26 conference to demand that Japan ends it support for coal power.

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(PA)

A group called No Coal Japan say that the nation is continuing to finance coal plants in Bangladesh and Indonesia.

190 countries have agreed a new pact to phase out use of coal – but Japan, China, India and Australia did not sign.

Pikachu, based on the rabbit-like mammal pika, is a character in the Pokemon cartoon series that has become an international icon of Japanese pop culture since its inception in the late 90s.

LA mayor tests positive for Covid after meeting heads of state

Thursday 4 November 2021 16:20 , Lamiat Sabin

The mayor of Los Angeles has tested positive for coronavirus a day after attending a breakfast with Boris Johnson, leaders of the UK’s devolved nations, and other heads of state.

Mayor Eric Garcetti is now isolating in his hotel in Glasgow.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford hosted the event in the Cop26 blue zone on Tuesday along with Northern Ireland’s First Minister Paul Givan and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill.

A message on the official mayor of Los Angeles Twitter account posted on Wednesday afternoon said: “Mayor Garcetti tested positive for COVID-19 earlier today.

“He is feeling good and isolating in his hotel room. He is fully vaccinated.”

Everyone attending the blue zone must take a lateral flow test each morning and increased hygiene procedures are in place at the venue.

Something fishy going on in ‘corrupt’ seafood industry

Thursday 4 November 2021 16:00 , Lamiat Sabin

Ocean Rebellion have taken to dressing as bleeding fish in suits to protest against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Images show the three protesters, each clutching a dead fish, standing in a pool of bloody muddy water while other members of the Extinction Rebellion-linked group hold placards saying “no more fish in the sea” and “as the sea dies we die”.

The campaign is against ocean degradation, and “corrupt and destructive industrial fishing”.

 (PA)
(PA)

On the group’s Facebook page, it says: “Protestors are demanding that the MSC stops selling lies to supermarket shoppers.

“Currently the [MSC] makes no distinction between industrial fishing methods and artisan fishing methods on its labelling.

“The Marine Stewardship Council allows its members to obtain their certification by paying to join.

“The campaigners contend this undermines the objectivity of the certification and makes it inherently corrupt.”

‘Just’ transition from coal ‘relies on workers, unions and firms’

Thursday 4 November 2021 15:40 , Lamiat Sabin

Cop26 president and Cabinet Office minister Alok Sharma said that approved plans for a fair transition away from fossil fuels will depend upon involvement of workers, trade unions and local businesses.

He spoke after announcing a declaration from a coalition of 190 countries, businesses and international lenders at the climate summit.

Mr Sharma said: “Specifically in terms of the declaration – the effort for a just transition – that’s been signed, it covers everything from the quality of new jobs created through to international projects.”

He continued: “It covers support for local social dialogue mechanisms that bring together all parties and I think, very importantly, local trade unions and businesses.

“It is about getting their help, also, to design a green, and what we describe as a fair, future.”

First days of negotiations show ‘reasonably good’ signs

Thursday 4 November 2021 15:21 , Lamiat Sabin

The European Union’s chief negotiator at Cop26 said that the first days of negotiations have resulted in some promising early signs.

Jacob Werksman said: “It’s a bit early to say whether we’re on track for a fully successful COP, but the early signs seem reasonably good.”

He added that envoys now had negotiating texts for each of the key issues they would attempt to finish the rules on – including talks on transparency and carbon markets.

PA

Coal deal sees 77 countries pledge to end dirty fuel – but not India or China

Thursday 4 November 2021 14:49 , Tom Batchelor

Alok Sharma has said 77 countries have pledged to phase out coal as hailed Cop26 as helping to end use of the world’s most widely used fuel.

Thos 77 countries have signed a pledge to phase out coal-fuelled power plants - which produce more than 35% of the world’s electricity - and stop building new ones.

“Today I think we can say that the end of coal is in sight,” Mr Sharma told the conference.

But the list published on Thursday have left out both India and China, which is home to almost half the over 2,600 coal-fired plants operating or under construction around the world.

It also contains no commitment to stop financing new plants.

Greta Thunberg calls Cop26 a ‘failure’

Thursday 4 November 2021 14:32 , Tom Batchelor

Climate activist Greta Thunberg is speaking at a panel event hosted by actress Emma Watson, reportedly calling Cop26 a “failure”.

Starmer says still ‘long, long way to go’

Thursday 4 November 2021 14:26 , Tom Batchelor

Sir Keir Starmer said the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow needed to reach a global agreement to set out how to reduce emissions by 2030 because if those targets were missed, he would fear that goals for 2050 would not be achieved either.

He told Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2: “Cop is very, very important. Obviously, the most important conference we’ve had in many, many years.

“We all want it to succeed. There’s a long, long way to go.

“I’m afraid we do have to put our foot down and say coal’s got to go. And the sooner we do that, the better and some of the advances on deforestation the other day and on coal are a step in right direction.

“I have to say, our ability to argue on the world stage that we should stop using coal is undermined by the Government not, or at least flirting with the idea of opening a coal mine in Cumbria which would be a completely wrong step.

“So we need to end coal but we do need obviously safe, secure forms of energy and the sooner we can get on to those safe, secure forms, the better.

“There is on hydrogen, on wind farms etc, we have the potential, we should be moving ahead as quickly as we can in that direction.

“What we need out of Cop, it obviously ends towards the end of next week, is a clear set of plans across the globe that set out in terms ‘how do we reduce emissions by 2030?’.

“Because if we miss that date, in this crucial decade, I fear we won’t get to where we need to in 2050.”

First cracks appear in Cop26 forests deal, says Greenpeace

Thursday 4 November 2021 14:17 , Tom Batchelor

More than 100 world leaders pledged to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by the end of the decade.

However Indonesia, home to huge tropical rainforests, said Monday’s agreement was at odds with its own development plans.

Indonesia’s environment and forestry minister, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, released a statement on social media in which she said “forcing Indonesia to zero deforestation in 2030 is clearly inappropriate and unfair”.

Responding, Kiki Taufik, global head of Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s Indonesian forests campaign said: “The minister’s statement - that comes just one day after President Jokowi signed the COP26 Forests Deal - is profoundly disappointing. It’s clear where her loyalties lie.

“She should be at the vanguard of ensuring all Indonesian citizens can enjoy their right to an intact and healthy environment as mandated in the Indonesian Constitution.

“For Indonesia to have a minister for environment who supports large scale developments with clear potential for environmental destruction is deplorable. Rather than ensuring we protect the planet for future generations, this is doing the opposite.

“Do we need to remind the minister that we are in the midst of a climate crisis? If we do not take immediate action to stop deforestation and the emissions occurring daily from peat drainage for industrial plantations, we will not achieve our emissions reductions goals, let alone fulfil President Jokowi’s stated goal of becoming a net carbon sink by 2030.”

What have climate activists been saying about the Cop26 summit so far?

Thursday 4 November 2021 13:52 , Tom Batchelor

Vanessa Nakate, climate justice activist, Uganda:

“So far this week, we have heard a lot of words from world leaders. They have signed some deals, but we know this is not enough. Protests like this are putting huge pressure on the people in power, and we know that we must grow this movement so the change we need to keep current and future generations safe is inevitable”.

Elizabeth Wathuti, climate and nature activist, Kenya:

“On Monday, I stood in front of world leaders in Glasgow and asked them to open their hearts to the people on the frontlines of the climate crisis. I asked them to take their historic responsibility seriously and to take serious action here. So far they haven’t, but the thousands of voices on the streets this weekend will make sure they are listening”.

Nicki Becker, co-founder of Jovenes por El Clima, Argentina:The debt is with us. The debt is with the young people who are and will suffer the consequences. The debt is with countries from the global south who are already suffering because of this crisis. But no matter what happened at this COP, we will make history. Because the solution to the climate crisis is not there. Hope is not the COP, hope is in us, it is in the movement. And it is not a hope empty of content, it is a hope full of action.”

Mitzi Jonelle Tan, climate justice activist, Philippines

“This UN Climate Summit we’re once again seeing world leaders saying big words and big promises. We need drastic carbon dioxide emission cuts, reparations from the Global North to the Global South to use for adaptation and to manage loss and damages, and we need to put an end to the fossil fuel industry, creative accounting of emissions and the excessive reliance on carbon offsetting. This is why the youth will strike once again because we refuse to compromise on our lives.”

Kevin Mtai, climate justice activist and environmentalist, Kenya:

“I will participate in the climate strike on Friday with my Friday For Future colleagues to pressure world leaders and COP26 organisers to act now by including indigenous voices, youths and people from the most affected areas. We are tired of fighting against the current ‘normal’ - the ‘normal’ we have is unviable, unsustainable and not enough. We need to change. Change the system and the mindset. We need to put people over profit.”

Sharma reveals Cop Covid cases

Thursday 4 November 2021 13:48 , Tom Batchelor

Cop organisers have acknowledged Covid cases at Cop26 after the mayor of LA tested positive, our climate correspondent Daisy Dunne reports from the UK Cop press conference.

Alok Sharma, the Cop26 president, said: “I think the way I put it is that we will reflect on what further information will be put out on this in future days.

“And there’s a very important issue. I can say to you that certainly based on the numbers that I’ve seen, the Covid case rates in the blue zone is significantly lower than in the general public in Scotland.

“I hope we will have a think about how we present this but I hope when you see the numbers come forward, you will be encouraged positively.”

Carbon offsetting ‘a new form of colonialism,’ says Indigenous leader

Thursday 4 November 2021 13:39 , Tom Batchelor

The leader of an Indigenous grassroots movement has denounced carbon offsetting, dubbing it “part of a system that privatizes the air that we breathe”.

“It allows polluters to buy and sell permits to pollute instead of cutting emissions at the source,” Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, told The Independent at the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow.

“It lets governments and corporations pretend they are doing something about climate change, when they are not.”

Read the full interview with our senior climate correspondent, Louise Boyle, here:

Carbon offsetting ‘a new form of colonialism,’ says Indigenous leader at Cop26

Fridays For Future climate strike tomorrow

Thursday 4 November 2021 13:27 , Tom Batchelor

On Friday, Fridays For Future will hold a march and rally in Glasgow, with prominent youth activists including Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate set to speak.

The demonstration will culminate in George Square at around 2pm where the climate campaigners will address the crowd.

Organisers expect tens of thousands to attend, including members of the GMB Union, who represent striking bin workers in Glasgow and accepted an invitation from Greta Thunberg to attend the march.

The event will start at 11am in Kelvingrove Park and finish by 5pm in George Square.

Johnson flew from Cop26 to dine with climate sceptic at members’ club

Thursday 4 November 2021 13:16 , Tom Batchelor

Boris Johnson has been accused of “staggering hypocrisy” after he took a private jet back from the Cop26 climate summit to attend a private members’ club dinner in London.

The Tuesday night dinner at The Garrick Club in the West End was for a reunion of Daily Telegraph journalists. The PM, a former Telegraph columnist, was pictured leaving the club at around 10pm, escorted to the door by Lord Charles Moore, his former editor at the paper.

Here is the story:

Boris Johnson took private jet from Cop26 to dine at members’ club

Why Modi’s climate pledges have sparked confusion in India

Thursday 4 November 2021 13:05 , Tom Batchelor

Narendra Modi’s promise of a net-zero future and increased renewable energy came as a welcome surprise at the Cop26 summit and helped set the world on a path towards global warming within the Paris agreement’s goals for the first time, writes Stuti Mishra.

However, the Indian prime minister’s speech also left room for a lot of confusion and lacked crucial technical details.

Since the announcement earlier this week, conflicting statements from Mr Modi and the country’s ministry have triggered widespread confusion around the promises, especially related to energy consumption since Indiafulfils 70 per cent of its requirements from coal, which the PM said his country could be looking at phasing out within years.

Here is Stuti’s analysis:

Analysis: Why Modi’s Cop26 pledges have sparked confusion in India

IEA says climate pledges ‘extremely encouraging’ with world on course for 1.8C rise

Thursday 4 November 2021 12:51 , Tom Batchelor

More on the IEA analysis which has suggested the world could limit temperature rises to 1.8C following pledges made at Cop26.

Fatih Birol, the boss of the International Energy Agency, said progress at the talks had been “extremely encouraging”.

He told an audience at Cop26 on Thursday: “In the last few days we have heard several pledges and commitments from countries, in terms of their net-zero emissions by 2050 - some of them are a bit longer term.

“We also heard that more than 100 countries have pledged to reduce their methane emissions.

“Yesterday night I asked my colleagues... to run our models once again. What would it mean if all the pledges announced as of yesterday night were to be implemented, where are we in terms of temperature increases?

“The result is extremely encouraging. If all the pledges on carbon neutrality and methane pledges were to be fully implemented we would have a temperature increase trajectory which is 1.8C. This is excellent.”

Dr Birol said a new global energy economy is emerging where countries are competing with each other.

“They are not only driven by the climate concerns, they are driven by the economics, technological advancements, and they are going very strong,” he said.

LA mayor tests positive for Covid at Cop

Thursday 4 November 2021 12:30 , Tom Batchelor

The mayor of Los Angeles has tested positive for coronavirus a day after attending a breakfast with the PM, the leaders of the UK’s devolved nations and a host of other heads of government, reports the PA news agency.

Mayor Eric Garcetti is now isolating in his hotel.

Boris Johnson made a brief appearance at the event on Tuesday in the blue zone at Cop26 in Glasgow.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford hosted the event along with Northern Ireland’s First Minister Paul Givan and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill.

A message on the official mayor of Los Angeles Twitter account posted on Wednesday afternoon said: “Mayor Garcetti tested positive for Covid-19 earlier today.

“He is feeling good and isolating in his hotel room. He is fully vaccinated.”

Among those in attendance at the breakfast were the prime ministers of Norway, Sweden, Barbados and Vietnam, as well as UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

The presidents of Armenia, Costa Rica and Zambia also took part, as well as Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken.

Opinion | Cathy Newman: I’ve bumped into DiCaprio, Bezos and Modi – Cop26 is politics at its strangest

Thursday 4 November 2021 12:22 , Tom Batchelor

I thought the Cop26 summit had reached peak weirdness when the Beast - the American presidential limo - swept past a Greggs on the back streets of Glasgow. Then I saw a picture tweeted by a Zimbabwean government spokesman showing his fellow country folk cramming Scottish whisky into trolleys at a local branch of Costco, writes Cathy Newman.

And in between - take your pick here - I bumped into the heir to the throne, his son, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi, Hollywood A-lister Leonardo DiCaprio or billionaires Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates as they strolled just a couple of feet from my microphone. Not that they deigned to speak to me of course.

Read her piece here:

I’ve bumped into DiCaprio and Bezos, Cop26 is politics at its oddest | Cathy Newman

Cost of adapting to climate change up to 10x higher than money being spent, finds report

Thursday 4 November 2021 12:12 , Tom Batchelor

The cost of adapting to climate change is between five and 10 times higher than the money currently being spent, research has found, despite funding hitting $79.6bn (£58bn) in 2019.

The UN Environment Programme (Unep) warned that on the current trajectory, the cost of adapting to extreme weather could be between $140bn and $300bn for developed countries by 2030.

This figure rises to between $280bn and $500bn for developing countries by the middle of the century.

In the Adaptation Gap Report: The Gathering Storm, Unep warned that even if warming is limited to 1.5C the impacts of climate change, such as wildfires and floods, will last for decades.

Read our story on it here:

Cost of climate crisis in developing world to far exceed aid, says UN report

Met Police make 38 arrests during Insulate Britain protest

Thursday 4 November 2021 11:59 , Tom Batchelor

The Met Police have arrested dozens of people following a protest in Parliament Square.

In a statement, the force said: “We are continuing to respond to a protest in Parliament Square this morning where a number of activists have sat on the road, blocking traffic. Officers are on scene and are working as quickly as possible to get traffic flowing again.

“Around 40 activists have used superglue to stick to the ground, frustrating and delaying our response. Specialist teams are on scene and train for this scenario. They are working to remove any glue and make arrests. This process can take time.

“Insulate Britain have the right to assemble and protest, however they do not have the right to cause serious disruption to London and prevent others from going about their business. We will provide further updates in due course.

“At this time, officers have made 34 arrests in response to this protest. Units were immediately on scene following the initial protest. Bridge Street will be cleared shortly and officers remain on scene working to remove further obstructions.”

Time for Cop parties to get ‘serious’ about tackling climate change, says expert

Thursday 4 November 2021 11:50 , Tom Batchelor

Oxford University’s Dr Sarah Darby, deputy leader of lower carbon futures group at the Environmental Change Institute, has called for Cop delegates to get “serious” about funding regions and cities to enact change at a local level.

She said: “From now on, we need to see more serious moves among the Cop parties to activate and fund regions and cities to make change happen on the ground, with public support.

“Learning how to live sustainably is a long process, time is precious, and there’s surely a limit to how much the Cop [delegates] need to spend arguing about targets.”

‘Historic’ step in turning off funding taps for fossil fuel projects

Thursday 4 November 2021 11:40 , Tom Batchelor

Twenty countries have committed at Cop26 to stop public financing for fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of next year, and steer their spending into clean energy instead.

Campaigners called the commitment a “historic” step in turning off the funding taps for fossil fuel projects. But it did not include major Asian countries responsible for the bulk of such financing abroad.

By covering all fossil fuels, including oil and gas, the deal goes further than a pledge made by G20 countries this year to halt overseas financing for just coal.

The 20 countries that signed the pledge include the US, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Finland, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Gambia, New Zealand and the Marshall Islands, plus five development institutions including the European Investment Bank and the East African Development Bank.

“We will end new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022,” they said in a declaration.

Cop26 pledges would limit warming to 1.8C, says IEA

Thursday 4 November 2021 11:30 , Tom Batchelor

The International Energy Agency has produced analysis which suggests the world would see a temperature rise of 1.8C following Cop26 pledges, down from the 2.7C mooted before the summit and the 1.9C put forward by University of Melbourne researchers on Wednesday.

More on this as we get it.

Southwest England the ‘Costa Del Solar' of the UK

Thursday 4 November 2021 11:22 , Tom Batchelor

Southwest England is the “Costa Del Solar” of the UK, generating the most solar power per sq km and is host to three of the nation’s most productive solar farms, according to a new report.

The Weather Energy Report reveals that Plymouth is Britain’s sunniest city with the potential to generate more solar power than any other city across the country.

Scotland is home to the nation’s biggest onshore windfarms and top source of tidal power

Wales delivers the most hydro power from a single location – the Llyn Brianne Dam

Hornsea off the North Yorkshire coast takes the crown as producing the most off-shore wind energy in Britain’s - generating three times as much energy as any other location.

The Weather Energy Report, commissioned by Smart Energy GB to raise awareness of the hidden power in the great British weather, is fronted by climate change activist Chris Packham, who is currently attending Cop26.

Packham said: “Britain is blessed with four distinct seasons with clear changes in the weather, which is full of energy, notably the wind and - although it feels rare – the sunshine.

“But our outdated energy system needs upgrading if it’s going to be able to convert more of this clean, renewable energy into electricity we can all use.

“That modern, flexible system will have smart meters at its heart. So, if you want to help reduce our country’s reliance on fossil fuels and hit our carbon emission targets then getting a smart meter is an easy place to start!”

Smart Energy GB is the government-backed campaign encouraging people to use smart meters to save money and help the environment.

Dozens of Insulate Britain protesters glue hands and feet to floor outside parliament

Thursday 4 November 2021 11:12 , Tom Batchelor

Around 50 Insulate Britain protesters have glued their hands and feet to the floor outside parliament on Thursday.

Demonstrators blocked two roads Parliament Square, with police working to remove protesters who had stuck themselves to the ground.

Activists wearing orange high-vis jackets sat cross-legged in the road, while one man lay flat on the pavement.

Read the full report here:

Insulate Britain protesters glue their hands and feet to road outside parliament

XR protests planned for Home Office building in Glasgow

Thursday 4 November 2021 10:59 , Tom Batchelor

Another Extinction Rebellion protest is expected outside the Home Office building in Cessnock, Glasgow, on Thursday, while there will be other large marches through the city on Friday and Saturday.

On Wednesday evening, Police Scotland said five arrests had been made at the demonstration, including two after officers were sprayed with paint.

Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie said: “We will provide a proportionate policing response to any protest and it is therefore extremely disappointing that officers were assaulted by having paint sprayed in their faces.

“These officers were simply doing their job and trying to protect people and keep them safe.”

Mr Ritchie said a group of protesters were “contained” around St Vincent Street in order to protect public safety, before being allowed to move towards the Cop26 site within a police cordon.

 (PA)
(PA)

Global gas crisis no excuse to fall back on coal, says EU energy commissioner

Thursday 4 November 2021 10:47 , Tom Batchelor

EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson has said pressures being felt in the global gas supply chain should not deter nations from phasing out coal use.

Instead, she said, it should spur countries to press for clean energy solutions.

“The current situation on the energy markets is no reason to pause the coal exit,” Ms Simson told the United Nations Cop26 climate summit.

“On the contrary it shows the urgency to accelerate the roll out of clean energy solutions and dramatically reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.”

1.5C within reach, says Sharma

Thursday 4 November 2021 10:35 , Tom Batchelor

Cop26 President Alok Sharma has said that moves to end coal use at the summit meant the 1.5C target was “within reach”.

Speaking at an event launching the coal to clean power transition, he said that he believed the end of the most polluting energy sources was in sight.

He said the statement was from 46 countries, including 23 who were making commitments on ending coal for the first time.

And the “powering past coal alliance” was celebrating new members, including seven new countries and 14 major financial private sector and financial institutions including NatWest, Lloyds Bank and HSBC, he said.

“I do believe we’re getting to a point where we consign coal to history,” Mr Sharma told delegates.

“A brighter future comes ever closer, a future of cleaner air, cheaper power and good green jobs, but we must continue to work together over this vital decade to finish that job.

“The prize is to keep the Paris temperature goal within reach.”

Cop pledge ‘significant move towards end of fossil fuel era’, says Greenpeace

Thursday 4 November 2021 10:25 , Tom Batchelor

Greenpeace has called a move by around 20 countries and financial institutions to halt finance for fossil fuels overseas a “significant” step in the fight against climate change.

The proposal, which forms part of the ‘Aligning international public finance with the clean energy transition’ initiative, will help to end reliance on technology that emits planet-heating gasses.

Juan Pablo Osornio, head of Greenpeace international’s delegation at Cop26, said: “This is a significant move towards the end of the fossil fuel era. Especially given the global scale of fossil fuel financing, and the fact that the US is backing this agreement.

“It moves the focus beyond simply phasing out coal to the need to end support for all fossil fuels, which is vital if we are to limit warming to 1.5 degrees, and it sends a clear market signal in support of the green transition.

“But to be truly effective we need to look at whether Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, Germany and Italy have signed up.

“Countries must make binding national commitments to immediately end all new fossil fuel projects, whether via overseas funding, domestic licensing or permitting.”

Indonesia disputes 2030 deforestation pledge

Thursday 4 November 2021 10:10 , Tom Batchelor

An agreement on deforestation by more than 100 countries this week that was signed by Indonesia, home to a third of the world’s rainforests, did not contain a pledge to halt deforestation by 2030, a senior Indonesian official said on Thursday.

“The declaration issued does not refer at all to the ‘end deforestation by 2030’,” vice foreign minister, Mahendra Siregar, said in a statement.

Indonesia’s environment minister earlier said such an arrangement would “inappropriate and unfair”.

However that is how the agreement was sold to the world when it was unveiled earlier this week.

Under the plan, $12bn (£8.75bn) of public funding from governments was to be spent restoring ripped-up land, with a further $7.2bn coming from private investment.

Here is more on the earlier announcement:

Over 100 countries make Cop26 pledge to halt deforestation by 2030

Critics point to ‘glaring gaps’ in coal plan

Thursday 4 November 2021 09:55 , Tom Batchelor

The world’s biggest polluter and coal user China, along with other major users and producers, the US, India and Australia, are not part of the efforts, prompting warnings the deal has “glaring gaps”.

Ed Miliband, the shadow business secretary, said: “Any progress towards powering past coal is welcome, but glaring gaps remain.

“There is no commitment from large emitters like China to stop increasing coal at home, and nothing on the phase-out of other fossil fuels.”

Asked about the absence of China and the United States on new pledges on coal, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said progress was being made.

Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr Kwarteng said: “Well, of course, they’re engaging in negotiations as well.

“The US, certainly under President Biden, is very much behind the net-zero agenda, and has got lots of pledges to reduce natural gas, to reduce methane.”

No Coal Japan’s Pikachus make Cop appearance

Thursday 4 November 2021 09:40 , Tom Batchelor

No Coal Japan have staged a protest in Glasgow calling on the Asian economic powerhouse to end its reliance on polluting gas, coal and oil.

The environmental group used the Pokemon character Pikachu to make their point along the banks of the River Clyde.

Oxfam welcomes plans to halt financing of overseas fossil fuel projects

Thursday 4 November 2021 09:25 , Tom Batchelor

Oxfam has welcomed plans to halt the financing of overseas fossil fuel projects by the end of 2022.

Responding to reports that around 20 countries have committed to the pledge, the charity’s climate policy lead Nafkote Dabi said: “This is an encouraging move that will divert much-needed resources to clean energy and help countries to develop in a low carbon way. Energy is vital to economic and social development, burning fossil fuels is not. This is the only way we can meet the collective goal of limiting global heating to 1.5°C.

“With around 20 governments already on board, it is now vital that others sign up at these talks, including some of the largest funders of overseas coal, oil and gas who are notably absent.

“I also hope that these signatories will bring forward clear commitments to help poorer countries build clean energy systems. They should also progress to phasing out all new fossil fuel projects at home as well as abroad, as the International Energy Agency says we must.”

Minister defends PM’s Cop jet use

Thursday 4 November 2021 09:11 , Tom Batchelor

The business secretary has defended Boris Johnson’s decision to fly back to London from the Cop26 summit in Glasgow.

The prime minister arrived at Stansted Airport on board the government Airbus jet on Tuesday evening after the short flight. Critics say he could and should have taken the train.

Kwasi Kwarteng told the ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme: “So he’s travelled back like many world leaders did, they came here for world leaders day, I think we had 120 heads of governments on Monday, and many of them flew back to their countries and went back.

“What is completely without question is the fact that in the UK, the prime minister is leading a government that’s totally focused on net-zero, and as I’ve said, we’ve had huge successes, we had 40 per cent of our electricity was generated by coal 10 years ago, and today that’s 1 per cent.”

Coal-cutting countries to be revealed at midday

Thursday 4 November 2021 08:56 , Tom Batchelor

Among the announcements expected on Thursday is that Poland, Vietnam, Chile and other countries are expected to pledge to phase out coal-fuelled power generation and stop building new plants.

The UK has said the deal – which is set to be fully unveiled at midday – would commit 190 nations and organisations to quit the fuel.

However it was not immediately clear if the deal would involve countries like China, India, Indonesia and Turkey, which have numerous new coal power developments planned.

In September, China said it would stop funding overseas coal plants, although the pledge did not cover domestic projects.

Cop co-host Italy ‘opts out of fossil fuel financing plan'

Thursday 4 November 2021 08:41 , Tom Batchelor

At least 19 countries plan to commit at the summit on Thursday to stop public financing for fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of next year.

More countries also may join the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, led by Denmark and Costa Rica. That effort commits members to phasing out fossil fuel production within their own borders, but it will not formally be launched until next week.

However, Bloomberg is reporting that Italy, which is co-hosting the Cop26 summit, has declined to sign, according to two people familiar with the situation.

China and Japan are also expected not to sign and Germany has not yet committed to it.

Kwarteng says coal a ‘thing of the past’ despite proposed Cumbria mine

Thursday 4 November 2021 08:25 , Tom Batchelor

Kwasi Kwarteng has said Cop26 is providing a key step in the path to “consigning coal to history”.

Speaking to Sky News, the business secretary said that globally people now accepted that coal was “going to be a thing of the past”.

But asked about the Whitehaven coal mine proposed in Cumbria, he dismissed it as a planning decision “that was started some years ago”.

Avoiding giving a view, he said it “would not be right for me as a minister to comment on the rights and wrongs of it”.

Emissions ‘set to return to pre-pandemic levels'

Thursday 4 November 2021 08:08 , Tom Batchelor

The dramatic drop in carbon dioxide emissions from the pandemic lockdown has pretty much disappeared, a new study found.

A group of scientists who track the gases that cause climate change said the first nine months of this year put emissions just under 2019 levels.

They estimate that in 2021 the world will have emitted 36.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, compared to 36.7 billion metric tons two years ago.

At the height of the pandemic last year, emissions were down to 34.8 billion metric tons. This year’s jump is 4.9 per cent, according to updated calculations by Global Carbon Project.

While most countries went back to pre-pandemic trends, China’s pollution increase was mostly responsible for worldwide figures bouncing back to 2019 levels rather then dropping significantly below them, said study co-author Corinne LeQuere, a climate scientist at the University of East Anglia.

‘Momentum away from coal is gathering pace,’ says think tank

Thursday 4 November 2021 07:49 , Tom Batchelor

Leo Roberts, fossil fuel transitions research manager at European environmental think tank E3G, has said the past few days in Glasgow have shown that “momentum away from coal is gathering pace”, which will “consign coal to history”.

Commenting on the announcement today that 190 countries will commit to ending use of the polluting fuel, he said: “The tranche of country commitments has been enabled by serious donor money, combined with new mechanisms and tools to help the world’s coal-burning countries turn their back on the most polluting fossil fuel and begin to implement a clean energy transition.

“The breadth and depth of announcements and initiatives being announced on Thursday are an indication of how rapidly the shift away from coal is gathering pace. Many countries are decisively choosing to end investment in new coal power stations. Many are also beginning to address the necessary retirements of their coal fleets.”

“These announcements collectively demonstrate the era of coal is coming to an end . The conveyor belt taking coal to the trash can of history is moving forward. It needs to speed up further to deliver on a 1.5C-aligned timeline.”

“The progress on coal being shown at Cop26 demonstrates that the conditions are ripe for a global coal exit. We now need to see the incoming massive scale-up in clean energy finance made available quickly to ensure all countries can confidently move from coal-to-clean, with OECD countries coal-free by 2030, and the rest of the world by 2040.”

Johnson accused of ‘staggering hypocrisy’ over use of government jet

Thursday 4 November 2021 07:20 , Tom Batchelor

Boris Johnson has been accused of “staggering hypocrsiy” after he was said to have flown back to London from the Cop26 summit to attend a dinner with former Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore.

The PM apparently left the conference in Glasgow at 6.20pm and arrived at London Stansted at 7.16pm, before heading to the private men-only Garrick Club for a dinner for former Telegraph journalists.

The fashion of Mr Johnson’s exit was criticised as “staggering hypocrisy” by Labour chair Anneliese Dodds, after the PM opened the summit by imploring delegates to stop “quilting the Earth in an invisible and suffocating blanket of CO2”.

Ms Dodds said: “This is staggering hypocrisy from the Prime Minister. After warning world leaders it’s one minute to midnight to prevent climate catastrophe, Boris Johnson clocked off from Cop26, jumped in his private jet and flew down to London for dinner at a gentleman’s club with a self-confessed climate change sceptic.

“It seems that when it comes to taking action to tackle the climate crisis, there’s one rule for the Conservatives and another rule for the rest of the world.”

A Downing St source said Mr Johnson had always been due to leave Glasgow on Tuesday evening, as the element of the summit involving world leaders drew to a close.

Officials ‘terrified’ of taking on meat and dairy industries, charity says

00:17 , Lamiat Sabin

Government leaders are being “reckless and irresponsible” in ignoring the farming sector’s effects on the climate, an experts’ report is warning.

The report by the Compassion in World Farming charity – which will be released to the Cop26 summit – comes after the conference agreed to slash methane emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.

Officials around the world are “terrified of taking on the powerful vested interests that drive expanding global consumption of meat and dairy”, the charity said.

The document says meat and dairy consumption must be dramatically reduced worldwide to avert a climate catastrophe.

Global food systems are responsible for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions, and three-quarters of those are from livestock, the report finds, based on scientific studies and figures from the World Health Organisation and the UN among others.

Cop26 talks have more energy and focus than previous summits, US envoy says

Thursday 4 November 2021 01:58 , Conrad Duncan

US climate envoy John Kerry has said that the Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow have more energy and focus than previous rounds of climate negotiations - in part due to the strong presence and support of the private sector.

“I think we are going to have the greatest increase in ambition we've ever had, we probably do in these first 36 hours, and the real issue is going to be follow-up, working with them," Mr Kerry said on Wednesday.

His comments came as the UK called on the world's financial industry to channel major funds towards greener investments to help tackle the climate crisis.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

ICYMI: Cop26 success is a ‘question of will’, Johnson says

Thursday 4 November 2021 01:42 , Conrad Duncan

Boris Johnson has said that the success or failure of the Cop26 climate summit is a “question of will” as the world waits on the outcome of negotiations between major leaders.

The prime minister said on Wednesday that people could “take heart” from what has been achieved so far at the conference in Glasgow, but warned that whether the planet can avoid climate disaster “still hangs in the balance”.

Our reporter, August Graham, has the full story below:

Cop26 success is a ‘question of will’, Boris Johnson says

No sanctions for companies that refuse to disclose net-zero plans, minister admits

Thursday 4 November 2021 01:08 , Conrad Duncan

Companies that have been told to disclose how they intend to reach climate change targets such as net-zero emissions by 2050 will not face sanctions if they refuse to do so, business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has admitted.

The government announced on Wednesday that most big UK firms and financial institutions would be forced to show how they plan to decarbonise under proposed Treasury rules.

However, Mr Kwarteng told ITV’s Robert Peston: “Well in the first instance, what we’re doing is trying to make them commit publicly to a method of getting there.

“As of now, there aren’t any government-imposed sanctions but… investors will judge those companies, investors are already judging companies on their commitments to decarbonise and there will be a premium, I’m sure, on companies that do disclose a path to net-zero by 2050 against those who don’t.”

You can find his comments in full below:

Russia rejects Biden’s criticism of Putin over not attending Cop26

Thursday 4 November 2021 00:40 , Conrad Duncan

The Kremlin has rejected US president Joe Biden's criticism of Russia’s Vladimir Putin for not attending Cop26, arguing that the country is taking a “very responsible stance” on the climate crisis.

The US president said on Tuesday that Mr Putin had “serious, serious climate problems” but added that the Russian leader had gone silent on the “willingness to do anything”.

On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow did not agree with Mr Biden's characterisation as the Russian delegation at Cop26 had actively participated in the summit.

“Russia's climate action does not have the goal of being pegged to an event,” Mr Peskov said.

“Of course, we are not belittling the significance of the event in Glasgow, but Russia's actions are consistent, serious and well-thought-through.”

He added: “Let's not forget that forests are burning in California, and in Turkey, and in other countries.

“These are the consequences of climate change we're facing, and Russia, to some extent, is facing more serious challenges.”

Rebound in global CO2 emissions after Covid ‘bigger than expected’, scientists say

Thursday 4 November 2021 00:05 , Conrad Duncan

The rebound in global CO2 emissions following the start of the Covid-19 pandemic has been “bigger than expected”, scientists have warned.

An assessment by the Global Carbon Project found that a return to carbon-heavy industry and investment in 2021 meant that fossil fuel emissions were expected to rise by 4.9 per cent this year following 12 months of lockdowns and a decrease in economic activity.

Our climate correspondent, Daisy Dunne, has the full story below:

Rebound in global CO2 emissions after Covid-19 ‘bigger than expected’

Wednesday 3 November 2021 23:47 , Conrad Duncan

ICYMI: Our reporter, Harry Cockburn, has rounded-up the key achievements and agreements from Cop26 so far - including pledges to end deforestation and India’s commitment to hit net-zero by 2070.

You can find the full piece below:

What has been achieved and agreed by leaders at the Cop26 climate summit so far?

Wednesday 3 November 2021 23:27 , Conrad Duncan

Former Bank of England governor Mark Carney has admitted that companies which have aligned themselves to the Paris Agreement of limiting global warming to 1.5C will not be prohibited from investing in fossil fuels.

When questioned on the continued investment in fossil fuel companies, Mr Carney told Sky News: “There is not a green switch that we can flip this afternoon and move from being economies where 4/5ths of global energy is supplied by fossil fuels today and overnight be 100 per cent supplied by renewables.”

You can find his comments in full below:

Labour warns of ‘glaring gaps’ in government’s fossil fuel pledge

Wednesday 3 November 2021 22:57 , Conrad Duncan

Labour’s shadow business secretary Ed Miliband has warned of “glaring gaps” in the government’s coal-fired power pledge, such as a lack of commitment from China and other large emitters to stop increasing coal use at home.

“Whether it's flirting with a new coal mine or licensing a massive oil field here at home, too often the government has been looking both ways on climate,” Mr Miliband said.

“Rather than driving the ambition we need, as Cop president it has let others off the hook.”

Meanwhile, Juan Pablo Osornio, head of Greenpeace's delegation at Cop26, said that the commitment was “significant” but warned more needed to be done on phasing out fossil fuels.

“Overall this statement still falls well short of the ambition needed on fossil fuels in this critical decade,” he said.

“The small print seemingly gives countries enormous leeway to pick their own phaseout date, despite the shiny headline.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Group of 190 countries and organisations agree to end coal-fired power

Wednesday 3 November 2021 22:33 , Conrad Duncan

A group of 190 countries and organisations will agree to commit to the end of coal power at the Cop26 climate summit, the UK government has announced.

Coal-fired power is the single largest driver of global temperature increases, meaning that ending its use will be crucial for limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

Our climate correspondent, Daisy Dunne, has the full story below:

Cop26: 190 countries and organisations sign pledge to end coal-fired power

Wednesday 3 November 2021 23:09 , Conrad Duncan

ICYMI: Our reporter, Harry Cockburn, has rounded-up the key achievements and agreements at Cop26 so far - including pledges to end deforestation and India’s commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2070.

You can find the full piece below:

What has been achieved and agreed by leaders at the Cop26 climate summit so far?

Sturgeon defends ‘ambitious’ target to cut emissions by 75 per cent by 2030

Wednesday 3 November 2021 22:10 , Conrad Duncan

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has defended her country’s ambitious targets to reduce emissions by 75 per cent by 2030 at an event during Cop26.

In an interview with BBC Scotland last week, chief executive of the committee of climate change Chris Stark said that the Scottish government may have “overcooked its emission reduction targets, particularly the 75 per cent number”.

However, Ms Sturgeon defended the proposal in an interview with the New York Times climate hub, while acknowledging that the plans were “among the toughest in the world”.

The SNP leader said: “In a context of too much under-ambition, if I am going to be criticised on the climate challenge, I'd rather be criticised on being over ambitious than under ambitious, because, even if our determination is to meet that 75 per cent target by 2030, but say we only get to 70 or 72 or 73, that's probably further than we would have got had we only set a target of a 60 per cent reduction let's say.

“I think the whole world needs to challenge itself to get to where we need to be much quicker and to go much further.”

She added: “The science is telling us we are running out of time and the planet is in serious trouble, and if we don't limit global warming to 1.5C the impact is catastrophic.

“We have an obligation to raise our ambition as much as we possibly can.”

 (PA)
(PA)

Large corporations launch alliance to build market for low-carbon technologies

Wednesday 3 November 2021 21:51 , Conrad Duncan

A new alliance, including US climate envoy John Kerry and large corporations such as Apple and Amazon, has been launched today to build a market for technologies that generate low levels of carbon dioxide.

The World Economic Forum said on Wednesday that the First Movers Coalition will aim to help companies set their purchasing plans in a way that will “create new market demand for low-carbon technologies”.

“Technology has given us the tools to reduce our emissions and build a stronger and more inclusive economy of the future,” forum president Borge Brende said.

“For innovators and investors to play their part in tackling the climate crisis, they need clear market demand.”

Among the other companies involved in the coalition are aerospace company Boeing, cement company Holcim, and vehicle makers Volvo and Scania.

The first phase of the project will focus on emissions-heavy industries like aviation, shipping, steel and trucking.

ICYMI: Cop26 pledges could limit global heating to below 2C, snap analysis finds

Wednesday 3 November 2021 21:36 , Conrad Duncan

Pledges put forward at the Cop26 climate summit could put the world on track for under 2C of global heating for the first time, according to analysis by climate researchers.

The assessment found that, if kept, the new short and long-term climate promises announced in recent weeks and during the summit could keep temperature rises to 1.9C.

Our climate correspondent, Daisy Dunne, has the full story below:

Cop26 pledges could limit global heating to below 2C for first time, analysis finds

‘Very tough’ negotiations needed for necessary climate action, David Miliband says

Wednesday 3 November 2021 21:19 , Conrad Duncan

Former foreign secretary David Miliband has said that there will need to be some “very tough” negotiations over the next 10 days in order to get the necessary action on the climate crisis from world leaders.

Mr Miliband, who is the CEO of the International Rescue Committee, warned that leaders would be “betraying future generations” by not taking tough action on climate change.

“I think the announcements today in respect of so-called climate finance, including from the private sector, are important and that’s what leads me to describe the current state of negotiations in Glasgow as a glass quarter full,” Mr Miliband said.

“It’s wrong to say nothing has been achieved but there needs to be some very tough talking over the next 10 days and then real action from those who are willing to lead.”

You can find his comments in full below:

Put Africa’s carbon sinks at heart of climate fightback, Cop26 told

Wednesday 3 November 2021 20:58 , Conrad Duncan

The battle against climate change can only be won if Africa’s carbon-rich landscapes are protected for future generations, delegates at the Cop26 climate summit have been told.

At an event co-staged by The Independent, attendees were warned by leading African politicians that the continent must be at the heart of the global climate fight.

Our reporter, Louise Boyle, has the full story below:

‘It will save the world’: Put Africa at heart of climate fightback, Cop26 told

UK’s Cop26 spokesperson says ministers would like China to ‘do more’ on climate

Wednesday 3 November 2021 20:45 , Conrad Duncan

The UK’s Cop26 spokesperson Allegra Stratton has said that the British government would like to see China “do more” on climate change following questions around the country’s use of fossil fuels.

When pushed on whether China was doing enough to keep global warming below 1.5C, Ms Stratton told Sky News: “We would like China to do more.

“The prime minister has said that, Alok Sharma has said that but what we are also seeing here in Glasgow is significant progress.”

You can find her comments in full below:

Arrests made as hundreds of climate protesters march through Glasgow

Wednesday 3 November 2021 20:22 , Conrad Duncan

Five people have been arrested during lively protests involving Extinction Rebellion in Glasgow today as the Cop26 summit continues.

Hundreds of climate activists were seen marching through the city in several separate protests, while world leaders discussed how the financial and banking system could be used to tackle the climate crisis.

Our reporter, Lamiat Sabin, has the full story below:

Cop26: Arrests as hundreds of Extinction Rebellion protesters march through Glasgow

Government’s nuclear plans could leave ‘toxic legacy’, says MP

Wednesday 3 November 2021 20:02 , Lamiat Sabin

Moving away from Glasgow for a brief moment, MPs in Westminster are warning that the government’s proposal to establish new nuclear power plants would leave a “toxic legacy” for future generations.

The new nuclear power plants, bankrolled by pension funds, could reduce the UK’s “exposure to volatile global gas prices” – business minister Greg Hands said in the Commons to promote the Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill.

The proposed legislation aims to allow pension funds and other institutional investors to provide cash for nuclear power stations through a regulated asset base funding (Rab) model.

Consumers would also pay towards the cost of new nuclear power stations during construction through their energy bills – which Mr Hands said would be around £1 a month on average.

Liberal Democrat business spokeswoman Sarah Olney urged ministers to think about the “considerable downsides of nuclear waste”.

She spoke about a visit to the former nuclear power station at Sellafield last year, saying: “I found it so eye-opening about the consequences of dealing with nuclear waste.

“What is still the considerable time and effort and money that is being spent now disposing of nuclear waste that was generated in the 1970s before I was born.

“That for me was just extraordinary and it really brought home to me the absolutely toxic legacy, literally toxic legacy, we are leaving for future generations when we create nuclear waste.”

Ms Olney said the Lib Dems’ position was that no new nuclear plants should be built as the UK decarbonises its energy supply.

DiCaprio and Prince Charles view sustainable fashion

Wednesday 3 November 2021 19:45 , Lamiat Sabin

Leonardo DiCaprio and Prince Charles met at Cop26 and learned about Stella McCartney’s sustainable fashion collection – including luxury handbags made from vegan lab-grown mushroom leather.

They were separately given a guided tour by the designer of her innovative garments and accessories dubbed the “Future of Fashion”.

In Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery, DiCaprio looked at McCartney’s seemingly normal luxury handbags made from the mushroom leather, and vegan football boots she created in collaboration with Manchester United star Paul Pogba and Adidas.

 (PA)
(PA)

He left the main hall where the exhibition was in before Prince Charles arrived. After the prince viewed the items, he was introduced to him in a quiet area of the gallery.

DiCaprio was a guest of McCartney’s and the three spoke together for around 10 minutes before Prince Charles left and the designer joined a live discussion with industry experts about stopping the use of animal leather and fur.

McCartney said the Hollywood actor appeared “gobsmacked” more designers were not “joining forces” with her push for sustainability and ditching leather for eco-friendly materials.

DiCaprio has worked on a number of documentaries about animal poaching and the environment, and was appointed a United Nations representative on climate change in 2014.

PA

No need to reduce cattle to cut methane emissions, farmers say

Wednesday 3 November 2021 19:25 , Lamiat Sabin

Farmers are pushing back against Cop26’s global agreement to cut methane emissions by 30 per cent by the end of the decade.

The National Farmers’ Union said that there is no need to reduce the size of cattle herds to cut emissions of the greenhouse gas.

Changes to farming practices and new technology will deliver the cuts needed to meet the pledge at the summit this week, it argued.

The farmers said that moving away from keeping livestock for beef and dairy would see the UK offshoring its emissions to countries with lower environmental standards.

The NFU said supplements to cattle feed, as well as attempts to breed livestock that emit less of the gas, will solve the problem.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that more than 100 countries – including the UK – have signed up to the global methane pledge, which if delivered, could curb warming by 0.3C by the 2040s.

Livestock farming, mainly of cattle, accounted for just over half of the UK’s methane emissions in 2019, according to government data.

Methane remains in the atmosphere for only around a decade, but is more powerful than CO2 which stays around for hundreds of years.

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