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Cop26 Glasgow news – live: Queen speaks out for future generations, as 100 nations halt deforestation by 2030

·45-min read
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson will fly back home from the Cop26 summit, despite making a speech to fellow world leaders urging them to act immediately to save the planet.

His spokesman said that he cannot take the train from London to Glasgow tomorrow because it would take too long, his spokesman claimed.

He defended the decision on the grounds that his plane uses “sustainable” fuel, and said the emissions produced will be offset.

Glasgow’s Cop26 climate summit has begun with world leaders facing calls for urgent action to limit dangerous temperature rises.

Mr Johnson welcomed many heads of state and government, warning them that humanity has “long since run down the clock on climate change” and must act now to tackle the crisis, with the planet now at “one minute to midnight”.

The first morning of the summit was marred by long queues and reports of lengthy delays of up to two hours to pass the summit security lines.

Read More

Cop26: Boris Johnson lashes out at world leaders as G20 falls short on climate

Cop26: How green are climate summit’s key sponsors?

Cop26 travel: Trains from London to Glasgow delayed as line blocked by fallen tree

Key Points

  • Modi sets net zero target of 2070 in demand for urgent cash

  • Biden accused of hypocrisy over ‘science is clear’ tweet

  • Greta Thunberg chants ‘stick your climate crisis up your a***’

  • Leaders mingle at Cop26 evening event where Queen speaks

  • Greta joins other activists at Cop26 protest – pics

  • ‘World is looking to you’, Attenborough tells delegates

  • Future generations ‘will not forgive us if we fail to take action’, says Johnson

  • Nearly 1 million sign climate letter backed by Thunberg

Greta graces Indy’s front page tomorrow

23:45 , Lamiat Sabin

World leaders to vow to restore destroyed forests

23:00 , Lamiat Sabin

More than 100 leaders of as many countries will make a promise during the Cop26 summit to stop deforestation and begin restoring the world’s forests by 2030, the UK government has announced.

Leaders representing countries that are home to 85 per cent of the planet's forests will commit on Tuesday to “halt and reverse” deforestation by the end of the decade.

Downing Street said the pledge was backed by £8.75bn of public funding from governments aimed at restoring ripped-up land, with a further £5.3bn coming from private investment.

The full story by my colleague Adam Forrest here:

Over 100 countries make Cop26 pledge to halt deforestation by 2030

Biden accused of hypocrisy over ‘science is clear’ tweet

22:30 , Lamiat Sabin

US President Joe Biden has been criticised for travelling in a motorcade of dozens of cars to give speeches about climate change.

At the closing of day one of the Cop 26 climate conference, he tweeted: “The science is clear: We have only a brief window to raise our ambition and rise to meet the threat of climate change. We can do it if the world comes together with determination and ambition.

“That’s what Cop26 is about — and that’s the case I made today in Glasgow.”

Commenters on the social network said that he posted a “empty, meaningless tweet”, and that he is failing to “lead the way” in efforts to improve the environment.

Some channeled activist Greta Thunberg by replying to Mr Biden’s tweet “blah blah blah” – her dismissal of politicians paying lip service to the movement.

FM of Wales says collective action is key to ‘greener future’

22:05 , Lamiat Sabin

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has tweeted about his presence at the Cop26 summit.

He said: “Great to be here in Glasgow for #COP26 and to see so many countries coming together to discuss what the world needs to tackle climate change.

“By working together and taking collective action, we can ensure a greener future for the next generation.”

Leaders mingle at Cop26 evening event where Queen speaks

21:35 , Lamiat Sabin

World leaders and some members of the Royal Family are (almost) rubbing shoulders at an evening reception closing the first day of the Cop26 summit.

Some familiar names at the event include the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Boris Johnson, German chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, and US President Joe Biden.

The Queen, who has been advised by doctors to rest, addressed attendees at the reception in a pre-recorded video in which she pays tribute to her “late dear husband” Prince Philip, as well as encourages the world leaders to agree on a plan to tackle climate change.


India’s 2030 climate targets ‘ambitious’ – Boris Johnson

20:40 , Lamiat Sabin

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tweeted about India’s “ambitious plans” for half its energy to come from renewables by 2030.

He said: “India has today announced ambitious plans for half its energy to come from renewables by 2030.

“This will cut carbon emissions by a billion tonnes, contributing to a worldwide decade of delivery on climate change.

“PM Narendra Modi has for the first time made a commitment for India to become net zero, meaning 90% of the world's economy is now committed to this goal.

“The UK will work with India to make even more progress, including through the Clean Green Initiative we discussed today.”

Britain tens of billions short on its own green investment

20:31 , Alastair Jamieson

Britain’s ambitious target to become a net-zero economy is in doubt even as it hosts the Cop26.

Rishi Sunak’s budget fell as much as £21bn short of the investment needed to meet the government’s own carbon reduction targets up to 2025, according to exclusive analysis shared with The Independent.

The revelation from the Resolution Foundation follows Boris Johnson’s claim that Cop26 will have failed unless the world has committed to “halve emissions by the end of this decade”.

Here’s the full story from Anna Isaac...


The Queen pays tribute to ‘dear husband’ in Cop26 video

20:20 , Lamiat Sabin

The Queen has paid tribute to her “dear late husband” the Duke of Edinburgh in a pre-recorded video message played to the welcoming reception of the Cop26 summit.

The monarch, who was due to attend the conference of world leaders, has been resting at home after being advised to by doctors.

Prince Philip, her husband, died just days short of his hundredth birthday in April this year.

Read the full story here:

Queen pays tribute to Prince Philip in Cop26 video message

Prince Charles backs Africa tree plan as Bezos pledges £730m

20:00 , Lamiat Sabin

An initiative to plant 8,000 kilometres of trees across the width of Africa presents a “precious opportunity” in the fight against climate change, the Prince of Wales has said.

The Great Green Wall was devised in 2007 and a funding drive culminated in more than £14 billion from a number of sources to plant more than 20 million trees across 11 countries, which is estimated to create up to 350,000 jobs.

The Prince of Wales spoke at an event alongside French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Meanwhile, Mr Bezos pledged £730 million (1 billion USD) through the Bezos Earth Fund for land restoration throughout Africa, including the Great Green Wall.

Greta tells leaders to ‘stick your climate crisis up your a***’

19:40 , Lamiat Sabin

Greta Thunberg has been getting to grips with slang since arriving in Glasgow yesterday.

The Swedish environmental activist has been seen today leading protesters’ chants of “stick your climate crisis up your a***” while world leaders have begun their two-week-long climate summit.

It comes after Ms Thunberg accused leaders of paying lip service to the movement as they began to kick-off the event.

Congressman: ‘Subpoenas for oil industry papers was justified’

19:20 , Lamiat Sabin

Senior climate correspondent Louise Boyle interviewed congressman Ro Khanna, who is attempting to hold the oil industry accountable for global warming.

He has told The Independent that he and his Democratic colleagues were left with no choice but to issue subpoenas for internal documents as it was “justified by their record”.

“They thought they would just sit there, survive this and then move on with their lives. And that’s not going to happen,” Mr Khanna said.

Read the full story here:

India’s 2030 climate targets ‘demonstrate real leadership’

18:40 , Lamiat Sabin

While a number of Cop26 officials expressed surprise at the 2070 target for India, some said the 2030 targets were significant and could mean it hits the net-zero goal before its planned date.

Lord Stern, who wrote a key economic review of climate change, and is chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics (LSE), said it was a significant moment for the summit, with the five new targets from India.

He said: “Together this might mean that India’s annual emissions of greenhouse gases could peak by 2030.

“This demonstrates real leadership, based on a track record of action and ambitious targets, that can deliver on both economic development and climate change, from a country whose emissions per capita are about one-third of the global average.

“The rich world must respond to prime minister Modi’s challenge to deliver a strong increase in international climate finance.”

India’s net zero target is at least a decade behind the world’s largest polluter China, which has previously announced it plans to hit carbon neutrality before 2060, and to peak its emissions before 2030.

Reporting by PA

Modi sets net zero target of 2070 in demand for urgent cash

18:20 , Lamiat Sabin

India will meet a target of net zero emissions by 2070, the country’s prime minister Narendra Modi has told the Cop26 summit.

This was one of five pledges he listed, including that India will increase its non fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030 and it will get half of its energy from renewable resources by the same date.


He also pledged that India will reduce its projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes between now and 2030, and reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by 45 per cent.

Modi demanded that developed countries has £730 billion (one trillion USD) available as climate finance “as soon as possible today”.

India won’t hit net-zero emissions until 2070, Modi tells Cop26

Justin Welby apologises for making comparison linked to Nazis

18:00 , Lamiat Sabin

The Archbishop of Canterbury has apologised for suggesting in a BBC interview that failure to act at Cop26 would be possibly more grave than leaders who ignored warnings about the Nazis in the 1930s.

He tweeted: “I unequivocally apologise for the words I used when trying to emphasise the gravity of the situation facing us at Cop26.

“It’s never right to make comparisons with atrocities brought by the Nazis and I’m sorry for the offence caused to Jews by these words.”

Young activists call for climate justice outside Cop26

17:40 , Lamiat Sabin

Our climate correspondent Daisy Dunne is in Glasgow where the Cop26 summit is taking place.

Young activists in the Fridays for Future campaign are protesting while world leaders gather for the start of the two-week conference.


Some held a banner saying “blah blah blah” – which is what Greta Thunberg said when accusing world leaders of paying lip service to the movement to halt climate change.

Greta accuses leaders of paying lip service to climate cause

17:30 , Lamiat Sabin

Greta Thunberg said change will not come from the Cop26 conference as she criticised the “blah blah blah” of world leaders.

The Swedish climate activist accused the leaders of paying lip service to the climate change cause when addressing young protesters in Festival Park in Govan, across the River Clyde from the Cop26 venue.

“Change is not going to come from inside there – that is not leadership, this is leadership,” she said.

“We say no more blah blah blah, no more exploitation of people and nature and the planet. No more exploitation. No more blah blah blah. No more whatever the f*** they are doing inside there.”


In September, Ms Thunberg, 18, mocked Prime Minister Boris Johnson by quoting parts of his speeches on climate change and adding “blah, blah, blah”.

Mr Johnson referenced the campaigner’s remarks during his speech to the Cop26 opening session.

The PM will be flying home from Glasgow to London, his spokesman has confirmed, after making his speech in which he warned of the dangers that climate change poses.

Majority of scientist group say world will warm by 3C by 2100

17:10 , Lamiat Sabin

The world will warm by at least 3C by 2100, some Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists have warned.

Nearly two thirds of IPPC authors who responded to a survey said that they expect the planet to warm by this much.

However, 20 per cent of them said they expect nations to limit global warming to 2C, while four per cent of them said the world might meet the target of 1.5C.

Released in August, the latest IPCC climate-science report, approved by 195 governments, concluded that fossil fuel emissions are driving planetary changes, threatening people and the ecosystems humans rely on for food and other resources.

The Nature journal conducted an anonymous survey of 233 authors who are part of the IPCC working group. The 92 scientists who took part did so in a personal capacity, not as representatives of the IPCC.

Rainbow Warrior vessel allowed into Cop26 zone

16:50 , Lamiat Sabin

Climate activists are to sail into Glasgow on board a Greenpeace boat after officials agreed to allow the ship into the Cop26 restricted zone.

Port authorities wanted to block the Rainbow Warrior vessel from entering the area, which bans vessels from the stretch of the Clyde next to the SEC conference centre.

But Police Scotland has now confirmed that the boat will be allowed in after ship captain Hettie Geenen had a meeting with port authorities.

The Rainbow Warrior vessel (Kristian Buus/Greenpeace)
The Rainbow Warrior vessel (Kristian Buus/Greenpeace)

Activists Jakapita Faith Kandanga, 24, Edwin Namakanga, 27, Maria Reyes, 19, and Farzana Faruk Jhumu, 22, who are from Namibia, Uganda, Mexico, and Bangladesh – countries which would be most affected by a changing climate – are on the ship.

In a joint statement they said: “It’s ridiculous to think that climate talks could be held without the most affected people there and it’s positive that the police and port authorities have changed their minds.

“World leaders attending the talks could learn a lot from this co-operation. We have been ignored long enough, and now, with a safe passage to Glasgow, our voices must be heard at Cop26.”

Trudeau calls for global minimum price on pollution

16:30 , Lamiat Sabin

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that putting a price on pollution is key to pushing down global emissions.

At the Cop26 climate conference, he said: “Just as globally we’ve agreed to a minimum corporate tax, we must work together to ensure it is no longer free to pollute anywhere in the world. That means establishing a shared minimum standard for pricing pollution.”

He added: “We know pollution pricing is key to getting emissions down while getting innovation up and running.”


Greta Thunberg joins other activists at Cop26 protest

16:10 , Lamiat Sabin

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg takes part in a protest at Festival Park in Glasgow while the Cop26 summit commences.

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

Attenborough: ‘World should work towards wonderful recovery’

15:50 , Lamiat Sabin

Sir David Attenborough has told world leaders that there is time to “rewrite our story” in an impassioned speech during the opening ceremony of Cop26.

The broadcaster and natural historian, 95, is in attendance at the climate summit in Glasgow today where he was one of the first people to speak before more than 100 leaders.

“In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed a terrible decline. In yours, you should witness a wonderful recovery,” he said.

Sir David noted that the poorest in the world are being hit hardest by climate change, and that along with recapturing “billions of tonnes of carbon from the air”, we must see “nature as our ally” in reducing future impacts.

He said: “If working apart we are powerful enough to destabilise our planet, surely working together we are powerful enough to save it.”

China vows to roll-out large wind and solar power projects

15:30 , Lamiat Sabin

China has pledged that it will accelerate development in green renewable energy.

Xi Jinping, who will address the Cop26 climate summit by a written statement read out on his behalf, said that China is planning large-scale construction of wind farms and solar power projects.

Mr Xi said that every party should do its best to take “stronger” action to deal with climate change, and that developed countries should help poorer countries to “do better”, according to China’s state media.

Biden: US will ‘sprint’ to 1.5C target by 2030

15:08 , Tom Batchelor

US president Joe Biden has said his country remains hopeful that the 1.5C target will be reached, saying he will “sprint” to get there by 2030.

That, he told delegates in Glasgow, would be followed by a long term plan to ensure the US transitions to a net zero economy.

He said: “We are planning for both a short term sprint to 2030 that will keep 1.5C in reach, and for a marathon that will take us to the finish line and transform the largest economy in the world into a thriving, innovative, equitable and just clean energy engine for a net zero world.”

Joe Biden speaking at the Cop26 summit (REUTERS)
Joe Biden speaking at the Cop26 summit (REUTERS)

Italian PM calls for ‘quantum leap’ in fight against climate change

15:00 , Tom Batchelor

Climate change can “tear us apart”, the Italian PM warned world leaders at Cop26 as he called for a “quantum leap” in the fight against it.

Speaking on the first day of the summit, Mario Draghi urged those involved to build to on the promises made at the recent G20 summit in Rome.

He said the impact of climate change caused by rising temperatures is already “all too evident” in weather disasters and the cost of this is rising.

“Climate change can tear us apart. Thanks to the constant co-operation and dialogue we are making good progress on addressing climate change,” he said.

“Here at the Cop26 we must now go further than we did at the G20.

“We need to speed up our commitment to keep rising temperatures below 1.5C.

“We need to build on the G20 agreement and act faster and more decisively.”

Mario Draghi delivers a speech at the opening ceremony (AP)
Mario Draghi delivers a speech at the opening ceremony (AP)

Merkel calls for ‘ambitious’ climate action

14:58 , Tom Batchelor

Angela Merkel has said the next decade will be “decisive” when it comes to global community’s response to the heating planet.

Addressing delegates, the outgoing German chancellor said world leaders should be “more ambitious” with their pledges in order to tackle the worsening crisis.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer mocked for reporting on Cop26 from Edinburgh

14:49 , Tom Batchelor

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer has found himself on the wrong side of some Scots after tweeting that Cop26 was happening in Edinburgh, instead of Glasgow.

You can read the full report here:

CNN journalist mocked for reporting on Cop26 from wrong city

Russia targeting carbon neutrality by 2060

14:42 , Tom Batchelor

Russia has approved a long-term government climate strategy targeting carbon neutrality by 2060.

Moscow has rejected US allegations it was not doing enough on climate change as the Cop26 conference began, despite not sending Vladimir Putin to the summit.

Mr Putin, the leader of the world’s number four greenhouse gas emitter, plans to deliver a recorded message at the Glasgow talks, which he is not attending, and will not be able to speak live, the Kremlin’s spokesman said.

Brazil’s indigenous people ‘must be part of solution'

14:39 , Tom Batchelor

A group representing Brazil’s indigenous people has said the world needs their expertise in protecting the Amazon rainforest to solve the global warming crisis.

The groups - who say they are facing increasing threats from loggers, miners and Brazil’s own climate-skeptic government - told Reuters they had brought 40 envoys to the Cop26 conference in Glasgow, their biggest ever international delegation.

“If there is no protection of indigenous territories and rights, there will also be no solution to the climate crisis, because we are part of that solution,” Sonia Guajajara, head of the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (ABIP), said.

“We need to urgently save our territories to protect the lives of indigenous people and the future of our planet.”

The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest and considered a crucial bulwark against climate change.

Greta Thunberg protesting outside summit

14:26 , Tom Batchelor

Climate activist Greta Thunberg has been pictured outside the summit’s blue zone protesting with other young campaigners.

Ms Thunberg has said she was not officially invited to the conference, but is attending to take part in protests in Glasgow.

On Monday afternoon she was filmed holding up a banner saying: “Enough is enough.”

Greta Thunberg to give press conference on fringes of Cop26 summit

14:13 , Daisy Dunne

The young climate activist Greta Thunberg is expected to speak alongside other climate activists on the fringes of the Cop26 summit at around 3.30pm this afternoon, reports our climate correspondent, Daisy Dunne.

Ms Thunberg will appear alongside young activists from global south countries that are already facing severe impacts as a result of the climate crisis.

It comes after Thunberg and several other young activists penned an open letter to world leaders asking them to finally face up to the climate emergency. More on this soon.

Cop organisers urge delegates not to turn up in person amid ‘high level of attendance’

14:08 , Tom Batchelor

Cop organisers have appealed to delegates to only attend in person when strictly necessary and to take part remotely when possible after reporting a “high level of attendance”.

Earlier on Monday, long queues built up at the security checkpoints, delaying many people’s entry.

Is Greta Thunberg attending the Glasgow summit and will she be protesting?

14:01 , Tom Batchelor

Greta Thunberg arrived in Glasgow on Saturday evening ahead of Cop26 - but says she has not “officially” been invited to the summit.

Prior to her arrival at Glasgow Central after taking the train from London Euston, Ms Thunberg, 18, had recorded an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr in which she said how welcome she was at the gathering of world leaders remained “very unclear”.

Here is more on her involvement in the Cop26 summit:

Is Greta Thunberg attending Cop26 and will she be protesting?

‘Try harder’, Barbados tells world leaders

13:55 , Tom Batchelor

Barbados leader Mia Mottley has also urged world leaders to “try harder” to prevent climate change.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, the PM said: “1.5C is what we need to stay alive - two degrees is a death sentence for the people of Antigua and Barbuda, for the people of the Maldives, for the people of Dominica and Fiji, for the people of Kenya and Mozambique - and yes, for the people of Samoa and Barbados.

“We do not want that dreaded death sentence and we’ve come here today to say ‘try harder, try harder’.

“Because our people, the climate army, the world, the planet, needs our action now - not next year, not in the next decade.”

Barbadian PM calls for world to ‘encircle’ countries not yet doing enough on climate

13:48 , Tom Batchelor

Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley has launched a veiled attack on leaders who have not attended the Cop26 summit.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, Ms Mottley said: “We can work with who is ready to go, because the train is ready to leave.

“Those who are not yet ready, we need to continue to encircle and remind them that their people, not our people, but their citizens need them to get on board as soon as possible.”

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping both decided not to attend the talks.

Opinion | Boris Johnson is banking on the free market to solve the climate crisis – but it simply isn’t working

13:48 , Tom Batchelor

I have spent the last few months on what is essentially an investigation and independent audit of progress on Johnson’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, or, as Johnson described it last week, “the new Decalogue that I brought down from Sinai last year”, writes film-maker Callum Macrae.

Our film, a Dispatches special, is being broadcast at 8pm tonight, the day that Cop26 really gets down to business. And what quickly becomes clear is that behind Johnson’s penchant for consciously loopy pronouncements lies a consistent, ideologically-rooted strategy which determines and explains almost all of his government’s pronouncements on the crisis: an absolute conviction that this mess can be solved by a dynamic combination of the free market and technology, essentially a carbon-free re-run of the last industrial revolution.

Read more about the programme here:

Opinion: Why the free market will never solve the climate crisis

Welcome to anti-Cop26: The climate denial expo in Vegas where attendees talk anything but science

13:29 , Tom Batchelor

As the world’s leading scientists and climate activists prepare to gather in Scotland for the Cop26 summit, a few hundred people convene 5,000 miles away in Las Vegas for a whole different type of ‘climate’ discussion.

Read the full story here:

Inside the insidious world of climate change denial

‘World is looking to you’, Attenborough tells delegates

13:23 , Tom Batchelor

Sir David Attenborough, addressing delegates, has said working together the world is “powerful enough” to save itself from the worst effects of climate change.

“The world is looking to you,” the 95-year-old naturalist said.

“Perhaps the fact that the people affected by climate change are no longer some imagined future generations but young people alive today, perhaps that will give us the impetus we need to rewrite our story, to turn this tragedy into a triumph.”

He added that “we are after all the greatest problem solvers to have ever existed on earth” and that we “now understand the problem” of how to put climate change into reverse.

US president Joe Biden gave a standing ovation to Sir David following his speech.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Prince of Wales tells Cop delegates to mount a ‘military-style campaign’

13:17 , Tom Batchelor

The Prince of Wales is speaking now, telling delegates that the countries need to “come together to create the environment that enables every sector of industry to take the action required”.

He said: “We know this will take trillions, not billions, of dollars. We also know that countries, many of whom are burdened by growing levels of debt, simply cannot afford to ‘go green’.

“Here, we need a vast military-style campaign to marshal the strength of the global private sector. With trillions at its disposal - far beyond global GDP and, with the greatest respect, beyond even the governments of the world’s leaders - it offers the only real prospect of achieving fundamental economic transition.”

He said a clear strategy is needed to speed up innovative solutions getting to market, along with a reduction in risk to boost private investment and said this framework is offered in his Sustainable Markets Initiative.


85% of climate conferences’ carbon footprint comes from flights

13:08 , Tom Batchelor

Flights were responsible for some 85 per cent of recent COP conferences’ carbon footprints, according to research.

Of the 53,374 tonnes of CO2 produced on average by the COP23, COP24 and COP25 events – held in Bonn, Germany, Katowice, Poland and Madrid, Spain respectively – 45,264 came from air travel.

Accommodation accounted for 4,220 tonnes, 2,135 tonnes came from heat and electricity for the conference venues, 616 from local transport and 1,139 from “other” sources, according to data compiled by the Financial Times.

Read more on the story here:

COP26: 85% of climate conferences’ carbon footprint comes from flights

‘Sirens are sounding’, says UN secretary-general

13:03 , Tom Batchelor

The UN’s secretary-general said it is an “illusion” to think the fight against climate change is being won, as he warned that the “sirens are sounding”.

Antonio Guterres told the Cop26 conference opening session: “Recent climate action announcements might give the impression that we are on track to turn things around.

“This is an illusion. The last published report on Nationally Determined Contributions showed that they would still condemn the world to a calamitous 2.7 degree increase.

“And even if the recent pledges were clear and credible - and there are serious questions about some of them - we are still careening towards climate catastrophe.

“Even in the best-case scenario, temperatures will rise well above two degrees.

“So, as we open this much anticipated climate conference, we are still heading for climate disaster.”

He added: “Our planet is talking to us and telling us something. And so are people everywhere. Climate action tops the list of people’s concerns, across countries, age and gender,” he said.

“We must listen - and we must act - and we must choose wisely. On behalf of this and future generations, I urge you: Choose ambition. Choose solidarity. Choose to safeguard our future and save humanity.”

International Maritime Organisation under pressure to go climate neutral by 2050

13:00 , Tom Batchelor

Denmark’s prime minister has said the country and several others, including the UK and US, are calling on the International Maritime Organisation to contribute to climate action by adopting “a climate-neutral 2050 target as well as ambitious intermediary targets in 2030 and 2040”, Reuters reports.

It sends “a clear signal to our partners in the public and private sectors around the world that a greener future for shipping is both necessary but also possible. It is time to act to ensure a greener future,” Mette Frederiksen said in a statement.

“Climate-neutral shipping plays a crucial role in achieving the international climate goals and has the potential to support a massive upscaling of the use of renewable energy for the use of green fuels, which are central to the necessary energy transition also in emerging economies and developing countries,” she said.

Ms Frederiksen will present the initiative later on Monday in Glasgow together with the US special climate envoy, John Kerry, and the Marshall Islands’ head of delegation at Cop26, Bruce Bilimon.

There they will launch a joint statement calling for shipping to be climate neutral by 2050 and stressing the importance of political action now.

Future generations ‘will not forgive us if we fail to take action’, says Johnson

12:52 , Tom Batchelor

Boris Johnson has said future generations will not forgive today’s political leaders if they fail to agree to meaningful action at the Glasgow summit.

The prime minister said: “The children who will judge us are children not yet born, and their children, and we are now coming centrestage before a vast and uncountable audience of posterity and we mustn’t fluff our lines or miss our cue, because if we fail, they will not forgive us.

“They will know that Glasgow was the historic turning point when history failed to turn.

“They will judge us with bitterness and resentment that eclipses any of the climate activists of today.

“And they will be right.”

‘Packed outside of the World Leaders Summit Opening Ceremony’

12:49 , Tom Batchelor

Our senior climate correspondent Louise Boyle tweets:

Watch live as Boris Johnson speaks to Cop leaders

12:45 , Tom Batchelor

You can watch Boris Johnson’s speech live here:

Watch: Boris Johnson speaks at Cop26 climate summit

PM references Thunberg’s ‘blah blah blah’ criticism

12:42 , Tom Batchelor

Boris Johnson has said all the world’s promises on the climate will amount to “blah blah blah” unless Cop26 is “the moment where we get real about climate change”.

The PM was referencing criticism of his government by the environmental activist Greta Thunberg in September.

Here is that story:

‘Build back better blah blah blah’: Greta mocks Biden, Johnson in climate speech

‘We need to act now’: Boris Johnson addresses delegates at start of Cop26

12:39 , Tom Batchelor

Boris Johnson has compared the fate of the planet to James Bond trying to stop a ticking bomb, telling world leaders that the world is “roughly in the same position”, except the “tragedy is that this is not a movie and the doomsday device is real, and the clock is ticking”.

Addressing delegates, he said people should not ignore scientists warnings about the impact on the food system, severe weather and the loss of cities.

“We need to act now,” he said.


No 10 points finger at UN for summit queues

12:33 , Andrew Woodcock

Downing Street pointed the finger of blame at the United Nations for the chaotic arrangements which led to thousands of delegates waiting for an hour or more in slow-moving queues to get into the Cop26 venue this morning, reports our political editor, Andrew Woodcock.

Asked if Boris Johnson was embarrassed by the scenes, a No 10 spokesperson said: “The security arrangements and accreditation for Cop are mandated by the UN and managed in partnership between the UN and Cop26 operational staff.

“You’ll be aware that there are thousands of delegates arriving on site each day, and we’re working closely with our partners like the UNFCC to minimise wait times as much as possible during busy times whilst we ensure that we keep safe entry for those who wish to access the site.”

Cop summit opened with Scottish smallpipes performance

12:31 , Tom Batchelor

A 22-year-old Scottish smallpipes player from the Isle of Skye has opened the Cop26 summit, with world leaders now seated in the audience ahead of the first address from Boris Johnson.

A short film is also being played as well as a poem called Earth to Cop.

The Prince of Wales will speak before world leaders are invited onto the stage later in the afternoon.

World’s worst polluters accused of Facebook greenwashing campaign using ‘dark ads’

12:27 , Tom Batchelor

The word’s leading carbon polluters, such as ExxonMobil and Shell, have been accused of spending millions of dollars on “dark” Facebook adverts to influence the debate over the climate crisis and renewable energy at the most critical of moments.

As more than 100 global leaders and business heads gather in Glasgow to try to set ambitious targets to cut the emission of CO2 and move the world towards renewable energy, some of the worst emitters of greenhouse gases have been accused of “greenwashing” their reputations and trying to influence debates over fossil fuels.

The data collated by a group made up of artists, technology experts and lawyers, has identified at least 1,700 “dark ads” or pieces of sponsored content, from 2021 alone.

Read the full report here:

World’s worst polluters accused of Facebook greenwashing campaign using ‘dark ads’

US president brings with him large motorcade

12:24 , Tom Batchelor

Joe Biden heads along the M8 motorway towards the Cop26 summit in Glasgow (PA)
Joe Biden heads along the M8 motorway towards the Cop26 summit in Glasgow (PA)
The president’s entourage making its way from Edinburgh to Glasgow (PA)
The president’s entourage making its way from Edinburgh to Glasgow (PA)

Johnson greets Biden and Guterres on stage

12:18 , Tom Batchelor

Boris Johnson has greeted Joe Biden and UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres on stage before he delivers his opening remarks to delegates.

The men have now left the stage and the UK prime minister is expected to speak shortly.

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

‘We can’t drink oil’: Leaders must commit to ending new fossil fuel projects at Cop26, says Vanessa Nakate

12:11 , Tom Batchelor

World leaders must commit to ending all new fossil fuel projects at the Cop26 climate summit, young climate activist Vanessa Nakate has said.

The Ugandan environmentalist told The Independent that plans to tackle the climate crisis must not leave room for more oil and gas development.

Read the full report here:

Leaders must commit to ending new fossil fuel projects at Cop26, says Vanessa Nakate

Summit opening delayed by 15 minutes

12:05 , Tom Batchelor

Boris Johnson was due to open the conference at midday with an initial address to world leaders.

However it is now understood that the PM’s speech to delegates has been delated by at least 15 minutes. It is not clear what has caused the delay.

Here is what he is expected to say:

Boris Johnson offers £1bn for Cop26 climate fund but only if economy bounces back

Nearly 1 million sign climate letter backed by Thunberg

12:02 , Tom Batchelor

Youth climate activists including Greta Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate, Dominika Lasota, and Mitzi Tan have written an open letter to Cop26 leaders which has attracted more than 900,000 supporting signatures from people around the world.

The letter, launched with the global citizens movement Avaaz, calls on world leaders to “face up to the climate emergency,” and lays out a five point plan to deliver a climate safe future.

Greta Thunberg said: “Right now world leaders are meeting for historic climate talks – but pledges without real action won’t cut it anymore. We are catastrophically far from the crucial goal of 1.5C, and yet governments everywhere are still accelerating the crisis, spending billions on fossil fuels.

“We urge you to face up to the climate emergency and keep the precious goal of 1.5C alive with immediate, drastic, annual emission reductions unlike anything the world has ever seen. There is still time to avoid the worst consequences if we are prepared to change.”

Gen Z climate activists on how we can save the planet

11:59 , Tom Batchelor

For members of Gen Z, it’s almost impossible to recall a time when the climate crisis was not a looming reality.

They grew up with a ticker-tape of bad news scrolling before their eyes: warnings of record-breaking floods, wildfires and heatwaves that are now coming to pass.

So it’s perhaps no surprise that this generation, which roughly encompasses young people under 25, is leading the way in confronting the climate emergency.

Here is how some of them are doing it:

Gen Z climate activists on how we can save the planet as Cop26 begins

Papua New Guinea delegate calls on US and China to show leadership

11:55 , Tom Batchelor

Kevin Conrad, a negotiator from Papua New Guinea who also chairs the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, has said he is watching the big carbon polluting nations.

“I think it’s really important for the United States and China to show leadership as the two largest emitters,” he said.

“If both of them can show it can be done, I think they give hope to the rest of the world.”

Scientists say the chances of meeting the goal to keep global temperatures from rising by more than 1.5C this century are slowly slipping away.

The world has already warmed by more than 1.1C and current projections based on planned emissions cuts over the next decade are for it to hit 2.7C by the year 2100.

Amazon’s Bezos to join Prince Charles for Cop event

11:51 , Tom Batchelor

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will join the Prince of Wales at a Cop26 event promoting the greening of north Africa, Clarence House has confirmed.

Charles was pictured having an informal chat with the billionaire businessman and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez on Sunday night following the G20 summit in Rome.

It is understood they met to discuss Mr Bezos’s charitable body’s commitment to nature ahead of a Cop26 event in Glasgow promoting the Great Green Wall.

The Great Green Wall is an Africa-led initiative supported by French President Emmanuel Macron which aims to combat desertification by creating a stretch of green and productive landscapes across the width of north Africa.

Rubbish litters streets of Glasgow in bin collection strike

11:48 , Tom Batchelor

Glasgow’s bin collectors and street cleaners have walked out on strike amid a row between a union and the city council.

GMB members walked out at one minute past midnight on Monday following the collapse of last-ditch talks between the union and Glasgow City Council on Sunday evening.

The planned strike action was previously called off on Friday after a new pay offer from council umbrella body Cosla, and the GMB said it would suspend the strike for two weeks to consult with members.

However, following talks on Sunday, the GMB said strike action would go ahead.

More on the story here:

Rubbish litters streets of Glasgow in bin collection strike as Cop26 begins

Biden disembarks Air Force One

11:48 , Tom Batchelor

Joe Biden has disembarked Air Force One in Edinburgh, where he will be staying, and will soon make his way to Glasgow for the summit.

Joe Biden arrives at Edinburgh Airport (AP)
Joe Biden arrives at Edinburgh Airport (AP)

Meanwhile Jill Biden, the US First Lady, is attending events in the Italian city of Naples. The couple were in Italy over the weekend for the G20 meeting.

US first lady Jill Biden arriving at Naples International airport on Monday (AP)
US first lady Jill Biden arriving at Naples International airport on Monday (AP)

Putin won’t address summit live, says Kremlin

11:42 , Tom Batchelor

Vladimir Putin will deliver a recorded message to the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow, the Kremlin said on Monday, but there are no arrangements for the leader of the world’s fourth biggest greenhouse gas emitter to address the summit live.

Russia announced last month that Mr Putin would not attend in person. Moscow said at the time it would try to work out a way for him to speak by video conference, but Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday this would not be feasible.

“It is impossible to join (the meetings) in Glasgow through a video conference,” Mr Peskov told reporters. “Still, a conference on forestry and land use management will be held in Glasgow as part of the climate change summit, and the president has already recorded an address to the participants of that conference.”

Sturgeon meets campaigners Thunberg and Nakate

11:41 , Tom Batchelor

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has met Greta Thunberg at Cop26.

The Swedish environmental activist arrived in Scotland on Saturday to attend the climate summit.

On Monday morning, Ms Thunberg along with fellow campaigner Vanessa Nakate, from Uganda, met with the first minister, who tweeted: “The voices of young people like ⁦@GretaThunberg⁩ and ⁦@vanessa_vash⁩ must be heard loudly and clearly at #COP26 - the next few days should not be comfortable for leaders, the responsibility to act must be felt.”

Ms Thunberg has previously been critical of the Scottish government’s climate policy, saying that the country was “not a leader on climate change”, as the first minister had previously stated.

Scotland has pledged to cut emissions by 75 per cent by 2030 and be net zero by 2045, but the last three years of targets have been missed.

‘Cold water only’ at Cop

11:36 , Tom Batchelor

CNN cover Cop26 Glasgow summit ... from Edinburgh

11:31 , Tom Batchelor

CNN anchor Wolf Blitz has tweeted a photo of the impressive backdrop to his Cop26 set – featuring Edinburgh Castle.

The veteran broadcaster said he was “reporting from Edinburgh in Scotland where 20,000 world leaders and delegates have gathered”.

Twitter users were quick to point out that Glasgow is 40 miles west of the Scottish capital.

Opinion | Caroline Lucas: No wonder Boris Johnson is saying it’s ‘touch and go’ for a successful Cop26

11:26 , Tom Batchelor

This summit is our best chance of avoiding climate breakdown, writes Green MP Caroline Lucas.

There is always the chance that, at the eleventh hour, world leaders will show that it is possible to pull together in the face of a crisis which threatens us all, that they will not only agree to much more ambitious emissions cuts, they will also make them with far greater urgency.

But whatever happens, failure is not the end of the fight against climate change. It just makes the challenge more difficult. For all of us who are determined that our planet has a healthy future well beyond our lifetimes, the campaign will continue.

Read her full article here:

No wonder the PM says it’s ‘touch and go’ for a successful Cop26 | Caroline Lucas

‘Two-hour delays’ to enter summit

11:20 , Tom Batchelor

More on the long queues which have caused delays for delegates attempting to enter the main Cop26 venue in Glasgow, with some reporting having to queue for two hours before managing to gain access.

More than 25,000 people have descended on Scotland’s largest city for the international climate talks, and pictures on social media have shown hundreds waiting outside the main gates to the venue.

Delegates have to go through airport style security once inside.

Biden arrives in Scotland

11:09 , Tom Batchelor

Joe Biden, the US president, has touched down in Scotland ahead of his attendance at the Cop26 summit.

Mr Biden arrived at Edinburgh airport and will make his way to Glasgow before addressing delegates at around 1pm.

Bloomberg push to close quarter of world's coal plants

10:59 , Tom Batchelor

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, has announced a new effort to close a quarter of the world’s coal plants within four years.

In support of the UN Secretary-General’s call to phase out coal power by 2030 for the OECD and EU27 and by 2040 everywhere else, the former politician’s Bloomberg Philanthropies charity has announced a campaign to work to close 25 per cent of the world’s 2,445 remaining coal plants and all 519 proposed coal plants by 2025.

“Coal is enemy number one in the battle over climate change, because it causes one-third of all carbon emissions,” said Mr Bloomberg.

“Over the last decade, Bloomberg Philanthropies has helped shut down two-thirds of coal-fired power plants in the US and half in Europe – and that work continues.

“But around the world, too many coal plants are driving climate change and making people sick, so we are expanding our efforts to 25 more countries and setting an ambitious new goal: working to close a quarter of the world’s coal plants by 2025 and cancel all proposed coal plants by that year, too.

“Just as we have been succeeding in the US and Europe, with the help of strong partners on the ground, we are determined to succeed globally.”

Glasgow side streets ‘choked up’ with idling Cop26 cars

10:48 , Tom Batchelor

For all government minister claims of wanting to reduce emissions, the number of motor vehicles that have descended on Glasgow suggests the UK – and the rest of the world – has a long way to go when it comes to sustainable urban transport.

Some of Glasgow’s cycle lanes have apparently been upended in order to make room for the summit.

And now a Channel 4 News correspondent reports that the streets surrounding the conference have been turned into a makeshift car park, with many vehicles “idling”.

UK to back $1bn World Bank green loan to India - report

10:36 , Tom Batchelor

Boris Johnson is set to announce a sovereign guarantee for a $1bn World Bank loan for India to develop green infrastructure, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.

The announcement is likely to be made during the United Nations Cop26 summit.

“The UK’s biggest finance offer to India at Cop26 will be a $1bn sovereign guarantee for additional World Bank lending for green infra,” said one of the sources. They declined to the named as they were not authorised to talk to the media on the subject.

Spokespeople for the Indian and UK governments did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reporting by Reuters

Biden tests negative for Covid ahead of Cop26 summit

10:24 , Tom Batchelor

Joe Biden tested negative for Covid on Sunday, a White House spokeswoman said, with the US president due to speak at Cop26 later today.

The spokeswoman, speaking to reporters on board Air Force One on Monday, said the PCR test was taken as part of entry requirements for attendance at the climate conference in Glasgow.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki tested positive for Covid on Sunday, saying in a statement she had last seen President Biden on Tuesday.

Delays and long queues for those arriving at summit

10:11 , Tom Batchelor

Journalists attempting to access the Cop26 have complained of long queues and in one instance security guards apparently seeking to prevent people from taking photos of the backlog.

Independent climate correspondents ready for Cop26

10:02 , Tom Batchelor

The Independent’s climate correspondents, Daisy Dunne and Louise Boyle, are in Glasgow where they will be reporting live on the summit and providing a daily newsletter.

Boris Johnson welcomes world leaders

09:50 , Tom Batchelor

Boris Johnson has begun welcoming world leaders to the Glasgow summit.

Boris Johnson greets Colombia's President Ivan Duque (AFP via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson greets Colombia's President Ivan Duque (AFP via Getty Images)
Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on his arrival to the summit (PA)
Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on his arrival to the summit (PA)
The PM with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, right, and Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu (AP)
The PM with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, right, and Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu (AP)
Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio performs the Covid greeting in Glasgow (Getty Images)
Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio performs the Covid greeting in Glasgow (Getty Images)

Archbishop of Canterbury says tackling climate change is a ‘moral issue'

09:39 , Tom Batchelor

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said tackling climate change is a moral issue.

Explaining what he hopes to achieve by being in Glasgow, the Most Rev Justin Welby said he is there to listen, particularly to the countries that are most affected, and to encourage those who are making progress.

Asked if tackling climate change is a moral issue, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It is absolutely a moral issue.

“This is our neighbours all around the world, those who are already suffering catastrophic impacts, this is life or death.”

He told the programme: “Success in Glasgow is that it gives confidence to the poorest in the world and to voters in the global north that this is achievable.

“That’s what success looks like - that steps have been taken that mean that we will get to the 1.5 degrees target. That is doable.”

Biden’s ‘beast’ limo spotted in streets of Glasgow

23:32 , Lamiat Sabin

Joe Biden’s presidential stretch limousine, known as “the beast”, has been spotted being driven through the Finnieston district of Glasgow.

Although a well-known British bakery in the background has clearly shut for the day, Twitter commenters have been pondering what the US president would order if he were to get his aide to pop in for some late-night snacks.

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