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Cop26 Glasgow news – live: Boris Johnson ‘cautiously optimistic’ on deal and Biden rips into absent China

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Boris Johnson has said he is “cautiously optimistic” about what is being achieved at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, though promises are “100 per cent useless” without firm action.

His comments come after a series of gloomy remarks from the prime minister in recent days about the ability to thrash out an agreement at the conference to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

Mr Johnson said earlier on Tuesday that current global targets around sustainable aviation fuel were “pathetic” and that the world could do more as he announced plans to drive the adoption of green technology globally.

Elsewhere at the summit, Joe Biden announced that nearly 100 countries have signed a pledge to slash emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane by 30 per cent by 2030 from 2020 levels.

The US president also claimed China has made a “big mistake” by not joining world leaders in Glasgow, saying they wanted to be world leaders but were “walking away” on the “gigantic issue” of climate breakdown.

Read More

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The Independent launches petition calling on world leaders to act immediately on the climate crisis

Key Points

  • Sunak promises to make Britain ‘world’s first net-zero-aligned financial centre’

  • 100 nations make commitment to ‘halt and reverse’ deforestation

  • Biden says China not showing up at Cop26 'big mistake’

  • Nearly 100 countries commit to ‘game-changing’ methane pledge

  • UK apologises after Israeli minister says she could not access summit in wheelchair

22:23 , Andy Gregory

Here’s a round-up of some of the key takeaways from day two of the conference:

‘Let’s end great chainsaw massacre,’ Boris Johnson says

More than 100 nations – collectively home to 85 per cent of the world’s forests – have signed a declaration to “halt and reverse” the destruction of forests and land by the end of the decade, in a pledge supposedly backed by £14bn in investment.

Bezos cites space flight epiphany

Also stepping in to help the natural world was Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who announced £1.47bn for restoring land in Africa. Mr Bezos told delegates his flight to space in July made the atmosphere seem “so thin, the world so finite and so fragile”.

The methane ‘game-changer’

Nearly 100 countries have signed up to multi-country pledge to cut methane emissions by 30 per cent by 2030, compared to 2020 levels – first announced in September.

“At the time, nine countries had signed on. Today it’s over 80 and approaching 100 countries,” Joe Biden said. “It’s going to make a huge difference, not just when it comes to fighting climate change. It’s going to improve health, reduce asthma and respiratory-related emergencies. It’s going to improve food supplies by cutting crop losses.”

Japan pledge could see $100bn finance target finally met

With Mr Biden and the EU's Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden turning up late to the methane announcement, US special climate envoy John Kerry was left to fill some time.

He mused that Japan’s recent multibillion dollar pledge could finally tip the summit past its three-year-overdue climate finance target of $100bn for the developing world – but likely not until next year.

Tokyo’s $10bn pledge “has the ability to leverage and to produce from the World Bank and other sources about another $8bn”, he said.

South Africa to receive help ditching coal

In a first-of-its-kind agreement, South Africa will receive around $8.5bn from the US and European countries to help it ditch coal, its major power source.

The funds will be provided as loans and grants over five years to help South Africa move away from coal-fired plants which power about 90 per cent of the country’s electricity.

Catch me if you can

Actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio turned up at Cop26, prompting a frenzy as the world's media tracked him down.

He passed through Kew Science's Carbon Garden, which features a display of plants and messages about solutions to the crisis that rely on nature, while delegates enjoyed a little Hollywood stardust added to the event.

As one Twitter user joked: “Glasgow is mental right now. I’m still waiting for Al Gore to descend from the heavens like Captain Planet, executing a perfect superhero landing right next to the Donald Dewer statue.”

Upbeat climate experts echo Boris Johnson and hail ‘momentum’ towards deal

23:52 , Andy Gregory

My colleagues Rob Merrick and Louise Boyle have this extensive piece from Glasgow, detailing the day’s main events:

Upbeat climate experts are hailing “momentum” towards a deal to halt runaway climate change, after a series of carbon-cutting announcements at the Cop26 summit.

The mood has shifted after India’s breakthrough pledge to take 1 billion tonnes of CO2 out of the atmosphere by 2030 and the agreement to halt deforestation across most of the globe.

Those moves were bolstered by almost 100 countries committing to slash methane emissions by 30 per cent – and a deal to hand $8.5bn to South Africa to help it ditch coal as a fuel source. Read their full report here:

Upbeat climate experts echo PM and hail ‘momentum’ towards Cop26 deal

Sunak’s new plan ‘falling short’, Greenpeace says

23:29 , Andy Gregory

Here’s Greenpeace’s less-than-glowing reaction to Rishi Sunak’s claim that he can turn UK into “the world’s first net zero-aligned financial centre”.

The chancellor is set to announce that some 450 institutions – controlling around 40 per cent of global financial assets – have aligned themselves to limit global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

Greenpeace’s head of politics Rebecca Newsom said: “The world’s first net zero-aligned financial centre would be one in which financial institutions and companies are required by law at the outset to bring their lending and investments in line with the global goal to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.

“Instead, these new rules seem to allow plenty of wriggle room for financial institutions to continue with business as usual, rather than ‘rewiring’ the system as the chancellor claims. The chancellor is once again falling short of what the climate emergency requires.”

Biden accused of ‘whiplash’ rhetoric on climate

23:05 , Andy Gregory

An energy expert and climate lawyer has suggested that the “whiplash” of Joe Biden’s rhetoric on climate was on full display in his speech earlier, urging him to halt crude oil exports upon his return to Washington.

“First, he asks Opec to pump more oil, then describes his worry about the horrors of climate change,” said Jean Su, of the Centre for Biological Diversity and the Climate Law Institute.

“To set his climate ambition straight, it would be profound and game-changing for him to return to Washington and declare a national climate emergency to halt crude oil exports. That’s just one of the tools Biden has to take transformative action on climate without Congress.”

She added: “Biden sounds just as worried as the rest of us, but he has power unlike anyone else’s. For the sake of us and the planet, he has to use it.”

Breaking: Rishi Sunak promises to make Britain ‘world’s first net-zero-aligned financial centre’

22:45 , Andy Gregory

Ambitious plans to create a huge pool of money to invest in a green future will turn the UK into “the world’s first net zero-aligned financial centre”, Rishi Sunak has said.

Companies managing $130 trillion of assets have committed to the goal of holding global warming below 1.5C, the chancellor announced ahead of an event he is leading at Cop26 tomorrow morning.

But campaigners warned that the chancellor’s landmark plan falls short of what is needed to halt the climate crisis and risks amounting to no more than “greenwash” for a sector which has profited massively from decades of pollution.

Andrew Woodcock and Ben Chapman have the full story here:

Sunak promises to make UK ‘world’s first net zero-aligned financial centre’

22:01 , Andy Gregory

In case you missed it earlier, here’s the footage of Joe Biden’s claim that China has made a “big mistake” by not attending the summit.

Beijing has “lost an ability to influence people around the world”, the US president said.

‘Eyes of the world’ on Glasgow, Boris Johnson says

21:41 , Andy Gregory

The prime minister has urged world leaders “to keep 1.5 alive” as he warned “the eyes of the world will be on” Glasgow for the next 10 days.

US politician issues subpoenas to oil executives amid probe into ‘climate disinformation campaign’

21:29 , Andy Gregory

The chair of the US House Oversight Committee has issued subpoenas to top executives of ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and other oil giants, for “key documents they have failed to produce in the Committee’s investigation into the fossil fuel industry’s climate disinformation campaign”.

Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat, said she had “tried very hard” to obtain the information voluntarily, but “the oil companies employed the same tactics they used for decades on climate policy — delay and obstruction.”

Leaders of all six subpoenaed groups appeared at a high-profile hearing in front of the committee last week, and had missed an extended deadline set by the committee to hand over key documents requested by the politicians, Ms Maloney said.

Prince William recoils after Kate Middleton offers him jar of dead bugs

21:10 , Andy Gregory

An exchange between Kate Middleton and Prince William is going viral after the Duchess of Cambridge was photographed offering her husband a jar of dead bugs during a climate event the pair were hosting.

My colleague Chelsea Ritschel has more details:

Prince William recoils after Kate Middleton offers him a jar of dead bugs

Young protesters tell Cop26 leaders to ‘end climate betrayal'

20:46 , Andy Gregory

In a protest on the opposite bank of the River Clyde, a group of young climate activists from around the world held up illuminated letters urging leaders at Cop26 to “end climate betrayal”.

Amazonian indigenous activist Txai Surui, who took part in the conference’s opening day, gave a speech at the demonstration on Tuesday evening organised by Avaaz, whose open letter calling for climate action has amassed more than a million signatures.

The 24-year-old told the PA news agency: “We're having people invading our lands - such as loggers - and destroying our forests. My friend was murdered because he protected our home. Leaders need to speak about people, we are not going to have climate justice while we don't have social justice.”

She said she felt this Cop meeting was more open to the voices of indigenous people than previous conferences, but there were still more to be heard.

 (REUTERS/Russell Cheyne)
(REUTERS/Russell Cheyne)

Glasgow to London — how do train and plane compare?

20:20 , Tom Batchelor

As leaders from around the globe gather in Glasgow to commit to tackling the climate crisis at Cop26, political leaders’ travel choices are under the spotlight.

While flying may be the only option for leaders arriving from afar, train routes are available to those travelling to and from locations within the UK and continental Europe - but not all world leaders have chosen to make use of them. With sustainability at the top of everyone’s mind this week, some - including Boris Johnson - have been criticised for their failure to lead by example.

Here we assess how the two transport options compare:

Glasgow to London - how do train and plane compare?

IMF backs climate action: ‘The more you mitigate, the less dramatic the circumstances will be'

20:01 , Tom Batchelor

Adapting to climate change will require not just more money for hardier infrastructure, crops and other systems but also far more rapid cuts to planet-heating emissions, said the head of the International Monetary Fund.

“The more you mitigate, the less dramatic the circumstances will be,” Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview at the COP26 U.N. climate summit.

Surging losses of land and income will drive growing migration, she warned, with “people trying to get to places where they can have more security”.

“Climate refugees are already part of the flow of people moving outside of Africa - and the numbers are going up,” she said.

Biden says China not showing up at Cop26 'big mistake’

19:53 , Tom Batchelor

Joe Biden has criticised both China and Russia for being absent from the Glasgow climate confab, saying the lack of attendance by Chinese premier Xi Jinping (as well as Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Momammad bin Salman) was “a problem”.

“I think it’s been a big mistake, quite frankly, China not showing up. The rest of the world will look to China and say what value added are they providing? And they’ve lost in the ability to influence people around the world and all the people here at Cop, the same way I would argue with regard to Russia,” Mr Biden said.

Read the story here:

Biden says ‘no need’ for ‘physical conflict’ with China despite rising tensions

Cop organisers apologise for problems accessing summit

19:40 , Tom Batchelor

Cop organisers have apologised for problems delegates have experienced accessing events in Glasgow, “both physically and virtually”, after a disabled minister was turned away and delegates reported problems attending online meetings.

UN officials said Covid social distancing and “unprecedented interest” had combined to cause “many logistical pressures”.

In a letter to attendees, the organisers said: “The first few days of the Cop26 have been a learning process, with participants and staff getting used to the pandemic-related logistical measures and circumstances, and we are doing our utmost to continuously learn and adapt.”

Harry and Meghan’s charity commits to net zero

19:21 , Tom Batchelor

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Archewell Foundation has pledged to be net zero by 2030.

Inspired by Harry and Meghan’s “long-standing commitment to the planet, both together and prior to their union”, the company has committed to cut its carbon emissions over the next few years.

In a statement on its website, the foundation said: “Achieving net zero carbon emissions means making a series of choices over time to make that footprint as small as possible, while compensating for any remaining emissions through high-quality carbon removal projects.

“As an organisation, we will work with an independent consultant to track all Archewell-related activities from our inception (internet use, commutes, and electricity in home offices, for example) to understand our collective footprint.

“Using 2022 as our baseline year, they will develop a plan for Archewell that aligns with the latest guidance from leading organisations, like the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol and Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), while offsetting remaining emissions until we achieve net zero in 2030 and beyond.”

Hundreds of protesters converge on Glasgow on second day of Cop26

19:13 , Tom Batchelor

Hundreds of protesters converged on Glasgow on the second day of the world leaders summit at Cop26.

Extinction Rebellion activists held a number of protests in the city, including outside the global UN climate conference venue.

Around a hundred protesters gathered in the area and were temporarily prevented from crossing the Clyde Arc bridge before being escorted on by dozens of police - where some staged a sit-down.

They then began to cross, as officers guarded the buses which had been forced to wait for the group to move on.

With police surrounding the protesters on one side of the road, activists then paused in the middle of the bridge where they chanted and demanded tougher action from world leaders, before they continued along the bridge where the protest ended.

Trudeau ‘confident’ on climate pledges

19:00 , Tom Batchelor

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said he was confident the world could limit the rise in temperature to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

“I am confident we are going to continue to keep pushing ourselves and each other to be more and more ambitious,” he told reporters at the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Police apologise after Cop26 diversions force women to walk through park at night

18:40 , Tom Batchelor

Police have apologised after women were forced to walk through a park in Glasgow at night while roads were cordoned off during a VIP reception for heads of state attending Cop26.

Diversions were in place around Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on Monday evening as world leaders and members of the Royal Familygathered for the welcoming reception on the first day of the climate change summit.

A number of local residents said on social media that they were forced to take long detours through the dark Kelvingrove Park to get home.

Read more here:

Police apologise after Cop26 diversions force women to walk through park at night

Opinion | Vince Cable: The west has to work with China to ‘end coal’ – purely hectoring will achieve little

18:20 , Tom Batchelor

If Cop26 is going to chart a real course toward ‘ending coal’, it will need to acknowledge the reality of the situation, writes former Lib Dem leader Vince Cable.

Just shouting “STOP” is ridiculous and will serve only to unite developing Asia (including China) even further against the west.

Read his full piece here:

The west has to work with China over coal – hectoring is not the way | Vince Cable

Indian teen whose invention nominated for Earthshot Prize says young people have ‘every reason to be angry’

18:00 , Tom Batchelor

An Indian teenager who was nominated for a top environmental prize thanks to her solar-powered ironing cart has told Cop delegates that young people have “every right to be angry” at the state of the planet.

Vinisha Umashankar, 14, of Tiruvannamalai in the state of Tamil Nadu, developed a clean alternative to the charcoal-powered street irons that press clothes for millions of Indians each day.

Speaking on Tuesday, she said: “Many of my generation are angry at leaders who have made promises but failed to deliver, and we have every reason to be angry.

“But I have no time for anger, I want to act, I am not just a girl from India, I am a girl from earth, and I am proud to be so.”

Developed world has ‘special duty’ to poorer countries, says PM

17:37 , Tom Batchelor

Speaking at the Cop26 press conference, Boris Johnson, responding to criticism that developing countries are not doing enough to help less economically developed nations in the fight against climate change, said: “It’s been very humbling to sit here and to listen over the last weeks, months, to colleagues (like) Mia Mottley [Barbados PM] say the same thing.

“Why should they suffer this immediate impact, this loss and damage, because emissions that we in our country began to produce 250 years ago?

“Now we can say, for the vast majority of that period, we had no idea that the CO2 emissions we were producing were doing that damage...

“But we have, we owe, a special duty to those countries and that’s why the [Barbados] prime minister believes it’s right to point to the need for cash.

“That’s why the 100 billion is so important. It’s good that Japan has stepped up but other countries are going to have to do more.”

Biden meets Prince Charles on Cop sidelines

17:21 , Tom Batchelor

Joe Biden has met the Prince of Wales on the margins of Cop26 in Glasgow today, with the pair having discussed the “importance of global cooperation in tackling climate change”.

The US president and Prince Charles “underlined the need for ambitious commitments and concrete actions among partners worldwide” and discussed the royal’s “initiatives to engage the private sector on sustainability”, a White House official said.

“President Biden reaffirmed the strength of the enduring ties between the United Kingdom and the United States, and he thanked the United Kingdom for hosting Cop26,” the official added.

“He commended the Royal Family for its dedication to climate issues, particularly Prince Charles’ environmental activism over the last half century.”

Boris Johnson ‘cautiously optimistic’, says ‘no doubt that some progress is being made'

17:17 , Tom Batchelor

Boris Johnson has said he is now “cautiously optimistic” about what can be achieved in Glasgow, having previously said he was concerned there would be a lack of progress at the summit.

The PM, giving a press conference at the Cop26 conference, said there was “no doubt that some progress is being made” at the summit, including a commitment on deforestation, countries’ pledges to reach net zero and a plan to slash methane emissions.

He said countries would “have to do more”, and called for more “cash, and more movement on cars ... we must see progress on that”.

Mr Johnson also said promises were “100 per cent useless” without action.

Boris Johnson speaks on Tuesday at the climate summit (Getty Images)
Boris Johnson speaks on Tuesday at the climate summit (Getty Images)

Campaign groups shocked after being shut out of climate negotiations

17:14 , Tom Batchelor

Campaign groups are protesting they have been shut of the Cop26 talks on a scale never seen before – despite a pledge it would be “the most inclusive ever”.

Just four tickets were allocated to cover around 30 negotiating sessions, ActionAid said, in a huge shock to organisations which were not warned until they arrived in Glasgow.

Read more on this story here:

Campaign groups shocked after being shut out of Cop26 negotiations

London’s cycling commissioner ‘shocked’ at absence of active travel in Cop26 transport discussions

17:11 , Tom Batchelor

Cycling advocates have raised concerns about an “absence” of active travel at the Cop conference.

Bicycles are clean, green modes of transport – helping tackle not just the air pollution and climate change crises but the obesity epidemic.

This is what London’s walking and cycling commissioner, Will Norman, had to say:

Bill Gates has coughing fit, introduced as Bill Clinton

17:06 , Tom Batchelor

Bill Gates is having a tricky afternoon at the Cop26 summit.

Earlier, he was caught out by a coughing fit, which political journalist Paul Waugh said was reminiscent of Theresa May’s difficulties on stage at the Tory party conference in 2017.

Later, the Microsoft billionaire was apparently introduced as “Bill Clinton”.

‘Naked Scottish man’ stood taking a picture of Biden motorcade

16:59 , Tom Batchelor

A “large, naked” man was apparently spotted watching the US president’s motorcade during the Cop26 climate summit.

The BBC’s Jon Sopel tweets:

Sturgeon denies SNP ads are about Scottish independence

16:54 , Tom Batchelor

Nicola Sturgeon has denied a series of SNP newspaper adverts which claimed Scotland was “a nation in waiting” were about Scottish independence.

The first minister and SNP leader claimed the ads were merely designed to “welcome” leaders and campaigners to Scotland for the crucial Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Opposition parties in Scotland expressed outrage over the ads marking the Cop26 talks and quoting Ms Sturgeon as saying: “A nation in waiting welcomes the nations of the world.”

More on the story here:

Sturgeon denies SNP ‘nation in waiting’ ads about Scottish independence

’Let’s keep 1.5 alive’

16:45 , Tom Batchelor

Boris Johnson has urged other leasers to keep the 1.5C warming target alive.

Madagascar is a ‘wake up call’ to world, says UN official

16:35 , Tom Batchelor

The drought-stricken island nation of Madagascar is a “wake up call” to what the world can expect in coming years due to climate change, the head of the United Nations’ food aid agency has said.

David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme, told The Associated Press in an interview that what is happening in the south of the Indian Ocean country is “the beginning of what we can expect” to see as the effects of global warming become more pronounced.

“Madagascar was heartbreaking,” Mr Beasley said, referring to his recent visit there. “It’s just desperate.”

Some 38 million people worldwide were displaced last year because of climate change, leaving them vulnerable to hunger, according to Mr Beasley.

A worst-case scenario could an see that number sore to 216 million people displaced due to climate change by 2050.

Glaswegians react to Leonardo DiCaprio’s arrival at climate summit

16:26 , Tom Batchelor

Citizens of Glasgow have had their world well and truly turned upside-down this week as the Cop26 climate crisis summit got underway.

The event, billed as a last chance for heads of state to rein in the pace of the global temperature rise by curbing emissions, has seen hundreds of delegates, diplomats and activists descend on Scotland, each fighting to have their voices heard.

From US president Joe Biden’s armoured motorcade rolling through town to protest icon Greta Thunberg swearing in a park, the summit has already given rise to some surreal sights.

But the prospect of Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio hanging out in the city’s pubs is proving too much for the locals.

Read the story here:

Glaswegians react to Leonardo DiCaprio’s arrival at climate summit

Sustainable aviation fuel targets ‘pathetic’, says Johnson

16:15 , Tom Batchelor

Boris Johnson has described current global targets for sustainable aviation fuel use as “pathetic” and said that the world must do more, as he announced plans to drive the adoption of green technology globally.

While admitting the challenge was a “tough nut to crack”, he said “guilt free aviation“ was possible, citing a joint deal with billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates to spend £400m on the problems of low-carbon aviation.

“The target at the moment is to get to 10 per cent sustainable aviation fuel for the whole world by 2030. How pathetic is that? We can do better than that, folks,” he told delegates at the Cop26 talks.

First-of-its-kind agreement sees South Africa receive $8.5bn to ditch coal at Cop26

16:02 , Tom Batchelor

More on the deal that will see South Africa receive $8.5bn to ditch coal.

The funds will be provided as loans and grants over five years to help South Africa move away from coal-fired plants which power about 90 per cent of the country’s electricity.

The deal is expected to prevent up to 1-1.5 gigatonnes of emissions over the next 20 years, said a memo from the UK government, and will help South Africa achieve the goals set out in its updated Nationally Determined Contribution emissions-reduction plan.

Here is more on the story:

First-of-its-kind agreement sees South Africa receive $8.5bn to ditch coal at Cop2

Cop26 organisers apologise to Israeli minister

15:50 , Tom Batchelor

Cop26 organisers have apologised to Israeli government minister Karine Elharrar after she was unable to attend the opening day of the Cop26 conference due to a lack of wheelchair accessibility.

No 10 rejects India’s call for $1 trillion from rich to poor countries for climate crisis

15:41 , Tom Batchelor

Downing Street has rejected India’s call for rich countries to hand over $1 trillion to help poor nations meet the climate emergency – arguing they are getting a “massive sum” already.

Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, made the demand at the Cop26summit, hinting his country would then agree to hit net zero carbon emissions earlier than 2070.

The full report can be found here:

No 10 rejects India’s call for $1 trillion for poor countries for climate crisis

Environmental expert warns over deforestation pledge

15:33 , Tom Batchelor

Following today’s pledge from world leaders to end deforestation, Brian Rohan, head of forests at environmental law charity ClientEarth said the move was a “false solution”.

He said: “For today’s pledge from world leaders promising to end deforestation to translate into action, this commitment needs teeth.

“The New York Declaration of 2014 made a lot of promises to reduce deforestation. But without including binding measures, it failed to halt deforestation in any meaningful way.

“For this agreement to be different, it must first address how deforestation is defined and measured. For example, we know that replacing mature forests with plantations won’t protect or restore biodiversity.

“And declaring ‘legal’ deforestation to be exempt is a false solution.”

‘Open your hearts,' youth climate leaders tell world leaders

15:24 , Tom Batchelor

Kenyan environmentalist Elizabeth Wathuti has urged world leaders to “open your hearts” as she appealed for action.

Speaking at the conference, she said youth climate activists were unlikely to receive the same level of attention of other speakers.

But she said their concerns deserved to be heard, as she shared her speech on social media.

Efforts to use sustainable aviation fuel are ‘pathetic’, says Johnson

16:03 , Tom Batchelor

Boris Johnson has said current global targets for the use of sustainable aviation fuel are “pathetic” and that the world must do more to make flying greener.

While admitting the challenge was a “tough nut to crack”, he said “guilt free aviation“ was possible, citing a joint deal with billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates to spend £400m on the problems of low-carbon aviation.

“The target at the moment is to get to 10 per cent sustainable aviation fuel for the whole world by 2030. How pathetic is that? We can do better than that, folks,” he told delegates at the Cop26 climate talks.

Second day of long queues for Cop delegates

15:11 , Tom Batchelor

Cop26 has suffered a second day of queues, with those trying to get into the venue waiting outside for more than an hour.

A large crowd had built up by 9am as people sought to enter the conference campus in Glasgow.

By midday hundreds of people were still queuing outside.

Scotland’s health secretary has blamed the United Nations for the queues to get into the climate conference.

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, Humza Yousaf said the Scottish government would lobby the UN to improve the situation that has seen some delegates forced to queue for hours to enter the summit inside Glasgow’s Scottish Exhibition Centre.

Boris Johnson addresses clean tech event

15:02 , Tom Batchelor

Boris Johnson is addressing a clean tech event at Cop26, where he said the ambition of the summit was to take new inventions and “make sure that they are disseminated around the whole world”.

He said the UK on occasion generated more than half of its electricity from a combination of wind and solar.

South Africa to receive funds to ditch coal

14:59 , Tom Batchelor

The United States and several European countries plan to provide funds and expertise to help South Africa ditch coal and roll out more renewable energy.

German officials said South Africa will receive about $8.5bn in loans and grants over five years to manage the country’s transition away from coal-fired power plants, which are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.

South Africa gets about 90 per cent of its electricity from coal-fired plants.

Svenja Schulze, the German environment minister, said the partnership announced Tuesday, which is also backed by the UK, France and the EU, “has the potential to become a blueprint for other regions”.

40 nations back clean technology plan to help developing world hit net zero

14:46 , Tom Batchelor

A new plan to help deliver clean and affordable technology across the world by 2030 is being hailed as another Cop26 milestone by Boris Johnson.

A total of 40 nations are backing the ‘Glasgow Breakthroughs’, to give developing countries access to the innovation and tools needed to make the shift to net zero carbon emissions.

Downing Street believes the initiative can create 20 million new jobs globally and add over $16 trillion to the economies of both emerging and advanced economies.

The full report from our deputy political editor, Rob Merrick, is here:

40 nations back Cop26 technology plan to help developing world hit net zero

UK needs to ban wet wipes, MPs told

14:35 , Tom Batchelor

The UK needs to ban wet wipes which contain plastic because the scale of the problem caused by flushing them “is so big, so damaging and increasing so fast”, MPs have heard.

Labour MP Fleur Anderson’s Plastics (Wet Wipes) Bill to prohibit the manufacture and sale of wet wipes containing plastic had its first reading in the Commons on Tuesday.

MPs also heard that marine animals are dying, “wet wipe islands” are appearing, and rivers are changing shape because of flushed wipes, while Britons might be eating a “credit card’s worth of plastic” due to microplastic shards from the discarded hygiene products.

“As a mother of four children I have used a lot of wet wipes and I completely understand the pressures that parents are under and how useful wet wipes are,” said Putney MP Ms Anderson.

The Plastics (Wet Wipes) Bill will be considered again on 19 November.

As a Private Members’ Bill it is unlikely to become law without government support, although Downing Street has signalled it is committed to ending “the throwaway culture”.

A No 10 spokesman said the 25-year environment plan sets out “a commitment to eliminate avoidable plastic waste”.

Sign our petition calling on world leaders to act on climate crisis

14:25 , Tom Batchelor

The Independent has launched a petition calling on world leaders to take meaningful action on the climate crisis immediately.

If you would like to add your voice to the campaign, you can sign it here:

Sign The Independent’s petition calling for climate crisis action

Boris Johnson to hold press conference from Cop26 climate summit

14:18 , Tom Batchelor

Boris Johnson is to hold a press conference at 5pm at the climate summit Cop26 summit in Glasgow, No 10 has said.

It comes after a series of gloomy remarks from the prime minister about the ability to thrash out an agreement at the conference to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

Read the breaking story here:

Boris Johnson to hold press conference from Cop26 climate summit

Spread of common dolphins and snapping shrimp around UK highlights impact of warming seas, say experts who sailed to Cop26

14:13 , Tom Batchelor

A team of wildlife experts who sailed round the UK to reach the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow have gathered new evidence of species spreading further north, which they have said reveals the impact of warming seas caused by the climate crisis.

Vets, environmentalists and filmmakers, working alongside scientists and wildlife experts, recorded common dolphins and snapping shrimp “moving northward in large numbers, as far as the Outer Hebrides”, which they said provided “new evidence for climate change”.

Read the full story here:

Common dolphins and snapping shrimp spread around UK as seas warm

What are the details of the methane pledge?

14:05 , Tom Batchelor

At the centre of the plan to tackle methane is the US Environmental Protection Agency proposal that will for the first time require oil and gas operators to aggressively find and repair methane leaks (oil and gas operations account for a third of methane emissions).

Specifically, the proposal will require companies to monitor 300,000 of their biggest well sites every three months, would ban the venting of methane produced as a byproduct of crude oil into the atmosphere, and require upgrades to equipment such as storage tanks, compressors, and pneumatic pumps.

The EPA rules would most likely take effect in 2023 and would be aimed at slashing methane from oil and gas operations by 74 per cent from 2005 levels by 2035, an amount equivalent to the emissions created by all US passenger cars and planes in 2019.

Methane is the second-biggest cause of climate change after carbon dioxide.

The Biden administration’s methane strategy will also include a new proposal by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration requiring companies to monitor and repair leaks on about 400,000 miles of previously unregulated natural gas gathering lines.

The administration’s plan also proposes new voluntary measures from the Agriculture and Interior departments to tackle methane emissions from other major sources, including landfills, agriculture and abandoned wells and coal mines.

Methane pledge ‘game-changing commitment’, says Biden

13:47 , Tom Batchelor

“Approaching 100” countries have now pledged to cut methane emissions, Joe Biden has said.

The commitment, which has been formalised on Tuesday, aims to cut the harmful gas by 30 per cent by 2030 from 2020 levels.

‘You might as well bomb our islands’ - president of Pacific island Palau

13:39 , Tom Batchelor

The president of the Pacific island state of Palau, Surangel Whipps Jr, has told Cop delegates the world “might as well bomb our islands instead of making us suffer only to witness our slow and painful demise” due to climate change.

In a powerful address to attendees in Glasgow, he said: “We see the scorching sun is giving us intolerable heat, the warming sea is invading us and the winds are blowing us every which way, our resources are disappearing before our eyes and our future is being robbed from us.

“Frankly speaking, there is no dignity to a slow and painful death - you might as well bomb our islands instead of making us suffer only to witness our slow and painful demise.

“Leaders of the G20, we are drowning and our only hope is the life-ring you are holding. You must act now, we must act together.”

EU commits €1bn to protect forests

13:29 , Tom Batchelor

The EU has committed to spend €1bn (£850m) from its budget over the next five years to protect forests.

“We need to better listen to the indigenous communities, to the producers, to the consumers and to the traders... Listen to each other, work with each other, to stop deforestation,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at the Cop26 conference.

The EU contribution is part of a bigger $12 billion finance package to protect, restore and sustainably manage forests in poorer countries. Other donors including the UK, Norway, the US and Japan.

Countries to commit to 30% methane cut

13:18 , Tom Batchelor

Countries responsible for almost half the world’s methane emissions will sign a pledge today to cut by at least 30 per cent the amount of the greenhouse gas they release into the atmosphere over the next decade.

Dozens of nations, including the UK, EU and US, are signing up to the commitment as part of a series of methane-reduction efforts announced by the Biden administration on Tuesday.

Jeff Bezos’ space trip reminded him of Earth’s fragility, multibillionare tells Cop26

13:07 , Tom Batchelor

Jeff Bezos has told the Cop26 conference that going to space reminded him how “fragile” Earth is.

The multibillionaire made the trip earlier this year onboard his New Shepard rocket ship.

Watch the Amazon founder’s comments in full here:

Watch: Jeff Bezos’ space trip reminded him of Earth’s fragility, multibillionare tells Cop26

Squid Game-inspired protest outside summit

12:59 , Tom Batchelor

Climate activists from the Glasgow Actions Team wear Squid Game costumes and world leader masks and play tug of war and climate hopscotch during a protest at the Clyde Arc Bridge (PA)
Climate activists from the Glasgow Actions Team wear Squid Game costumes and world leader masks and play tug of war and climate hopscotch during a protest at the Clyde Arc Bridge (PA)
Protesters dressed as Joe Biden, Xi Jinping, Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron, along with eight other world leaders (PA)
Protesters dressed as Joe Biden, Xi Jinping, Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron, along with eight other world leaders (PA)
Andrew Nazdin, the director of the Glasgow Actions Team, who organised the event, demanded that more be done to stop climate change, and added that the
Andrew Nazdin, the director of the Glasgow Actions Team, who organised the event, demanded that more be done to stop climate change, and added that the

Opinion | James Moore: Disabled Britons won’t be surprised by the treatment of the Israeli minister at Cop26

12:52 , Tom Batchelor

Karine Elharrar is a minister, writes James Moore. She is a delegate at the UN’s climate change summit – Cop 26 – which the UK is hosting in Glasgow. She is responsible for energy, infrastructure and water resources in Israel.

So she’s just the sort of person we need to have at this sort of event. She is also a wheelchair user. So of course, when she turned up to work, she found she couldn’t get in. Of course.

Read his full take on the minister who was unable to attend the conference on Monday because her only options to get there were to walk or board a shuttle that was not suited to her wheelchair.

Disabled people won’t be surprised by the treatment of Karine Elharrar | James Moore

Israel’s energy minister able to access Cop26 after wheelchair blocked on Monday

12:41 , Tom Batchelor

Israel’s energy minister, who uses a wheelchair, was able to attend Cop26 on Tuesday a day after she had been prevented from accessing the conference after police officers at a checkpoint did not let her vehicle with the wheelchair through.

Energy Minister Karine Elharrar arrived at the summit alongside Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, using a ramp to enter the building, according to footage sent by Mr Bennett’s office.

“Tomorrow the exact same thing will be here,” he said, gesturing toward the accessible entrance. “It’s very important, so is the message” it sends, he said.

Footage shared on social media showed Ms Elharrar at the entrance to the summit alongside Mr Bennett.

Cop26 menus come with carbon count on food items

12:29 , Tom Batchelor

Nice burger – shame it’s killing the planet.

Restaurants at Cop26 have won praise for including a carbon count on their menu, writes Colin Drury.

Every item offered at venues inside Glasgow’s SEC Centre comes with a carbon dioxide equivalent number showing how much green house gas has been emitted to produce it.

Cop26 menus come with carbon count on food items

UN chief Antonio Guterres to meet with Greta Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate and other young activists

12:18 , Tom Batchelor

Greta Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate and other young climate activists will speak to UN chief Antonio Guterres in a private meeting at Cop26 this afternoon, our environment correspondent, Daisy Dunne, has been told.

It comes after Fridays for Future activists from countries including Argentina, Mexico and Uganda took to the streets of Glasgow last night to protest inaction from world leaders appearing at the first day of the UN climate summit.

Business booming at BP

12:03 , Jon Sharman

Soaring oil and gas prices tied to the global economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic helped bolster British oil giant BP's third-quarter profits, the company said on Tuesday.

BP said its underlying replacement cost profits – the industry standard – jumped to £2.4bn in the three months ending in September, up from just £63m in the same period a year earlier, when oil prices had slumped because of the pandemic.

The third-quarter figure also was an increase of 18 per cent from the previous quarter's £2bn and ahead of analysts' expectations of about £2.3bn.

"This has been another good quarter for BP – our businesses are generating strong underlying earnings and cash flow while maintaining their focus on safe and reliable operations," chief executive Bernard Looney said.

With its finances in better health, the company said it would reward shareholders with a £920m share buyback program, which it said will be completed before it announces its full-year results.


Glasgow: Where to eat, drink, shop and stay in the Cop26 host city

11:44 , Jon Sharman

With the Cop26 climate conference now in full swing, all eyes are on its host city: friendly, lively, dynamic and increasingly sophisticated Glasgow, writes Hilary Mitchell.

In recent years, this former shipbuilding hub has reinvented itself as a perfect weekend getaway, filled with wonderful museums, unbeatable bars and restaurants that take full advantage of the excellent fresh seafood caught daily on Scotland’s west coast.

After the world leaders have left, here’s how to make the most of a weekend in what is arguably Scotland’s most vibrant city.

COP26: The ultimate guide to Glasgow

Prince Charles sounds frustrated note in address to forests and land-use event

11:32 , Jon Sharman

Prince Charles has voiced his frustration at global leaders’ efforts thus far to combat the climate crisis and destruction of nature.

The Prince of Wales was addressing the second session of the Cop26 forests and land-use event, where he reiterated his calls and those of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, for immediate action.

He called the event “absolutely vital”, adding: “I hope I don’t need to tell you this” with a note of obvious weariness.

Reminding delegates of “the scale of the system shifts that need to happen really urgently if the world is to succeed in delivering a positive future for nature and people alike”, he added: “And I mean, urgently.”

“Now that we know what the problem is, and having done our best to test the world to destruction in the meantime, we simply must talk about the solutions and the actions we can start taking today,” the future king said.

He continued: “Frankly, we’ve all had enough talking.”

Jeff Bezos’ space trip reminded him of Earth’s fragility, multibillionare tells Cop26

11:25 , Jon Sharman

Cop26 ‘ring of steel’ prevents Glasgow residents accessing their own homes

11:20 , Jon Sharman

Dozens of families were unable to access their homes due to a “ring of steel” installed as world leaders dined together in Glasgow at the start of the Cop26 climate summit, writes Thomas Kingsley.

Roads in the city’s West End were shut and police lined streets as figures high-profile delegates including Joe Biden and Boris Johnson ate at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on Monday evening.

Cop26 ‘ring of steel’ prevents Glasgow residents accessing their own homes

Scepticism on deforestation pledge

11:01 , Jon Sharman

It was hailed by Boris Johnson as “unprecedented”, but will it work?

More than 100 countries have signed up to a pledge to halt and reverse deforestation, restoring some 200 million hectares of tree cover by 2030

However, Alison Hoare, a senior research fellow at political think tank Chatham House, said world leaders promised in 2014 to end deforestation by 2030, "but since then deforestation has accelerated across many countries."

"This new pledge recognizes the range of actions needed to protect our forests, including finance, support for rural livelihoods, and strong trade policies," she said.

"For it to succeed, inclusive processes and equitable legal frameworks will be needed, and governments must work with civil society, businesses and Indigenous peoples to agree, monitor and implement them."

Bezos’ space trip reminded him of Earth’s fragility, multibillionare tells Cop26

10:46 , Jon Sharman

Jeff Bezos addresses Cop26 on Tuesday 2 November (UN Climate Change)
Jeff Bezos addresses Cop26 on Tuesday 2 November (UN Climate Change)

Earth is beautiful but fragile, Jeff Bezos has told Cop26 – something he said he realised when he went briefly to space on his Blue Origin rocket.

The Amazon founder and multibillionaire said: “I was told that seeing the Earth from space changes the lens through which you view the world.

“But I was not prepared for just how much that would be true. Looking back at Earth from up there the atmosphere seems so thin, the world so finite and so fragile.”

Mr Bezos has announced a £1.4bn investment from his £7.34bn “Earth fund” for anti-erosion projects and land restoration on the African continent.

He said: “We must conserve what we still have, we must restore what we've lost and we must grow what we need to live without degrading the planet for future generations.

“Two thirds of the land in Africa is degraded, but this can be reversed. Restoration can improve soil fertility, raise yields and improve food security, make water more reliable, create jobs and boost economic growth, while also sequestering carbon.”

The total value of Mr Bezos’ “Earth fund” rivals the £8.75bn scraped together by 110 world governments to tackle deforestation, in a project trumpeted by Joe Biden and Boris Johnson today.

Biodiversity and climate change tightly linked, says Johnson

10:29 , Jon Sharman

Boris Johnson has said climate change and biodiversity loss were two sides of the same coin in an address to Cop26.

“We can’t deal with a devastating loss of habitats and species without tackling climate change, and we can’t deal with climate change without protecting our natural environment and respecting the rights of indigenous people who are its stewards,” he said ahead of Joe Biden’s speech.

“It’s central to the ambition of the UK’s Cop presidency that we act now and we end the role of humanity as nature’s conqueror and instead becomes nature’s custodian.

“We have to stop the devastating loss of our forests, these great teeming ecosystems, three trillion-pillared cathedrals of nature that are the lungs for our planet,” he urged.

He said 110 leaders had come together, representing over 85 per cent of the world’s forest estate had made “a landmark commitment to work together to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by 2030, not just halt but reverse.”

And he said: “What is most significant about this declaration is not just the range of countries coming together, but also that we’re working in partnership with the private sector, with philanthropists, with indigenous people in those communities to address the economic drivers of deforestation.”

What are the Covid rules at Cop26?

10:18 , Jon Sharman

At the Cop26 summit, a maskless Boris Johnson has been seen sat among guests wearing face coverings - including David Attenborough.

While the prime minister faced criticism on social media, other images showed him wearing a mask while the veteran broacaster, who was sat next to him, had his off.

The Glasgow meeting of world delegates - which got underway this week - was pushed back a year due to the Covid pandemic, writes Zoe Tidman.

What are the Covid rules at Cop26?

US plan to combat deforestation will use ‘diplomatic, financial and policy’ levers to protect ‘indispensable’ carbon sinks

10:05 , Jon Sharman

The US plans to help the global effort to restore forests using “diplomatic, financial and policy” levers, Joe Biden tells Cop26.

The plan is to restore some 200 million hectares by 2030.

“We’re going to work to ensure markets recognise the true value of natural carbon sinks,” the US president has said.

The private sector must work with government, he added, saying also that “sustainable supply chains” must become a focus.

Washington intends to “lead by example” Mr Biden said. “I’m confident we can do this,” he said. “All we have to do is summon the will to do what we know is right. ... Let’s get to work.”

He added: “Conserving our forests and other critical ecosystems is an indispensable piece of keeping our climate goals within reach, as well as many other important objectives we have together – ensuring clean water, maintaining biodiversity, supporting rural and indigenous communities, and reducing the risk of the spread of disease.

“Our forests are also nature’s carbon capture, cycling CO2 out of our atmosphere.”

Joe Biden speaking now

10:01 , Jon Sharman

Joe Biden is addressing Cop26 now.

He kicks off by saying protecting forests is a key part of tackling the climate crisis.

Clean water and protecting biodiversity are also important, he said.

Mr Biden has also praised the leaders of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon, who are on stage along with him and Boris Johnson, for their pledges on forests.

Analysis: Cop26 off to shaky start as queues and travel chaos marr first 24 hours

09:59 , Jon Sharman

Chaos and confusion. Those are two words that describe the first 24 hours of Cop26, the most important UN climate summit in years, writes Daisy Dunne.

Around 25,000 people are attending the UK-hosted UN event, which has taken over Glasgow’s SEC Centre and other venues across the city. The conference brings together world leaders, activists, political negotiators and observers from across the world.

But despite the gravity of the proceedings, things are off to a shaky start. Thousands of people failed to get to the conference on time after bad weather and system failures caused train cancellations across the country.

Cop26 off to shaky start as queues and travel chaos marr first 24 hours

Insulate Britain protesters stopped from blocking M25

09:40 , Jon Sharman

Insulate Britain activists tried to block the M25 on Tuesday morning but were arrested by police before their protest could begin, writes Holly Bancroft.

A number of protesters attempted to target Junction 23 of the ring-road at morning rush hour but more than a dozen officers and seven police vehicles were already on the scene.

Insulate Britain protesters stopped from blocking M25

Green energy a chance for economic growth, says PM

09:37 , Jon Sharman

Boris Johnson, addressing Cop26 on the subject of today’s deforestation pledge, has called a switch to green energy an “unparalleled economic opportunity for growth and job creation”.

As part of the new anti-deforestation drive signed by 110 leaders, Mr Johnson gave an example of how it would work, saying cocoa farmers in west Africa should be paid more for their products in exchange for protecting forests in the region.

UK-Australia trade deal: Did ministers cut climate pledges to clinch agreement?

09:19 , Jon Sharman

Liz Truss has poured cold water on reports the UK dropped key climate pledges from its trade deal with Australia – despite other ministers, as well as the Australian PM, previously signalling this was the case, writes Sam Hancock.

This latest twist follows a leaked government email from September, which revealed a decision by Ms Truss, then the trade secretary, and Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, that the UK government could “drop both of the climate asks” from the text of the post-Brexit Free trade agreement.

Did the UK cut climate pledges to clinch Australia trade deal?

Huge queues to enter Cop26 on second day

09:18 , Jon Sharman

Our climate correspondent Louise Boyle reports from Glasgow that there are massive queues to enter the Cop26 summit again today.

Israel didn’t ‘communicate particular access needs’ for disabled minister, Eustice suggests

09:24 , Jon Sharman

George Eustice has apologised to a disabled Israeli minister for being unable to access the Cop26 climate summit, but appeared to place blame on the country’s failure to communicate “particular” access needs, writes Ashley Cowburn.

The environment secretary’s remarks came after Karine Elharrar, an energy minister, suggested it was “sad” the United Nations event did “not provide accessibility” after she was she was left unable to participate in proceedings.

Eustice suggests Israel didn’t ‘communicate particular access needs’ for minister

US to make climate pledges today

09:10 , Louise Boyle

Good morning from Glasgow where we will be covering the second day of Joe Biden’s attendance at Cop26, writes Louise Boyle.

The US administration will be announcing today a plan to tackle emissions of methane – a potent greenhouse gas in the short term – by 2030.

The US will also announce a global plan to conserve forests, which are crucial carbon sinks and without which, the goal of limiting heating to 1.5C is ultimately out of reach.

It involves a four-part plan – conservation/restoration, using tech for accountability, private sector investment, and $9bn (£6.6bn) by 2030 of international funding.

Analysis: What does India’s 2070 net zero target mean for the world?

08:55 , Jon Sharman

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s surprise announcement of a 2070 target for net zero carbon emissions has come with several ambitious pledges, writes Stuti Mishra.

India, which is one of the three largest emitters of greenhouse gases after China and the US, had earlier stayed away from net zero commitments and instead demanded more action from developed nations.

Before the UN climate negotiations, India also emphasised that net zero targets were less important than the path towards achieving reduced emissions. However, pressure had been building on India ever since China announced its 2060 net zero target last year.

What does India’s 2070 net zero target mean for the world?

UK apologises after Israeli minister says she could not access summit in wheelchair

08:47 , Jon Sharman

Israel’s energy minister has said she was left unable to take part in yesterday’s proceedings at Cop26 as the venue was not wheelchair accessible.

Karine Elharrar was unable to reach the grounds of the conference as the only available options for transport were shuttle buses that were unsuitable for wheelchairs or walking, Israel’s Channel 12 told Reuters.

Tweeting about the event, she expressed her sadness that the UN “does not provide accessibility to its events” despite it promoting the importance of increasing accessibility for those with disabilities.

The UK said it deeply regretted the incident and had apologised.

Israeli minister says she could not access Cop26 summit in wheelchair

‘We’re already in a living hell’: Greta Thunberg joins young climate activists outside Cop26 to demand faster action

08:34 , Jon Sharman

Young climate activists from across the world took to the streets of Glasgow on Monday to demand faster action from world leaders arriving at the Cop26 climate summit, writes Daisy Dunne.

Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate were among those taking part in a wave of demonstations across Glasgow. They were joined by young environmentalists from countries including Argentina, the Philippines, Mexico and Colombia.

Greta Thunberg joins young climate activists demanding action outside Cop26

PM criticised for failing to wear a mask while sitting next to Attenborough

08:28 , Jon Sharman

Boris Johnson is facing criticism after he was pictured sitting near David Attenborough at Cop26 without a mask on. Sir David and the others pictured alongside the PM were wearing face coverings.

Bill Esterson, a Labour MP, tweeted that the naturalist was “95 and is at a very high risk from Covid”, while musician Tim Burgess told Mr Johnson: “you really should be ashamed of yourself”.

However, other photos taken at about the same time show the situation was not entirely clear-cut. At times Mr Johnson is seen wearing a mask while Sir David does not have his on, and at others neither is wearing one.

Boris Johnson and Sir David Attenborough were sitting next to each other during Cop26 (AP)
Boris Johnson and Sir David Attenborough were sitting next to each other during Cop26 (AP)

‘Game changing’ EU satellite programme to provide real-time greenhouse gas emissions monitoring

08:15 , Jon Sharman

A “constellation of dedicated satellites” is to be launched into orbit by the European Union to monitor humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions in detail, writes Harry Cockburn.

Scientists working on the project said the “game changing” tool, will be able to detect carbon dioxide and methane emissions “with unprecedented accuracy and detail – and close to real time”,

The satellites – which will form part of the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (Cams) – will even be capable of looking at individual carbon dioxide and methane sources such as power plants and fossil fuel production sites, the service said.

‘Game changing’ EU satellite programme to monitor greenhouse gas emissions in detail

Biden announces plan to slash methane emissions

07:50 , Jon Sharman

Joe Biden has committed the US to slashing methane emissions as part of a global effort to reduce by 30 per cent the amount of the potent greenhouse gas being pumped into the atmosphere.

The target year for the 30-per-cent reduction is 2030, which Mr Biden has promised to work with the EU and other nations to achieve.

The centerpiece of US actions is a long-awaited rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to tighten methane regulations for the oil and gas sector, as laid out in one of Mr Biden's first executive orders.

The proposed rule would for the first time target reductions from existing oil and gas wells nationwide, rather than focus only on new wells as previous regulations have done.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan said the new rule, established under the Clean Air Act, would lead to significant reductions in methane emissions and other pollutants and would be stricter than an Obama-era standard set in 2016.

Congress reinstated the Obama standard last summer in a rare effort by majority Democrats to use the legislative branch to overturn a regulatory rollback under Donald Trump.

Why is targeting methane emissions important? Read on below to find out...

Why must the world quickly tackle methane?

Queen tells leaders to ‘rise above politics’ to solve climate crisis

07:23 , Jon Sharman

The Queen has urged world leaders to “rise above politics” and find a common cause in solving the climate crisis.

In a video address played to Cop26 delegates, which was recorded at Windsor on Friday, the monarch said action was vital to preserve the environment for “our children’s children”.

The monarch said: "In the coming days, the world has the chance to join in the shared objective of creating a safer, stabler future for our people and for the planet on which we depend.

"None of us underestimates the challenges ahead: but history has shown that when nations come together in common cause, there is always room for hope. Working side by side, we have the ability to solve the most insurmountable problems and to triumph over the greatest of adversities.

"I, for one, hope that this conference will be one of those rare occasions where everyone will have the chance to rise above the politics of the moment, and achieve true statesmanship.

"It is the hope of many that the legacy of this summit - written in history books yet to be printed - will describe you as the leaders who did not pass up the opportunity; and that you answered the call of those future generations.

"That you left this conference as a community of nations with a determination, a desire, and a plan, to address the impact of climate change; and to recognise that the time for words has now moved to the time for action."

How green are the key sponsors of Cop26?

07:15 , Stuti Mishra

The sponsors of the Cop26 climate summit have made bold pledges to get to net zero, but an investigation by The Independent has uncovered a substantial – and often hidden – reliance on controversial carbon offsets to get there, which environmentalists have branded “a license to keep polluting” and “a greenwashing scam”.

These 11 firms – Microsoft, Unilever, Sky, SSE, Scottish Power, Sainsbury’s, Reckitt, National Grid, Hitachi, GSK, and NatWest Group – have had their logos plastered all over the website of the biggest climate change event of the year, and inside its Glasgow venue, with each company hyped as a leader in their sector trailblazing the way “towards net zero”.

Most have committed to reducing their carbon output to net zero by 2050, and in many cases much sooner, but when you dig below the surface, there is a very significant reliance on carbon offsetting that environmentalists say “hugely undermines their credibility as climate change leaders”.

The Independent’s investigations editor David Cohen reports.

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

Biden and Prince Charles meet on sidelines of Cop

16:54 , Tom Batchelor

Joe Biden met the Prince of Wales on the margins of Cop26 today, a senior White House official said, with the pair said to have discussed the importance of global cooperation in tackling climate change.

The US president and Prince Charles “underlined the need for ambitious commitments and concrete actions among partners worldwide” and discussed the royal’s initiatives to engage the private sector on sustainability, the official said.

“President Biden reaffirmed the strength of the enduring ties between the United Kingdom and the United States, and he thanked the United Kingdom for hosting Cop26,” the official added.

“He commended the Royal Family for its dedication to climate issues, particularly Prince Charles’ environmental activism over the last half century.”

Investors warn Big-4 auditors to start climateaccounting

07:00 , Stuti Mishra

World’s top audit firms have been warned to start integrating climate risk in a letter by major investors, according to Reuters news agency.

The challenge, laid out in letters from an investor group managing around $4.5 trillion that were seen by Reuters, marks an escalation in the group’s efforts to ensure investors were armed with robust information.

The investors have been pushing auditors to improve for several years amid concern they were misrepresenting the true health of companies by not factoring in potential hits from the impact of climate change and associated policy changes.

Ahead of the COP26 climate talks in Scotland, the group had called for governments to force companies and auditors to file accounts in line with the world’s goal of limiting global warming by mid-century.

Additional reporting by Reuters

Worst emitters of greenhouse gases accused of ‘greenwashing’ their reputations

06:37 , Stuti Mishra

The world’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.

Andrew Buncombe reports.

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

‘It’s time to end youth tokenism’

06:10 , Stuti Mishra

“I am 19 years old, and in 2050 I will be 48 years old – and may have children who I will be worrying about,” climate activist Dr Mya-Rose Craig says.

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.

Emma Snaith speaks to some of these remarkable activists.

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

How energy wars could replace climate concerns from headlines

05:42 , Stuti Mishra

While larger climate concerns like flooding and fires, rising global temperatures and rising sea-levels – all summed up as the climate emergency – are being discussed at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, they could very soon be replaced in the headlines by a more local and immediate emergency, as winter bears down on the northern hemisphere and tightens its annual grip on Europe.

Before any of the long-term promises of Cop26 come due, some very short-term considerations of geopolitics could start to play out in potentially life-threatening ways. Or, to look on the bright side, the opposite could happen, with a recognition of the current reality governing energy supplies, which could lead to a more durable system of mutually beneficial exchange.

Mary Dejevsky writes that, despite all the political posturing, it’s still business as usual.

Cop26: The energy wars will continue to rumble

India’s net-zero announcement may have have put summit back ‘on track’

05:12 , Stuti Mishra

India’s pledge to slash carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes has lifted some of the gloom over Cop26, experts say, after it opened to stark warnings of the terrible price of climate failure.

The world’s third-biggest carbon emitter disappointed Downing Street by naming 2070 as its target date to reach net zero – 20 years later than the summit’s aim – but won praise for its first climate plan nevertheless.

Hailing “real leadership” that suggested India’s emissions will peak by 2030, Professor Nicholas Stern, of the London School of Economics, said: “This was a very significant moment for the summit.”

After China’s refusal to budge on its CO2-cutting plans, India’s announcement offered hope of keeping the Glasgow summit “on track”, The Independent was told.

India’s pledge to slash 1 billion tonnes of emissions ‘lifts Cop26 gloom’

Israeli minister left out because of wheelchair access issues

03:45 , Lamiat Sabin

Israeli minister Karine Elharrar has said she could not attend the Cop26 summit because the transport to the venue was not wheelchair accessible.

She tweeted that it was “sad” that the United Nations “does not provide accessibility to its events” for disabled people.

Ms Elharrar reportedly told Israeli TV network Channel 12 that she could not get onto the grounds of the conference because the only options were to either walk or take a shuttle that was not suitable for wheelchairs.

Her office told the Times of Israel that she waited outside the venue in Glasgow for two hours, and she was eventually forced to return to her hotel in Edinburgh, about 50 miles away.

An official in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's delegation said they had formally complained to organisers, the BBC reported.

UK ambassador to Israel Neil Wigan tweeted that he had apologised “deeply and sincerely” to Ms Elharrar.

James Cleverly, a UK foreign office minister, said he was “deeply disappointed and frustrated” Ms Elharrar could not access the summit.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly aware of the incident, and has invited Ms Elharrar to join a meeting between him and Mr Bennett today (2 November).

Nations to vow to cut methane emissions as well as save forests

02:45 , Lamiat Sabin

World leaders at Cop26 are outlining commitments to cut methane emissions as well as curb deforestation.

The US and EU are launching a global initiative to cut emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas which comes from sources including fossil fuel extraction and livestock farming. Dozens of countries are expected tp cut their methane emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.

More than 100 world leaders will sign up to a landmark agreement today (2 November) to protect and restore the Earth’s forests by the end of the decade, the UK Government has said.

The announcements come after the Queen issued a rallying cry to the attendees of the climate summit, urging them to work together in “common cause” to tackle climate change and “solve the most insurmountable problems”.

XR activists eat ‘beggar’s banquet’ while VIPs dine in luxury

01:45 , Lamiat Sabin

World leaders were being driven this evening under police escort to a fancy dinner at Kelvingrove Art Gallery.

Hundreds of police officers from round the UK protected the route and closed nearby streets in Glasgow.

In Kelvingrove Park – about 800 metres from the Art Gallery reception – Extinction Rebellion (XR) members gathered to protest by banging drums and delivering speeches.

Afterwards, a group with many members from Pembrokeshire in South Wales served supper, including vegan haggis on paper plates with wooden cutlery, at a so-called “beggar’s banquet”.

Reporting by Mark Davey, PA Scotland

Biden’s ‘beast’ limo spotted on way to VIP dinner

00:45 , Lamiat Sabin

The stretch limo that ferries about US President Joe Biden has been seen being driven through the Finneston district of central Glasgow this evening.

It is believed that Mr Biden and his extensive entourage were going under police escort to a dinner hosted at Kelvingrove Art Gallery.

Mr Biden has been accused of hypocrisy since the Cop26 conference started today over travelling in his motorcade consisting of dozens of vehicles and then going on to lecture the world on the dangers of climate change.

Greta graces Indy’s front page tomorrow

Monday 1 November 2021 23:45 , Lamiat Sabin

World leaders to vow to restore destroyed forests

Monday 1 November 2021 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

Monday 1 November 2021 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’

Monday 1 November 2021 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

Monday 1 November 2021 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

Monday 1 November 2021 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

Monday 1 November 2021 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...


Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website

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