Cop26 Glasgow news – live: Obama takes aim at China and Russia for ‘dangerous lack of urgency’ on climate

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Cop26 Glasgow news – live: Obama takes aim at China and Russia for ‘dangerous lack of urgency’ on climate
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As the Cop26 summit in Glasgow enters its second week, the issue of “loss and damage” is taking centre stage at the meetings today – as world leaders seek a consensus on how to fund climate adaptation in the poorest and most imperilled nations.

Addressing several events on Monday, Barack Obama warned delegates that while the pledges made so far represent “real progress” if they are followed through, “not enough” has been done to avert warming of more than 1.5C.

The former US president called for “ongoing activism” and “citizen pressure” on governments and the private sector to ensure they honour their commitments, warning that “most countries have failed to meet the action plans they set six years ago” in Paris. He also took aim at China and Russia’s absence, saying that it was “particularly discouraging” to see two of the world’s largest emitters decline to attend the summit.

Ahead of Monday’s meeting, the UK government announced a pledge of £290m, most of which will go to Asia Pacific nations. Diplomats and negotiators hope the talks will raise further funding pledges to add to the billions already raised by states including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the US.

Over the weekend, tens of thousands of climate protesters took to the streets in Glasgow, London and around the world in a demand for swifter action to combat the global heating crisis. In Glasgow, up to 50,000 people joined a march through the city, from Kelvingrove Park to Glasgow Green.

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

Key points

Good Morning

06:24 , Stuti Mishra

Follow the latest updates from the 26th climate summit in Glasgow as the second week of the negotiations begins.

Push for climate finance to continue

06:27 , Stuti Mishra

At the Cop26 summit on Monday, the focus will shift to the matter of climate finance as countries try to reach a consensus on the critical issue.

Climate finance refers to the financial support developed countries are supposed to provide developing and under-developed countries in dealing with global warming and compensation for the damage that is already done to the environment by some rich nations.

The issue is a longstanding one in front of the UN climate summits held so far, however, the pledges made by the developed countries haven’t been honoured fully.

Ministers from various countries are to focus on the issue today with a dedicated “climate adaptation loss and damage day”.

Governments including Bangladesh, the Maldives and the Netherlands — which are expected to be among those most severely impacted by climate change as sea levels rise — are expected to attend the meeting.

UK pledges £290m to help poorer countries

06:40 , Stuti Mishra

The UK, which is hosting the crucial Cop26 talks, has announced £290m to help poorer countries deal with extreme weather and other climate calamities.

The majority of money from the UK will go to Asia Pacific nations to deal with the impact of global warming, the government said.

This comes ahead of Monday’s session at the summit focusing on “loss and damage” as diplomats and negotiators are hoping to raise further funding pledges from other countries to add to the billions already raised from states including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the US.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, UK International champion on adaptation and resilience for the Cop26 presidency, said: “We must act now to stop climate change from pushing more people into poverty. We know that climate impacts disproportionately affect those already most vulnerable.

“We are aiming for significant change that will ultimately contribute to sustainable development and a climate-resilient future for all, with no one left behind.”

The Independent’s policy correspondent Jon Stone reports

UK pledges £290 million to help countries prepare for climate change

Ask your questions about the Cop26 climate summit

07:06 , Stuti Mishra

The first week of the Cop26 summit saw some monumental agreements including new net-zero targets and multi-country deals on deforestation, coal and methane.

As week two of the pivotal UN meeting in Glasgow begins on today, shadow business secretary Ed Miliband and climate correspondent Daisy Dunne will answer your questions at 4pm GMT.

Shadow business secretary and former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has been in Glasgow this week following progress at the summit. In 2009, Mr Miliband was the UK’s climate minister at the Cop15 climate summit in Copenhagen.

Click here to find out how to submit your questions.

Ask Ed Miliband anything about the Cop26 climate summit

Counter summit in Glasgow against Cop26 inaction

07:15 , Stuti Mishra

A counter climate summit has kicked off in Glasgow ahead of the final week of Cop26, with activists criticising “false promises” and inaction from world leaders at the UN-led conference.

The People’s Summit for Climate Justice, which is running from Sunday to Wednesday, will host around 200 sessions in-person and online.

Organisers said it will “centre the voices of the most marginalised, those who are being hit hardest by climate change right now, and the people resisting and organising for change”.

Jana Ahlers, the counter summit’s programme coordinator, said the counter-event will bring together “indigenous peoples, bus drivers, film-makers, refugees, pilots, farmers, feminists, forest dwellers, artists, doctors, anti-racists and climate justice activists”.

“To deliver justice you have to guarantee that all people are around the table,” she said.

Zoe Tidman has more:

Cop26 counter-summit kicks off in Glasgow to oppose ‘false promises’ and inaction

Boris Johnson urges nations to make ‘bold compromises and ambitious commitments’ in final summit week

07:22 , Andy Gregory

Boris Johnson has urged world leaders to make “bold compromises and ambitious commitments” as the Cop26 climate crisis summit enters its final week, Jon Stone reports.

In an intervention marking the half-way point of the meeting, the prime minister warned yesterday that his colleagues have “one week left to deliver for the world”.

Johnson urges countries to make ‘bold compromises’ in Cop26 final week

Climate crisis to devastate economies of most vulnerable countries, report warns

07:39 , Andy Gregory

The economies of some of the world’s most vulnerable countries could see their GDP hit by a third by the end of the century even if we keep global warming under 1.5C, a report from Christian Aid has warned.

Under current policies, the forecasted hit to the economy in these countries – eight of the 10 most at-risk are in Africa – rises to an average of 64 per cent hit, according to the charity.

Campaigners warned that a robust system for dealing with the inevitable loss and damage to people, land, livelihoods and infrastructure caused by rising temperatures was needed – as well as more action to cut emissions.

“Based on historical relationships between GDP growth and climate variables, here we extrapolate how a future under climate change might affect economic performance,” said the study’s coordinator Marina Andrijevic, an economist at Berlin’s Humboldt University.

“We get staggering numbers which imply that the ability of countries in the Global South to sustainably develop is seriously jeopardised and that policy choices that we make right now are crucial for preventing further damage.”

My colleague Ella Glover has the full details here:

Climate crisis to shrink GDP of vulnerable nations 20% by 2050

Obama to address conference in Glasgow

07:54 , Andy Gregory

Joe Biden may have returned to the US, but his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama – who helped to secure the Paris Agreement at the summit in 2015 – has arrived in Glasgow.

The Daily Record carried a picture of the 44th president in Scotland after touching down at the airport on Sunday night. He is due to address the conference later today.

Companies that do not go green ‘will become collateral damage of net zero’

08:01 , Andy Gregory

Companies that are not able to ditch their fossil fuel habits do not have a future, according to former energy minister Greg Barker, who is now chairman of aluminium giant EN+.

“The idea that there won’t be any collateral damage in the economy is for the birds,” Lord Barker said on the sidelines of the conference in Glasgow, adding that polluters should be charged around $100 (£73) per tonne of carbon they emit in developed countries as part of a global price on carbon.

“We need the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO to come together to harmonise that. That doesn’t mean to say that they all have to be at the same price, you can differentiate between developed and developing economies. But there does need to be coordination, and it does need to be coherent.”

Companies that do not go green ‘will become collateral damage of net zero’

Minister from low-lying island nation Tuvalu delivers speech while knee-deep in seawater

08:45 , Andy Gregory

Tuvalu’s foreign minister has filmed a speech to the conference in Glasgow standing knee-deep in seawater to show how his low-lying Pacific island nation is on the front line of climate change.

Images of Simon Kofe standing in a suit and tie at a lectern set up in the sea, with his trouser legs rolled up, have been shared widely on social media, drawing attention to Tuvalu's struggle against rising sea levels.

“The statement juxtaposes the Cop26 setting with the real-life situations faced in Tuvalu due to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise and highlights the bold action Tuvalu is taking to address the very pressing issues of human mobility under climate change,” Mr Kofe said of his video message, which is due to be shown at the conference on Tuesday.

Latest UK pledge ‘will help vulnerable nations change their daily lives’, minister says

08:57 , Andy Gregory

Some £290m pledged by the UK will help those in the most vulnerable countries “change their daily lives so that they can adapt to the climate shocks that they're experiencing”, the international trade secretary has said.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan told the BBC’s Today programme: “So today's discussions are all about adaptation and talking about how we, as a collective set of developed countries, support those most vulnerable.”

She told Times Radio: “On my travels over the last year, as the international champion on adaptation, I've seen some really innovative, creative solutions. And we want to make sure that with this £290m, which is part of obviously wider multilateral support into a number of funds, that countries who need it most can get on and deliver at a very local level.”

InFact: What would be the difference between 1.5C and 2C warming?

09:09 , Andy Gregory

As part of The Independent’s InFact Climate series, my colleague Ella Glover has looked at the difference that 1.5C and 2C of warming are expected to have on the planet.

With the world currently on course to hit the former by around the year 2034, what impact would these outcomes have on sea levels, weather, food production, wildlife and human health?

Find out here:

What would be the difference between 1.5C and 2C global warming?

‘I hope the protests will keep it alive’: Glaswegians react to summit on their doorstep

09:25 , Andy Gregory

When the late chef and travel show host Anthony Bourdain visited Glasgow, he dubbed the city “Europe’s no-bulls*** zone”.

Our senior climate correspondent Louise Boyle headed to Finnieston to find out what Glaswegians thought of the commotion on their doorstep – and found, overwhelmingly, there were warm sentiments towards arrivals in the city determined to reverse the trajectory of the climate crisis.

“The people that want to change things are here and I hope their voices get heard,” said taxi driver David Doonan, 64, who has been ferrying “great people from all four corners of the earth” in the back of his cab from the airport into the city.

“I hope that something comes out it. You would hope the protests will keep it alive.”

Canadian becomes world’s first patient to be diagnosed as suffering from ‘climate change’

09:41 , Andy Gregory

A Canadian facing breathing issues was diagnosed as possibly the first patient in the world suffering from “climate change”, as doctors said heatwaves and poor air quality were responsible for his condition, Stuti Mishra reports.

Dr Kyle Merritt, responsible for the diagnosis of the senior citizen from Nelson in British Columbia who suffered from asthma, said this was the first time in a decade that he wrote climate change as a cause of suffering.

“If we’re not looking at the underlying cause, and we’re just treating the symptoms, we’re just gonna keep falling further and further behind,” the emergency room doctor told the Glacier Media.

Canadian diagnosed as suffering from ‘climate change’

UN refugee ambassador Emi Mahmoud to perform new poem appealing for urgent climate action

10:04 , Andy Gregory

Following discussions with refugees on the front lines of the climate crisis, in Bangladesh, Cameroon and Jordan, Emi Mahmoud – a Sudanese-American poet crowned world champion at the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam – is carrying the message of those voices to world leaders at Cop26.

In her role representing refugees as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, she will be speaking on panels and performing a new poem, Di Baladna, which means “Our Land” in Arabic, and appeals for urgent action on the climate crisis.

“At 11 years old I saw my neighbour's house crumble before my eyes,” she writes. “Our country was already locked in turmoil and now the earth began to purge us too.”

‘An arsonist at a firefighters’ convention’: Fossil fuel industry ‘has largest Cop26 delegation'

10:17 , Andy Gregory

Green campaigners have reacted angrily to analysis which found that Cop26 is hosting more delegates from the fossil fuel industry than from any individual country.

An assessment of the participant list, led by Global Witness, found that 503 people with links to the industry have been accredited. Brazil has the second-largest delegation, comprising 479 individuals, according to the data.

“The fossil fuel industry has spent decades denying and delaying real action on the climate crisis, which is why this is such a huge problem," Murray Worthy of Global Witness told the BBC. “Their influence is one of the biggest reasons why 25 years of UN climate talks have not led to real cuts in global emissions.”

Met Office climate model predicts more extreme weather events in the future

10:32 , Andy Gregory

A new high-resolution climate model has found that future extreme weather could be more severe and frequent than previously thought, my colleague Thomas Kingsley reports.

The new study by the Met Office and Newcastle University used climate projection modelling to investigate recent flood events across the world and predict expected rainfall patterns in the future.

Calculations revealed that a high emissions scenario of around 3C warming would leave Glasgow 3.5 times more likely to experience days of 30mm of rain or more per hour – the threshold typically used to trigger flash flood warnings – by the 2070s, compared with the 1990s.

New climate model predicts more extreme weather events in the future

Plans to stop water firms dumping raw sewage in rivers don’t go far enough, campaigners say

10:46 , Andy Gregory

With Boris Johnson hoping to make the UK’s presidency of Cop26 a success by ensuring world leaders do not shirk in their commitments, his government faces accusations of not going far enough to protect England’s waterways.

MPs will later on Monday vote for an amendment that calls on firms to make a “progressive reduction” in the amount of sewage they pump into rivers and seas.

Environment minister Rebecca Pow is due to meet with bosses to make it “crystal clear” that the government is “absolutely committed to cutting harmful sewage entering our precious watercourses”.

But critics argue the proposals are inadequate because they do not stipulate measurements or metrics for the reduction required by water companies. My colleague Matt Mathers has more details here:

Plans to stop water firms dumping raw sewage in rivers ‘don’t go far enough’

‘Delay, pay and suffer’, delegates warned as critical event begins

10:54 , Andy Gregory

Today’s headline event aimed at securing more funding to help vulnerable nations adapt to the climate crisis is now underway.

“We are all living inside the eye of the storm. No one is safe. And the climate emergency has the world at this crossroads,” said Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Centre on Adaptation, as he opened the event.

“We either delay, pay and suffer, or we plan, adapt and thrive.”

10:55 , Andy Gregory

You can watch today’s main event live here:

‘The world must adapt,’ delegates told

11:06 , Andy Gregory

“We have heard of the many bold commitments of heads of states and governments and other delegations on climate mitigations last week – from methane, to forests, to net-zero,” said Patrick Verkooijen, addressing delegates at today’s headline event.

“But even if the world is able to stay within 1.5C warming – and this is a must, not a wish – the world must adapt.

“Every country, every city, every community, every farm is already feeling the impacts of climate change, and the poor and the most vulnerable are paying the price. They have done the least to cause this problem and there is a fundamental climate injustice which needs to be repaired – and it needs to be repaired here in Glasgow.”

Action on adaptation is critical, not only because it is the morally right thing to do, but also because it is the smartest economic move, the CEO of the Global Centre on Adaptation said.

“We will – you will – be judged on one thing, and one thing only. Have we accelerated bold adaptation action for those living on the frontlines? That is the metric of success for today’s ministerial dialogue,” he concluded.

‘Our responsibility to build a climate resilient future for all,’ minister says

11:19 , Andy Gregory

Addressing delegates, the UK’s international trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said the £290m of funding pledged by Britain today “will empower and equip 40 million people with the means to adapt to the impacts of climate change”.

In an apparent bid to use this latest commitment as leverage for further pledges from those in the room, she said: “So I trust that through this dialogue today we can rapidly accelerate adaptation at a global scale.

“It is our responsibility to build a climate resilient future for all. Glasgow is a moment to build a movement, because we can’t afford to fail. Our time is now.”

‘Ad-hoc’ climate financing schemes ‘derailing’ projects, Caribbean banking chief warns

11:38 , Andy Gregory

Kicking off the financial segment of the event is Dr Gene Leon, president of the Caribbean Development Bank.

“The international community has to fulfil its existing commitments to deliver on the $100bn per year commitment,” he said. “Not only are we falling short, but we must rapidly work towards establishing a more ambitious climate finance target to take effect, starting in 2025.

“Especially because the world appears on track for reaching 2.7C of warming, which would result in an intensification of the risks small-island, developing and vulnerable states are already confronting.”

He warned that the reliability and approval timing of climate finance flows must be improved to unlock additional investment from the public and private sectors – with the “ad-hoc nature of many climate flows” currently resulting in a “sub-optimal allocation of resources” to programmes and projects on the ground.

“The longer review and approval timelines that we face vary quite dramatically, and result in challenges for planned co-financing – sometimes derailing projects and programmes altogether.”

Greta Thunberg returns to Stockholm

11:56 , Andy Gregory

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has returned to Sweden after a week in Glasgow, reportedly travelling by train to Stockholm.

Ms Thunberg has been highly critical of the talks, telling young protesters at a march on Friday that Cop was “now a global north greenwash festival, a two-week long celebration of business as usual and blah blah blah”.

12:18 , Andy Gregory

Barack Obama – who is due to speak imminently – has been met with cheers as passed photographers at the conference.

Campaigners hit out at ‘exceptionally weak’ draft text

12:25 , Andy Gregory

Campaigners have expressed concerns that the first draft of the Glasgow decision text is “exceptionally weak” – and, like previous texts, makes no mention of fossil fuels.

The first version of the conference’s official text, published by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is just 850 words long.

“What’s very concerning here in Glasgow is that the first draft of the climate pact text is already exceptionally weak. Usually the text starts with some ambition, which then gets watered down,” said Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace International’s executive director.

“To keep 1.5 alive, four words must be added: ‘fossil fuels phase out’, and countries must come back next year to close the gap.”

Kate Blagojevic, Greenpeace UK’s head of climate, added: “The UK presidency has let the most vulnerable nations down by supporting such a weak first draft text. Alok Sharma can still fix this and insist world leaders up their game through stronger commitments on phasing out fossil fuels and significantly increasing pledges on adaptation finance in the next draft.”

‘Every degree counts,’ Barack Obama says

12:31 , Andy Gregory

Barack Obama is now speaking at the Partnership on Island Reslience: Sharing solutions in Great Ocean States event.

The former US former president said that the current plans and pledges do not get to 1.5C. He added that “every degree counts” for island nations in mitigation.

“If we are following through on all the bold pronouncements and pledges that have been made then that’s real progress, not enough, but it moves us in the right direction,” he said.

“But that does require ongoing activism in-between these Cop conferences and it means citizen pressure on both public sector and private sector actors to ensure that there is actual follow up, and that we are actually documenting that.

“And island nations have a story to tell because they are on the front lines.”

World’s energy grid will not be transformed overnight, Obama says

12:41 , Andy Gregory

Transforming the entire planet’s energy grid “is not going to happen overnight”, Barack Obama has said – warning there will be nations “that do not follow through” on their commitments.

“The truth is that organising a lot of nations around the world, all of whom have legacy energy energy systems, vested interests, politics etc,” the former US president said. “Co-ordinating all that to move the entire planet’s energy grid in a new direction is not going to happen overnight.

“It has to happen and we have to push, but we’re going to go forward, there will be some setbacks. There are going to be laggards, nations that do not follow through. As so we have to be determined and have massive patience and continually pound away at the problem.”

He added that while “all of us have a part to play, all of us have work to do, all of us have sacrifices to make” on action to avert climate breakdown, “those of us who live in wealthy nations, those of us who helped to precipitate the problem” of global heating “have an added burden”.

12:48 , Andy Gregory

For some context on the calls for increased funding for adaptation at today’s session, the expected economic cost of loss and damage by 2030 has been put at between $400bn and $580bn per year in developing countries – and up to $1.8trn by 2050, according to the Heinrich Boll Foundation.

Ask Ed Miliband anything about the Cop26 climate summit

13:05 , Andy Gregory

Shadow business secretary and former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has been in Glasgow this week following progress at the summit. In 2009, Mr Miliband was the UK’s climate minister at the Cop15 climate summit in Copenhagen.

Today at 4pm, he will be on hand to answer your questions on the Cop26 climate summit and what progress has been made towards reining in rapidly rising emissions.

You can get involved in the conversation, or simply follow along via the article below:

‘We have not done enough’ - Former US President Obama

13:12 , Joe Middleton

Earlier today President Obama told attendees at Cop26 he was “shaped” by his experience growing up on Hawaii he was “island kid” and proud of his administration’s work with island nations to mitigate climate change.

He said: “I remember in Paris we had a meeting with a group of island leaders to hear directly from them about how climate change was already having an impact and the effect of that meeting was outsized, it had a huge impact.

“In part because these leaders were able to communicate in very concrete human terms what so often is just a bunch of abstract numbers. People were being affected in very specific and immediate ways and tragic ways.

“And it put images and faces and emotions and moral authority behind the efforts to form the Paris accords. It was a reminder that in many ways our islands are a canary in the coal mine in this situation. They are sending a message now that if we don’t act and act boldly its going to be too late.”

He added “we have to act now” and praised island nations for “stepping up and being heard”. Obama said “we have not done enough” and the islands “are threatened more than ever”.

Diane Abbott: Cop26 will be the whitest and most privileged ever

13:20 , Andy Gregory

Writing for Independent Voices, Diane Abbott warns that even if the delayed funding promise of $100bn is achieved by 2023, “much of the damage is already set in stone”. The Labour MP argues:

It is a source of great shame that Cop26 will be the whitest and most privileged ever, with thousands who intended to travel from poorer countries excluded.

A hostile environment from the Home Office to those travelling from countries in the global south (especially those from Africa), high costs of accommodation and a failure to deliver on a pledge to offer Covid vaccines to all delegates has excluded many of those who face the worst of the climate crisis every day.

Read her thinking in full here:

Diane Abbott: Cop26 will be whitest and most privileged ever – a source of shame

Tuvalu minister gives Cop26 speech knee-deep in sea to highlight climate crisis

13:40 , Joe Middleton

Tuvalu foreign minister Simon Kofe has delivered a speech to Cop26 while standing knee-deep in sea water to emphasise the impact of climate change on the island nation.

Images of Mr Kofe standing in a suit at a lectern set up in the sea and his trousers rolled up, have been shared widely on social media further intensifying calls for world leaders to urgently address issues of climate change.

“The statement juxtaposes the Cop26 setting with the real-life situations faced in Tuvalu due to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise and highlights the bold action Tuvalu is taking to address the very pressing issues of human mobility under climate change,” Kofe said of his video message to the conference.

Thomas Kingsley has the details.

Tuvalu minister gives Cop26 speech knee-deep in sea to highlight climate crisis

Cop26: Hundreds of fossil fuel lobbyists outnumber any country’s delegation at climate summit

14:00 , Joe Middleton

More than 500 lobbyists linked to major oil and gas companies are attending the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow, a larger number than the delegation of any single nation at the talks.

The discovery of the prevailing access that the fossil fuel industry has been granted to a conference - with the stated goal of curbing global temperature rise largely driven by the burning of fossil fuels - was laid out in new analysis from international NGO Global Witness.

Researchers analysed the participant list published by the United Nations, which is hosting the Glasgow summit.

The Independent’s senior climate correspondent Louis Boyle has the details.

Fossil fuel lobbyists outnumber any country delegation at Cop26

Obama brings political clout to second week of climate conference after Greta Thunberg and world leaders leave

16:14 , Andy Gregory

Our environment correspondent Harry Cockburn has this comprehensive write-up of the events at Cop26 so far today.

He reports that former US president Barack Obama brought a necessary political weight to the climate summit as the second week got underway.

With many world leaders and campaigners now having left the conference – including Greta Thunberg, who has returned to Sweden – maintaining momentum, ambition and urgency among the negotiators and the governments and organisations they represent is vital.

Not least after a draft of the conference’s official text, was described on Monday by Greenpeace as “exceptionally weak”.

“Usually the text starts with some ambition, which then gets watered down,” said Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace International’s executive director.

Read his full report here:

Obama brings political clout to second week of climate conference

‘We have not done nearly enough,’ Obama says

14:27 , Andy Gregory

Barack Obama is back onstage at Cop26, to much applause.

“When it comes to climate, time really is running out,” the former US president said.

“You heard the same message from world leaders last week and now they’ve left here’s what we can report. Meaningful progress has been made since Paris and the agreements made here in Glasgow thanks to so many of you including my friend John Kerry – who is tireless.

“Thanks to your efforts we see the promise of further progress. What is also true is that collectively and individually we are still falling short.

"We have not done nearly enough to address this crisis, we are going to have to do more.”

Obama 'wasn’t real happy about’ Trump pulling out of Paris accord

14:28 , Andy Gregory

Barack Obama is now talking about his successor’s decision to abandon the Paris accord he helped negotiate in 2015.

“Back in the United States some of our progress stalled when my successor decided to unilaterally pull out of the Paris Agreement in his first year in office,” he said.

“I wasn’t real happy about that. And yet the determination of our state and local governments, along with the regulations and investment my administration had already put in place, allowed our country to keep moving forward.”

14:31 , Andy Gregory

Barack Obama said he had a “hard time” staying away from Cop26 in Glasgow.

“Even though I’m not required to attend summits like this this any more, old habits die hard,” he told delegates.

“And when the issue at hand is the health of our planet, and the world our children and our grandchildren will inherit, then you will have a hard time keeping me away.

“That’s why I’m here today.”

Climate action should ‘transcend’ geopolitical tensions, Obama says – taking aim at Russia and China

14:42 , Andy Gregory

Most nations “have failed to be as ambitious as they need to be”, Barack Obama lamented, warning that “the ratcheting up of ambition that we anticipated in Paris six years ago, has not been uniformly realised”.

“I have to confess – it was particularly discouraging to see the leaders of two of the world’s largest emitters, China and Russia, decline to even attend the proceedings,” the former US president said – criticising the nations’ national plans, which he said “so far, reflect what appears to be a dangerous lack of urgency, a willingness to maintain the status quo”.

Mr Obama said that – just as with the US and Europe – China, India and Russia, as well as Indonesia, South Africa and Brazil, are all needed to lead on the issue of climate change, adding: “We can’t afford anybody on the sidelines.”

“I recognise we’re living in a moment when international cooperation has waned, a moment of greater geopolitical tension and stress – in part because of the pandemic, in part because of the rise of nationalism and tribal impulses around the world, and yes because of a lack of leadership on America’s part for four years on a host of multilateral issues,” he said.

While it is harder to get international cooperation amid these tensions, Mr Obama insisted climate change should transcend normal politics.

Action this decade crucial to 1.5C efforts, says UK

14:44 , Andy Gregory

UK minister and Cop president Alok Sharma has called for more “urgency” to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, as ministers arrive at Cop26 this week to help hash out a final agreement from the conference.

“We want to forge [an] agreement that means we see more action this decade to help keep the limit of 1.5C global temperature rise in reach,” he told reporters at a press conference attended by The Independent’s climate correspondent Daisy Dunne.

It comes after the UK presidency of the Cop26 summit released a draft text of the possible elements that will be included in the final agreement from Glasgow on Sunday.

Greenpeace described the document as “exceptionally weak” over its failure to mention fossil fuels.

World ‘not moving fast enough’ with countries failing to meet Paris action plans, Obama says

14:52 , Celine Wadhera

Barack Obama praised the actions of UK, EU, South Korea and Canada for their proactive plans to cut emissions.

But added: “We are nowhere near where we need to be yet. For starters, despite the progress that Paris represented, most countries have failed to meet the action plans they set six years ago.

“And the consequences of not moving fast enough are becoming apparent all the time.”

He added that “parts of the world are becoming more dangerous to live in” and that is “triggering migration patterns” and “worsening conflict”.

UK’s lead negotiator warns of need to work ‘at pace’ – as report says PM could return to Glasgow

15:03 , Andy Gregory

As the public events and speeches enter their second week, the thorny formal negotiations continue to take place behind closed doors. But, as the speakers onstage frequently remind them – time is running out.

Addressing the plenary earlier, the UK’s lead negotiator Archie Young suggested that plans are being drawn up for “late-night working”, warning: “We will need to work at pace.”

Meanwhile, The Times reported last night that Downing Street is planning for Boris Johnson to make a last-minute trip to Glasgow if talks remain deadlocked towards the end of the week.

‘Cynicism is the recourse of cowards,’ Obama says, praising younger generation

15:14 , Andy Gregory

Barack Obama said that when he is feeling despondent about progress in climate change he reminds himself that “cynicism is the recourse of cowards.”

He added: “We can’t afford hopelessness, instead we are going to have to muster the will and the passion and the activism of citizens, pushing governments, companies and everyone else to meet this challenge.”

The “most important energy in this movement is coming from young people”, the former US president said, telling them “you are right to be frustrated” because “folks of my generation” have not done enough to deal with “a cataclysmic problem that you now stand to inherit”.

15:29 , Andy Gregory

Concluding his remarks, Barack Obama quoted Shakespeare’s Othello in saying: “What wound did ever heal but by degrees?”

“Our planet has been wounded by our actions – those wounds won't be healed today, or tomorrow, or the next, but they can be healed by degrees,” the former US president said.

“If we start with that spirit and each of us can fight through the occasional frustration and dread, if we pledge to do our part and then follow through on those commitments, I believe we can secure a better future. We have to.

“And what a profound and noble task to set for ourselves. I'm ready for the long haul if you are, so let's get to work.”

Opinion: We can’t ‘win’ against the climate crisis – so we’re just going to have to adapt instead

15:40 , Andy Gregory

Writing for The Independent, the UK’s international trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Egypt’s environment minister Yasmine Fouad caution that “as we go into the second week of the Cop26 summit, the clock is ticking”.

In line with today’s discussions, they warn that world leaders must meet the unavoidable demand for climate resilience already felt across the globe.

Opinion: We can’t ‘win’ against the climate crisis – instead we must adapt

What do Cop26, gold-plated steak, and Karl Marx have in common?

16:03 , Andy Gregory

With campaigners at such conferences often left reeling at the gap between the ambition on display and the scope of the threat faced, reports suggest that one official present in Glasgow has put on an equally dizzying display.

Shortly after leading a delegation at Cop26, it would appear that Vietnam’s public security minister headed to Salt Bae’s restaurant in Knightsbridge.

As Ho Chi Minh City experiences food shortages, To Lam was spotted eating a a slice of £1,450 gold-plated steak.

It would seem that he did so just a day after laying flowers at Karl Marx’s grave.

My colleague Ella Glover has more details and reaction here:

Vietnamese minister fed £1,450 gold-plated steak after visiting Karl Marx’s grave

Ask Ed Miliband anything about Cop26

16:09 , Andy Gregory

The Independent’s latest “Ask Me Anything” session is now underway – featuring climate correspondent Daisy Dunne and the UK’s shadow energy secretary Ed Miliband.

They’re answering readers’ questions on the Cop26 summit. Visit the page below to get involved:

Ask Ed Miliband anything about the Cop26 climate summit

Obama brings political clout to second week of climate conference

16:23 , Andy Gregory

In a comprehensive round-up of the day’s events so far, our environment Harry Cockburn reports that Barack Obama brought a much-needed political weight to the climate summit as it entered its second week.

With many world leaders and campaigners now having left the conference – including Greta Thunberg, who has returned to Sweden – maintaining momentum, ambition and urgency among the negotiators and the governments and organisations they represent is vital.

Not least after a draft of the conference’s official text, was described on Monday by Greenpeace as “exceptionally weak”.

“Usually the text starts with some ambition, which then gets watered down,” said Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace International’s executive director.

Read the full report here:

Obama brings political clout to second week of climate conference

Barack Obama quotes William Shakespeare in speech

16:42 , Celine Wadhera

As we noted earlier, Barack Obama quoted the Bard in his closing words of his remarks.

Mr Obama took the line “what wound did ever heal but by degrees” from Othello to emphasise the challenging road ahead in healing our planet from the climate crisis.

But, as my colleague Cal Byrne puts it, the former president “in classic Obama fashion, made the point that this difficult task was still achievable”.

Watch below.

Watch: Obama quotes William Shakespeare in Cop26 address

UNFCCC executive calls Cop26 an ‘inclusive process’ in response to Global Witness report on fossil fuel lobbyists

17:01 , Celine Wadhera

In response to the Global Witness report, which found that there were more than 500 lobbyists linked to major oil and gas companies attending Cop 26, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) executive secretary said that the summit was an “inclusive process”.

Patricia Espinosa said: “The UNFCC doesn’t have any partnership with the fossil fuel companies.

“But in our process, some of the constituencies may accredit some people that are maybe linked to some of these fossil fuel companies.

“It is the sovereign right of every government to accredit as representative for their delegation the persons that it deems appropriate.

“What is a fact is that the process of transformation that we need to see requires also transformation in this sector and a just energy transition everywhere around the world.

“Some of our parties are oil-producing countries, some of them have state oil companies – we need all of that industry to change – we need them onboard.

She added: “There’s no legal basis for us in the secretariat to say, ‘OK, we will exclude this or that person’”.

“But we do not allow an open lobby or an open promotion of oil and gas, of course, that would be against the objectives of the Paris Agreement.”

Barack Obama calls out China and Russia for not attending Cop26

17:20 , Celine Wadhera

Former US president Barack Obama called out China and Russia for not attending the UN Climate summit during his remarks earlier today.

“It was particularly discouraging to see leaders of two of the world’s largest emitters – China and Russia – decline to even attend the proceedings,” he said.

Adding: “Their national plans so far reflect what appears to be a dangerous lack of urgency, a willingness to maintain the status quo.”

Watch below.

Watch: Barack Obama calls out China and Russia for not attending Cop26

Labour MP calls out ‘climate hypocrisy’ as report reveals 500 lobbyists linked to fossil fuels attending Cop26

17:39 , Celine Wadhera

“Would you let arms dealers run peace talks? Then why is the largest delegation at Cop26 the fossil fuel industry,” asks Nadia Whittome, Labour MP for Nottingham East, from outside the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow.

“Companies making billions from climate chaos are inside the negotiating room, while the fences behind me are keeping out people from the countries most impacted.

“Those who are benefitting from the system are never going to change it.

“That’s why it’s so important that the rest of us speak out, expose this corrupt climate hypocrisy and take the fossil fuel industry down.”

Barack Obama ‘wasn’t real happy’ about ‘hostile’ Donald Trump pulling out of Paris accord

17:58 , Celine Wadhera

In his address at Cop26, former US president Barack Obama took aim at Donald Trump for pulling out of the Paris Accord.

“Back in the United States some of our progress stalled when my successor decided to unilaterally pull out of the Paris Agreement in his first year of office.

“I wasn’t real happy about that,” Mr Obama said. Adding: “And yet, the determination of our state and local governments, along with the regulations and investment my administration had already put in place, allowed our country to keep moving forward”.

Watch below.

Watch: Barack Obama slams ‘hostile’ Donald Trump for pulling out of Paris accord

Vanessa Nakate: ‘We cannot adapt to extinction’

18:17 , Celine Wadhera

Climate activist Vanessa Nakate spoke with Sky News about how countries in the global south are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis, and called on world leaders to acknowledge this, and commit funds to mitigate the loss and damage these countries are already facing.

“I want leaders to acknowledge that loss and damage is here with us now.

“Communities from countries like mine in the global south, they’re already on the frontlines of the climate crisis. There are things that we cannot adapt to.

“We cannot adapt to extinction, we cannot adapt to starvation, we cannot adopt to our lost cultures, or lost traditions or

“So right now, I want the leaders to show us the money to put a separate fund for loss and damage, because we are facing the worst of the climate crisis right now.

Swiss man on hunger strike to urge bold action on climate change

18:36 , Celine Wadhera

Guillermo Fernandez, a Swiss father of three is on his eighth day of a hunger strike, which he hopes will encourage his government to take bold action on climate change to safeguard his children’s future.

The 47-year-old is demanding that his country’s environment minister inform parliament about the “urgent and bleak” situation that climate change is causing, and take bold action to address it.

“We are a small country, we are rich and we can invent the solution for the future,” he told Reuters. “We just have to start now.”

“I do know that what I am demanding is tough and might require that I do die,” he added.

Temperatures in Switzerland are rising at approximately twice the global rate, causing glaciers and permafrost to melt, and many climate activists are disappointed with the country’s official measures to combat climate change.

Guillermo Fernandez sits with a banner that reads
Guillermo Fernandez sits with a banner that reads

Armed police arrest man minutes away from Cop26 venue

18:55 , Celine Wadhera

Armed police in Glasgow have arrested a man, minutes from the Cop26 conference venue.

The 43-year-old was stopped on Breadalbane Street in connection with alleged firearms offences following a police raid of a property on Argyle Street.

The man in question had been previously arrested on Argyle Street and charged with breaching the peace following a Cop26 event earlier this month, a police spokesperson said.

Police added that, at this stage, the firearms offences do not appear to be linked to Cop26 and there have been no terror-related charges filed.

World ‘falling short’ on climate action, Barack Obama tells summit

19:14 , Celine Wadhera

The world is “collectively and individually … falling short” in tackling the climate crisis, Barack Obama warned attendees at the Cop26 summit this afternoon.

He said that “meaningful progress” had been made since the Paris Agreement, but added that “time is really running out”.

My colleague, Joe Middleton, has more on the former US president’s remarks at the UN climate summit.

Cop26: World ‘falling short’ on climate action, Barack Obama tells summit

Shadow environment secretary says Cop26 is our ‘last best chance’ at keeping 1.5C alive

19:33 , Celine Wadhera

Before leaving the UN Climate summit in Glasgow, shadow environment secretary Luke Pollard said that Cop26 is our “last best chance” at keeping 1.5C alive, but called for “bolder and more urgent action”.

“Firstly a deal is still possible. We need this conference to be a success. Cop 26 is our last best chance at keeping 1.5C alive,” he said.

“If global temperature rises go beyond 1.5 degrees we’ll be into irreversible climate change and a huge climate catastrophe for communities right around the world.

He added that “legally binding commitments that focus on nationally declared contributions to halve climate emissions by 2030,” were what was needed to curb the crisis.

“I want to see bolder and more urgent action on the climate and ecological crisis, and I’ll keep pushing for that.

Scientist Rebellion protest on George V bridge

19:52 , Celine Wadhera

Scientist Rebellion, a group of scientists and academics calling for a climate revolution through non-violent civil disobedience, staged a “teach-in” at the south end of the George V bridge on Monday afternoon.

Demonstrators wore lab coats and a number of them had chained themselves to the bridge.

During the teach in, the group sought to debunk what they identified to be climate myths around tree planting, carbon capture and innovation, green growth and government power in fighting the climate crisis.

Speakers at the event included Dr Charlie Gardner, from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, Australian environmental scientist Kyle Topfer, and Dr Time Hewlett, astrophysicist and Scientist Rebellion co-founder.

‘The mood is very sour’ among developing countries, says climate justice advocate

20:11 , Celine Wadhera

Mohamed Adow, climate justice advocate and director of Power Shift Africa told Sky News that the mood among developing countries at Cop26 is “very sour” based on past promises that have not been honoured.

He said that failing to launch important negotiations, including around setting a global goal of climate adaptation, were preventing meaningful progress, adding that developing countries were left to suffer the consequences.

“Given that we’ve failed to mitigate enough and failed to actually provide sufficient adaptation support, we’re now dealing with loss and damage, that residual adverse impact of climate change that we can no longer adapt to,” he said.

“And the small island states, the least developed states are not getting any assurance at all from the developed countries.”

Small businesses slashing climate impact despite lack of formal plans, experts say

20:30 , Celine Wadhera

Despite lagging behind their larger counterparts, small businesses are working to cut their carbon emissions, experts have said.

“They’re probably a bit behind the curve, certainly on measurement, not necessarily on doing stuff,” said Steve Malkin, founder of the Planet Mark, an organisation that helps businesses with their sustainability goals.

He added that because small businesses were run by people, they often take a more human approach towards cutting emissions.

According to the British Business Bank, only 3 per cent of smaller businesses have measured their carbon footprint or set an emissions target reduction in the last five years.

They account, however, for around a third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, so they are a key partner in the fight against climate change.

Michelle Ovens, founder of Small Business Britain said that the actions that small businesses take to mitigate climate change can often be more hidden when compared to their larger counterparts.

“I think that small businesses are doing a lot of things every day, on the ground, bit by bit in their business, to move the business forward and to consider sustainability.”

She added that movement from big businesses also encouraged smaller firms to change their practices.

“The carrot is doing it for both commercial and altruistic reasons. But the stick is, if you don’t do it, you’re going to be behind probably quite quickly. Because the world is moving fast on this now. There’ll be a tipping point.”

PA

Nicola Sturgeon calls for “hard commitments” to be made during final week of Cop26

20:49 , Celine Wadhera

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for “hard commitments” that will slash emissions and “keep 1.5 degrees alive” to be made during the final “tougher” week of the UN climate summit.

Government ‘will not hesitate’ to take action against water companies over raw sewage

21:08 , Celine Wadhera

The government “will not hesitate” to take enforcement action against water companies that fail to make “sufficient progress” on preventing raw sewage being dumped into watercourses, a minister has said.

Speaking in the House of Commons, environment minister Rebecca Pow said: “The frequency with which sewage is discharged from storm sewage overflows into our waters is absolutely unacceptable.”

The government is currently putting forward an amendment to “redraft” one that had been put forth in the Lords, which will put a “direct legal duty” on water companies to secure a “progressive reduction in the adverse impact of discharges from their storm overflows.”

Ms Pow added: “If we do not see sufficient progress from water companies, Ofwat and the Government will be able to take enforcement action and we will not hesitate to do this.

“And not only that, under the other provisions in this Bill, the OEP (Office for Environmental Protection) will be able to take enforcement action itself against the Environment Agency, or Ofwat, or indeed the Government, should it feel that any of us are not adequately discharging our duties.”

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