Cop26 Glasgow – news: Floods hit days before summit as India says net-zero targets are ‘no solution’

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Cop26 Glasgow – news: Floods hit days before summit as India says net-zero targets are ‘no solution’
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Rishi Sunak has announced in the budget that the government will continue to freeze fuel duty, a policy that has made it increasingly cheaper to drive compared to more environmentally sustainable alternatives.

The announcement has prompted anger from activists, with Green MP Caroline Lucas warning that the chancellor did not “get the memo on the climate emergency”.

The Prince of Wales will deliver the opening address at the Cop26 UN climate change summit, Clarence House has announced.

Charles, who delivered the opening speech at Cop21 in Paris in 2015, will speak to delegates gathered in Glasgow for the opening ceremony on Monday hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

It comes only days before the Cop26 summit is due to start where nations will gather to discuss climate change solutions. The chancellor also cut taxes on domestic flights, making journeys within the UK cheaper.

Read More

Budget: Rishi Sunak makes flights cheaper despite warning to cut UK’s air travel demand

Insulate Britain protesters have ink thrown over them by furious drivers as they block roads

Six things to look out for at Cop26 – and why the climate summit matters

Key Points

  • Queen pulls out of Cop26

  • Insulate Britain resumes protests on major London roads

  • Prince Charles to deliver opening address at Cop26

  • Greta Thunberg to join Glasgow strike

  • Putin expresses ‘regret’ he can’t make Cop26 during call with PM

  • Greenpeace chief warns of 'greenwashing' at UN climate talks

  • Archbishop of Canterbury urges world leaders to ‘be bolder’ at Cop26

  • World heading for catastrophe without bolder climate plans, UN warns

$1bn plan to save critical Congo Basin forest could allow more logging, leaked documents reveal

10:50 , Matt Mathers

A $1bn plan backed by the UK and EU to protect the world’s second-largest rainforest could allow for more industrial logging that it is feared will wipe out the forest within decades, according to leaked documents seen by The Independent.

Our New York-based senior climate correspondent Louise Boyle reports:

Leak reveals $1bn plan to save critical forest could allow more logging

Attenborough: Use Montreal protocol as template for success at Cop26

10:35 , Matt Mathers

In a speech on the polar research ship named after him, Sir David Attenborough called on world leaders meeting for the Cop26 climate talks to listen to the science.

The RSS Sir David Attenborough is moored in London ahead of its first Antarctic mission later this year.

He pointed to how quickly world leaders acted in response to evidence from British scientists in the 1980s of the damage to the ozone layer, agreeing the Montreal Protocol to phase out CFCs just two years later.

He said: “We all know the magnitude of the dangers facing us in the immediate future.

“Would it not be marvellous to suppose that as a consequence of our discoveries, and science’s discoveries, the nations of the world joined together and actually did something in this coming Cop?” he said.

He said he hoped and prayed that the conference took action and that nations get together and listen to the science of what has to be done if the world was not to be overcome by climate change.

He said he was very proud and could think of no greater compliment than to be associated with the vessel.

In a speech on the polar research ship named after him, Sir David Attenborough called on world leaders meeting for the Cop26 climate talks to listen to the science.

Labour slams Sunak’s ‘astonishing’ move to cut air passenger duty

10:19 , Matt Mathers

Labour has slammed chancellor Rishi Sunak’s move to slash air passenger duty ahead of the crucial Cop26 climate summit.

Analsysts said the policy, which cuts the cost of domestic flights, encourages air travel over rail journeys at a time when emissions need to be cut.

Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, described the move as “astonishing”.

She told BBC Radio 4 Today: “We wouldn’t have gone ahead with that cut. “I find it astonishing that, the week before Cop26, where we are supposed to be showing global leadership, we have cut air passenger duty on domestic flights.

“We should be encouraging people to use our train network for those journeys.”

Make green the ‘easy choice’ to tackle climate change, government’s chief scientific adviser says

10:01 , Matt Mathers

Governments around the world need to invest more in technology to make green choices easier and cheaper for consumers, a top scientific adviser has said.

Patrick Vallance, Boris Johnson's chief scientific adviser - who has played a leading role in Britain's Covid response - said building capacity for "research and development" is key.

"We need collaboration internationally across science to make sure that we get innovation across the world accessible, and we need to build capacity for research and development in those countries which need it in order to get to the solution," he told BBC Breakfast.

Encouraging people to cycle rather than drive will help to reduce emissions, he added.

Asked about the Budget incentive to encourage flying around the UK and whether it sent the wrong message, Sir Patrick said his scientific advice is that "all of us taking some action to reduce flying would be a beneficial thing" and there is a need to get to a sustainable way of flying.

Sign up to The Independent’s free Cop26 UN climate summit daily briefing newsletter

09:45 , Stuti Mishra

Cop26, the 2021 United Nations climate change conference, is nearly upon us and the urgency of the business in hand is being felt like never before.

Here at The Independent, we are offering you an exclusive way to receive a daily news bulletin direct from our correspondents on the ground at the summit.

Our team of dedicated environment and climate reporters will be compiling a newsletter on a daily basis and it will be sent out each evening of the summit bringing all the latest headlines from that day’s events.

The daily briefing will bring you up to speed on what has been discussed, what has been agreed, exclusive interviews our team will carry out with the delegates and others, as well as a behind the scenes view and analysis from the latest 24 hours in Glasgow.

To sign up for our climate newsletter and the Cop26 special editions click here

How Cop26 summit will affect travel in Glasgow

09:12 , Stuti Mishra

More than 25,000 delegates are set to descend on Glasgow in less than two weeks when the Cop26 climate summit which was delayed by Covid-19 finally begins.

Hosted by the UK under the presidency of former business secretary Alok Sharma and in partnership with Italy, the summit at the city’s Scottish Event Campus (SEC) will bring together the biggest gathering of world leaders ever assembled on British soil.

The conference will run for 12 days, from Sunday 31 October to Friday 12 November.

Transport Scotland has warned that the scale of the event “is unprecedented in terms of impact on the transport network”.Joe Sommerlad reports

Floods hit Glasgow days before Cop26

08:37 , Stuti Mishra

Torrential rain has caused flooding in west Scotland as downpour causes water-logging in Glasgow, with just three days to go for the crucial Cop26 summit.

Videos and photos posted on social media show roads inundated in water triggering a traffic jam, while the rail network has already been affected.

Earlier, the Met Office had warned of life-threatening flooding as it issued amber weather warnings for rain in north-west England and south-west Scotland.

What has changed since Cop25?

07:30 , Stuti Mishra

Remember Cop25? If so, it’s probably not for the right reasons. The last UN climate summit, held in Madrid in 2019, was characterised by squabbles among major polluting nations and ultimately a disappointing lack of action.

Now on the cusp of Cop26 in Glasgow – postponed for a year due the Covid pandemic – there is an even narrower window to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, designed to curb even greater climate extremes.

Countries must commit to dramatically reduce their planet-heating emissions to keep global temperature rise to an increasingly ambitious 1.5C since pre-industrial times, or “well below” 2C. Currently, the world has heated about 1.1C.

Pre-Paris deal, the world was heading for temperature rise close to 4C, and while this has dropped, it is still tracking to hit more than 3C this century. The World Meteorological Organisation reported on Monday that greenhouse gas concentrations hit a record high last year, and increased at a faster rate than the annual average for the last decade, despite a temporary reduction during Covid lockdowns.

The Independent’s Senior Climate Correspondent Louise Boyle explains how much progress has been made since the last UN climate summit.

How much progress has been made since Cop25 and how far do we have to go?

Full schedule for this year’s Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow

07:00 , Stuti Mishra

Cop26, the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties will finally commence in Glasgow, Scotland, at the end of October, a year after it was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hosted by the UK under the presidency of former business secretary Alok Sharma and in partnership with Italy, the summit at the city’s SEC Centre will bring together the biggest gathering of world leaders ever assembled on British soil over the course of its 12-day run from Sunday 31 October to Friday 12 November.

Boris Johnson, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon and US president Joe Biden will be among the visiting dignitaries, as will Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg, the world’s two most famous climate activists, despite the latter criticising the event and expressing pessimism about its chances of achieving meaningful change.

The 197 signatories, or “parties”, to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will all be represented in Glasgow, along with tens of thousands of negotiators, government officials, businesses and activists, all hoping to make their voices heard and see a comprehensive plan drawn up to realise the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement and avert the global climate catastrophe our planet faces.

Here’s the official schedule for Cop26 and which topics will be up for discussion on which days.

Full schedule for this year’s Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow

Things to look for at Cop26

06:30 , Stuti Mishra

Glasgow is set to become the focus of the world’s attention this weekend, as the long-awaited climate summit Cop26 finally opens.

The two-week event is the latest international meeting aiming to rapidly bring down the emissions from the burning of greenhouse gases which are heating up our planet.

The UN has billed the summit as a “crucial” opportunity for countries to avoid the worst impacts of a warming world, including catastrophic sea-level rises and extreme weather and food shortages. The “conference of the parties” has been described as the “last chance saloon” to plan and take action within an effective time frame.

Almost 200 world leaders, along with 20,000 delegates and tens of thousands of campaigners and protesters are set to descend on Glasgow, in a major effort to chart a more sustainable future for our species.

As the UN warns the world is ‘heading for catastrophe’, Harry Cockburn tells you how to keep an eye on what matters at the ‘last chance’ Glasgow conference.

Net-zero goals aren’t the solution, says India before COP26

05:56 , Stuti Mishra

A carbon neutrality goal isn’t the solution to climate change and developed countries should acknowledge their historic responsibility, India s federal environment minister said ahead of the Cop26 summit starting this Sunday.

Bhupendra Yadav, who will be attending the UN summit along with prime minister Narendra Modi, said on Wednesday that India managed to achieve its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) ahead of time and without any major financial help from the developed nations.

However, climate finance remains an important issue that Cop26 should try and address, the minister added.

India as the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases is under increased pressure to announce net-zero goals. However, top officials said India has historically contributed to only 4 per cent of total emissions since the 1850s.

Environment secretary RP Gupta told reporters, instead of net-zero “it is how much carbon you are going to put in the atmosphere before reaching net-zero that is more important.”

Boris Johnson impersonator sets fire to boat

05:25 , Stuti Mishra

A climate campaigner from the organisation Ocean Rebellion dressed as Boris Johnson and set fire to a boat in Glasgow to protest against the use of fossil fuels.

The protester, part of the Extinction Rebellion affiliated group, wore a false head designed to look like the prime minister while setting light to the prop with the words “Your Children’s Future” outside the Cop26 venue.

The campaigners, including an “Oilhead” character with a petrol can mask, also burned stacks of fake money during the protest on the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow, opposite the site of the upcoming Cop26 conference.

Boris Johnson impersonator in Glasgow sets fire to boat to protest fossil fuel use

Biden likely to head to Cop26 without a final US climate deal, report says

04:49 , Stuti Mishra

US president Joe Biden may have to go to the Cop26 summit without an agreement on his climate action bill, Reuters news agency reported.

Mr Biden’s $1.5 trillion-$2 trillion spending plan to control climate change and expand health and safety net programs has remained mired in intraparty squabbles on Wednesday, as did a linked $1 trillion infrastructure bill that also includes climate-related measures.

While the president was hoping to secure the backing on the bill before heading for the international climate summit, a key Democrat told the news agency that time has simply run out for anything to be finalised before his departure.

04:30 , Stuti Mishra

Good morning

04:28 , Stuti Mishra

Hello and welcome to The Independent’s coverage of all things Cop26.

Follow for the latest climate updates.

Kenyan president and Lord Lebedev to convene Cop26 event on Africa’s crucial role in tackling climate crisis

Wednesday 27 October 2021 16:20 , Thomas Kingsley

The global importance of protecting Africa’s carbon-rich natural landscapes will be centre stage at the United Nations Cop26 climate summit next week at an event being co-staged by The Independent.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Evgeny Lebedev are convening the high-level event to discuss how private and public sector investment in these crucial carbon sinks is vital to combatting the climate crisis.

The event will be live-streamed by The Independent on Independent TV.

See the full story below:

Kenyan president and Lord Lebedev to convene Cop26 event on tackling climate crisis

Time running out to avoid rail strikes during Cop26, union warns

Wednesday 27 October 2021 15:59 , Thomas Kingsley

Transport bosses have been told they need to “put pay justice on the agenda” if they want to prevent rail strikes during the global Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow.

With world leaders heading to Scotland for the crucial climate talks, members of the RMT union are threatening to strike for the duration of the summit.

Other unions have accepted the deal on the table, but Scotland's transport minister Graeme Dey has warned he is “not optimistic” of a resolution being reached with the RMT ahead of the deadline set for 5pm on Wednesday.

Speaking at Holyrood on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Dey accused the RMT of changing its counter-proposals, and said: “Multiple times over recent weeks, we have been led directly and publicly to believe that there was a possible resolution of this dispute.

“This government and ScotRail reached out on all occasions, only to find the goalposts moved.

“It has been very difficult to establish trust in this process.”

In response, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “This inflammatory language helps no one. We are not going to indulge in digging deeper trenches when there is ample time to resolve these disputes if we get talks back on.

“We are ready and waiting to get back round the table and Mr Dey should be focusing his efforts on making that happen.”

Additional reporting by PA

Prince Charles to deliver opening address at Cop26

Wednesday 27 October 2021 15:36 , Thomas Kingsley

The Prince of Wales will deliver the opening address at the Cop26 UN climate change summit, Clarence House has announced.

Charles, who delivered the opening speech at Cop21 in Paris in 2015, will speak to delegates gathered in Glasgow for the opening ceremony on Monday hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

It comes as Buckingham Palace announced earlier this week that the Queen would miss the summit following doctors’ advice to rest.

Prince Charles has warned that climate change is the
Prince Charles has warned that climate change is the

Ed Miliban challenges Boris Johnson over Cop26 ambitions on PMQs return

Wednesday 27 October 2021 15:15 , Thomas Kingsley

Ed Miliban returned to PMQs today challenging Boris Johnson to offer more than "climate delay" at Cop26.

Shadow energy secretary Mr Miliband was a late replacement for Sir Keir Starmer, who was required to isolate after testing positive for Covid-19.

As he rose to his feet to heckles from the Conservative benches, Mr Miliband - who stepped down as Labour leader in 2015 - said: "Just like the old days."

He said Mr Johnson had undermined his own Cop presidency by “saying one thing and doing another” after highlighting a lack of commitment to the climate in trade deals and telling others to abandon fossil fuels while not doing so as a government.

Mr Johnson highlighted his talks with world leaders ahead of the summit, adding: “It's still too early to say whether it will succeed. It's in the balance.”

Mr Miliband countered: “The thing the Prime Minister has underestimated throughout these last two years is Cop26 is not a glorified photo opportunity - it's a fragile, complex negotiation.”

Mr Miliband is standing in for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer who has tested positive for Covid-19. (PA)
Mr Miliband is standing in for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer who has tested positive for Covid-19. (PA)

Protest events are biggest Covid ‘concern’ at Cop26

Wednesday 27 October 2021 15:05 , Thomas Kingsley

The spread of coronavirus by activists around the Cop26 summit is a “concern,” a public health expert has said.

Professor Linda Bauld said safety measures were in place at the summit itself, but other gatherings posed a greater risk.

It’s estimated that 100,000 people - including Greta Thunberg - will take part in climate protests during the summit.

"If things tip one way or the other, behaviour or waning vaccine immunity, concerns about COP - these are all in the mix - it could go above 1.0 again and that's a situation we don't want to be in," Professor Bauld told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme.

 (PA)
(PA)

Squid Game discussed more than climate change in run up to Cop26

Wednesday 27 October 2021 14:45 , Thomas Kingsley

Korean Netflix series Squid Game has been discussed online 10 times more than Cop26 in the past 30 days, a study has found.

The study by software company Brandwatch, found that on more than 5.2 million data points, the dystopian thriller was more talked about than the climate summit which has been labelled the world’s “last best hope” to address accelerating issues of climate change.

Squid Game continues to dominate conversation (Netflix / Squid Game)
Squid Game continues to dominate conversation (Netflix / Squid Game)

Rishi Sunak makes flights cheaper despite warning to cut UK’s air travel demand

Wednesday 27 October 2021 14:20 , Thomas Kingsley

The government will cut taxes on domestic flights to make it cheaper to fly within the UK, Rishi Sunak has announced.

In a budget delivered just days before the UK hosts the Cop26 UN climate conference in Glasgow the chancellor said he wanted to make internal air travel cheaper to “cut the cost of living”.

And he also announced that the government will continue to freeze fuel duty, a policy that has made it increasingly cheaper to drive compared to more environmentally sustainable alternatives.

Our policy correspondent Jon Stone has the full story below:

Rishi Sunak cuts taxes on domestic flights days before Cop26 climate summit

Climate activists occupy Science Museum overnight in protest

Wednesday 27 October 2021 14:00 , Thomas Kingsley

A group of 30 environmental activists spent Tuesday night camped out in the Science Museum in South Kensington, central London, after occupying the institution to protest against it accepting money from businesses with ties to fossil fuel extraction.

Activists from the London branch of UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN) spent 18 hours in the museum.

UKSCN occupied the exhibition centre’s lobby for where their sit-in beginning around 5.40pm on Tuesday evening and seeing participants stage a candlelit vigil for “the victims of the museum’s fossil fuel sponsors: Shell, BP, Equinor and Adani”.

Our reporter Joe Sommerlad has the full report:

Climate activists occupy Science Museum overnight in protest against sponsors

Billie Eilish and Rainn Wilson call for urgent climate action from world leaders ahead of Cop26

Wednesday 27 October 2021 13:36 , Thomas Kingsley

Billie Eilish and Rainn Wilson have joined forces with scientists from Arctic Basecamp, calling on world leaders to take urgent action at the United Nations Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow next week.

“This year, our leaders are deciding the global actions required on the environment and climate emergency in a critical decade for our planet,” 19-year-old Billie Eilish says in a video message posted by the University of Exeter’s official Twitter handle.

Mr Wilson added: “Courage. That’s what our world’s leaders need more than anything.”

“We need to act with urgency. We need to half emissions by 2030. World leaders, are you up for it? I am! Let’s try and do the impossible.”

Our reporter Peony Hirwani has the full report below:

Billie Eilish and Rainn Wilson call for ‘urgent action’ amid climate crisis

What does Cop26 stand for and why does it matter?

Wednesday 27 October 2021 13:15 , Thomas Kingsley

What is Cop26?

Cop stands for conference of the parties under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This year is the 26th iteration of the annual meeting.

The 197 signatories, or “parties”, to the UNFCCC will all be represented in Glasgow, along with tens of thousands of negotiators, government officials, businesses and activists, all hoping to make their voices heard and see a comprehensive plan drawn up to realise the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement and avert the global climate catastrophe our planet faces.

Our reporter Joe Sommerlad has the full story below:

What does Cop26 stand for and why does it matter?

Will China’s Xi Jinping attend Cop26?

Wednesday 27 October 2021 13:00 , Thomas Kingsley

While the importance of the summit has been heavily hyped and expectation is high that a generation-defining agreement will be signed to rein in greenhouse gas emissions and put the brake on the pace of global heating in line with the goals of the 2015 Paris accord, there is currently a good deal of uncertainty surrounding precisely who will be attending.

Chinese premier Xi Jinping is still yet to confirm if he will attend the summit.

“We still need to wait for the information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and only after they make an announcement will we tell you,” veteran climate envoy Xie Zhenhua told Reuters on 19 October when asked whether Mr Xi would be attending.

Our reporter Joe Sommerlad has the full story below:

Will China’s Xi Jinping attend Cop26?

Why are activists calling for Cop26 to be cancelled?

Wednesday 27 October 2021 12:40 , Thomas Kingsley

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who sensationally became the face of the international conservation movement through her Fridays for Future school strikes, has poured scorn on the conference’s prospects of realising meaningful change through cooperation between world governments.

Asked whether she was in optimistic mood ahead of Cop26 during a recent interview with The Guardian, Ms Thunberg answered: “I am not. Nothing has changed from previous years really. The leaders will say we’ll do this and we’ll do this, and we will put our forces together and achieve this, and then they will do nothing. Maybe some symbolic things and creative accounting and things that don’t really have a big impact. We can have as many Cops as we want, but nothing real will come out of it.”

Our reporter Joe Sommerlad has the full report below:

Why are activists calling for Cop26 to be cancelled?

How climate change summit will affect travel in Glasgow

Wednesday 27 October 2021 12:20 , Thomas Kingsley

With thousands of people set to arrive in the city for the summit at the end of October, Transport Scotland has warned that the scale of the event “is unprecedented in terms of impact on the transport network”.

A huge logistical undertaking, Cop26 will see 140 heads of state including Boris Johnson, US president Joe Biden, French president Emmanuel Macron, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro descend on Glasgow.

To accommodate a conference of this magnitude, organisers in Glasgow have had to plan carefully to mitigate the disruption, with the first road closures coming into effect a full week before Cop26 kicks off, running from Saturday 23 October until Monday 15 November.

Our reporter Joe Sommerlad has the full report below:

How Cop26 road closures will affect travel in Glasgow

Glasgow strikers support Greta Thunberg climate protest

Wednesday 27 October 2021 12:08 , Thomas Kingsley

GMB, the union representing thousands of striking cleaning and refuse staff in Glasgow said they will be joining Greta Thunberg in a climate strike on Friday, 5 November.

In a video posted on Twitter, GMB head Chris Mitchell said: “Camaraderie and solidarity to all school strikers marching with @FFF_Glasgow (Fridays for Future).

“We’d like to say thank you and extend a warm Glasgow welcome to Greta Thunberg.”

250,000 UK babies a year born in toxic air hotspots, study finds

Wednesday 27 October 2021 11:51 , Thomas Kingsley

A quarter of a million UK babies a year are born in toxic air hotspots that can harm their lungs, data released before the vital UN climate conference show.

Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation say the figures reveal the “national shame of children’s health blighted from birth by air pollution”.

Sarah Woolnough, CEO of both charities said: “How can it be acceptable that the first breath a baby takes could be so dirty it could seriously affect their long-term health?

“The government must blaze a trail, not just at Cop26 but beyond, to bring in bold new clean air laws and set ambitious targets to clean up the air by 2030.”

Our reporter Rory Sullivan has the full story below:

Baby born into toxic air every 2 minutes in UK, study shows

Full schedule for this year’s UN climate conference in Glasgow

Wednesday 27 October 2021 11:39 , Thomas Kingsley

Cop26 will be hosted by former business secretary Alok Sharma and in partnership with Italy. Held at the Glasgow’s SEC Centre, thousands of delegates will be at the 12-day event.

Boris Johnson, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon and US president Joe Biden will be among the visiting dignitaries, as will Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg, the world’s two most famous climate activists, despite the latter criticising the event and expressing pessimism about its chances of achieving meaningful change.

Our reporter Joe Sommerlad has the full story:

Full schedule for this year’s Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow

Police arrest 17 Insulate Britain protesters along major London road

Wednesday 27 October 2021 11:20 , Thomas Kingsley

The Metropolitan Police has said it has arrested 17 Insulate Britain activists blocking the A40 junction with Gypsy Lane in North Acton.

Police said six of the protesters had glued themselves to the ground and specialist units were deployed to remove them.

How much progress has there been since the last climate summit?

Wednesday 27 October 2021 11:10 , Thomas Kingsley

The last UN climate summit, held in Madrid in 2019, was characterised by squabbles among major polluting nations and ultimately a disappointing lack of action.

Now on the cusp of Cop26 in Glasgow – postponed for a year due to the Covid pandemic – there is an even narrower window to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, designed to curb even greater climate extremes.

Countries must commit dramatically to reduce their planet-heating emissions to keep global temperature rise to an increasingly ambitious 1.5C since pre-industrial times, or “well below” 2C. Currently, the world has heated about 1.1C.

Our climate correspondent Louise Boyle has the full story below:

How much progress has been made since Cop25 and how far do we have to go?

Government needs to do more to reduce the demand for flying, advisers have said

Wednesday 27 October 2021 10:57 , Holly Bancroft

Government climate advisers have criticised Boris Johnson’s strategy for cutting emissions to net zero for not including measures to reduce demand for flying.

The Climate Change Committee said the programme was a major step forward, but criticised the strategy for leaving out measures to limit growth in the aviation sector or encouraging people to eat less meat.

My colleague Adam Forrest has a write-up of their recommendations.

UK government must make people fly less, say climate advisers

Six things to look out for at Cop26

Wednesday 27 October 2021 10:50 , Thomas Kingsley

The two-week climate summit is the latest international meeting aiming to rapidly bring down the emissions from the burning of greenhouse gases which are heating up the planet.

The summit follows a year of extreme weather around the world, in which storms and heatwaves have driven widespread flooding and wildfires across Africa, Europe, America, Asia and Australia.

So what could we expect to see at Cop26? Our correspondent Harry Cockburn has the full story below:

Six things to look out for at Cop26 – and why the climate summit matters

New research reveals 9 in 10 Brits don’t know what Cop26 is

Wednesday 27 October 2021 10:34 , Thomas Kingsley

New research by energy company E.ON has found that 90 per cent of Britons don’t know what Cop26 is while 80 per cent are left confused, demotivated or indifferent about climate action because of “carbon jargon.”

Commenting on the research, Michael Lewis, CEO of E.ON UK, said: “Knowing more is often the key to doing more – especially when asking people to make changes to their homes and their lifestyles in order to help combat the climate crisis. We need to make this something people want to do, as well as something they need to do, and this includes simplifying the language we use so people can properly understand the benefits of a cleaner, greener lifestyle.”

Cop26 is only days away (EPA)
Cop26 is only days away (EPA)

UN launches PR campaign with ‘talking dinosaur’ urging faster climate action

Wednesday 27 October 2021 10:13 , Holly Bancroft

A talking dinosaur has become the star of a new UN PR campaign to urge more climate action from world leaders.

In a short publicity film, made by the United Nations Development Programme, the talking CGI dinosaur tells an audience of diplomats and dignitaries that “it’s time humans stopped making excuses and started making changes” to address the climate crisis.

The campaign is the first film to be made inside the UN general assembly using computer-generated imagery and includes famous actors voicing the dinosaur in different languages.

School of Rock star, Jack Black, tells viewers in English that “at least we had an asteroid. What’s your excuse?”

Watch the video here:

Don't Choose Extinction

What is Insulate Britain and what are protest group’s goals?

Wednesday 27 October 2021 10:13 , Thomas Kingsley

Environmental activist group Insulate Britain, resumed its series of roadblock protests earlier this week after a 10-day break. The group brought the financial district to a standstill on Monday and have today begun protests blocking the A40.

Insulate Britain has become infamous for its “campaign of civil resistance” in recent months, which has seen its members blockade busy roads in and around the capital, from the M25 to Old Street roundabout, the Blackwall Tunnel and Wandsworth Bridge, to draw attention to perceived inaction and insincerity on green issues from Boris Johnson’s Cabinet.

But what is the movement behind weeks of traffic disruptions?

Our reporter Joe Sommerlad has the full story below:

What is Insulate Britain and what are protest group’s goals?

More people than ever before worried humans are ruining the planet, global study finds

Wednesday 27 October 2021 10:00 , Thomas Kingsley

A six-year global study has found that more people across the world are increasingly concerned about the climate.

Over the past six years, more than 181,000 people in 20 countries have been asked about the climate crisis in the largest study of its kind.

It comes days away from the start of Cop26. The findings reveal some 78 per cent of people worry about human-driven damage to the planet – up from 71 per cent in 2014.

Our climate correspondent Louise Boyle has the full report below:

More people than ever before worried humans are ruining the planet

Climate campaigners Insulate Britain block two major roads in London

Wednesday 27 October 2021 09:28 , Holly Bancroft

Insulate Britain have continued their campaign of disruption by blocking two major roads in London on Wednesday morning.

The climate group obstructed the A40 in West London and a roundabout in Dartford to urge the government to better insulate homes.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “The Met is aware of Insulate Britain activists blocking the road at the A40 junction with Gypsy Lane in North Acton.

“Officers were promptly on the scene. Traffic has had to be diverted for the safety of all. We’ll share updates soon.”

The protests come just a day after another injunction was granted against Insulate Britain covering the “entire strategic road network”.

My colleague Furvah Shah has the latest on the protest here.

Insulate Britain protesters block major London road

Poorer countries spend five times more on debt payments than climate change, report says

Wednesday 27 October 2021 09:22 , Holly Bancroft

Lower income countries are spending five times more on servicing their debt than they are on coping with climate change, analysis from an anti poverty charity has found.

The Jubilee Debt Campaign estimated that 34 of the world’s poorest countries are spending £21.4bn on debt payments each year, compared to £3.9bn on reducing the impact of the climate crisis, according to figures published in The Guardian.

Heidi Chow, executive director of the Jubilee Debt Campaign, said that some of these countries will be raising the issue at the Cop26 conference this weekend.

She said: “Lower income countries are handing over billions of dollars in debt repayments to rich countries, banks and international financial institutions at a time when resources are desperately needed to fight the climate crisis.

“In Glasgow, wealthy polluting nations need to stop shirking their responsibilities and provide climate finance through grants, as well as cancel debts.”

Youth climate activists ‘occupy’ the Science Museum overnight

Wednesday 27 October 2021 08:20 , Holly Bancroft

Young climate activists spent the night in the Science Museum in protest at its sponsorship deals with fossil fuel companies.

The London branch of the UK Student Climate Network held a candlelit vigil at the museum on Tuesday evening and posted photos of the encampment on social media on Wednesday morning.

The vigil was for “the victims of the museum’s fossil fuel sponsors: Shell, BP, Equinor and Adani”. Around 30 students were involved in the protest and The Evening Standard reported that the activists were locked in overnight.

A beginner’s guide to investing for climate

Wednesday 27 October 2021 07:01 , Stuti Mishra

With Cop26 pushing from stricter climate agenda, countries will be focusing on curbs for heavy carbon emissions and there will be increased scrutiny for industries that have been heavy polluters.

However, there are many companies that have adopted sustainable ways and are working towards green technology. Experts say there are many more that can benefit from environmental themes.

But what can investors do to support the various industries and companies that are involved in creating a more sustainable planet?

Here Rob Griffin asks the experts to highlight the various sectors, stocks and funds that could be worth considering.

Cop26: How to put your money where your mouth is

Can Cop26 find a consensus between developed and developing countries?

Wednesday 27 October 2021 06:30 , Stuti Mishra

One of the key aspects in Cop26 discussions will be the issue of climate financing. Developing countries like India have long maintained that climate action should be funded by developed countries.

However, there’s growing consensus that more ambitious pledges need to be undertaken in order to keep climate change under 2C.

Here Daisy Dunne explores whether wealthier countries, that got rich by burning fossil fuels, have a responsibility to compensate those at the forefront of the crisis.

Paying for pollution: The case for climate reparations

Road closures and new electric buses, how Glasgow is bracing up to welcome world leaders

Wednesday 27 October 2021 06:01 , Stuti Mishra

Leaders and delegates of 197 countries with their bustling entourage of advisers, envoys and security personnel will be arriving at the Scottish city of Glasgow over the 13 days of the Cop26 summit.

Along with the estimated 25,000 people, a host of environmental activists and protesters are also expected to be in the city.

How will the climate summit affect the roads and transport in the city?

Joe Sommerland reports

How Cop26 road closures will affect travel in Glasgow

First look of Cop26 conference centre

Wednesday 27 October 2021 05:25 , Stuti Mishra

The first pictures of the Cop26 conference centre which is set to welcome the participants from 197 countries on Sunday were shared by UNFCCC’s deputy executive secretary Ovais Sarmad on Twitter.

Referring to the summit as “unprecedented & historic,” Mr Sarmad wrote safety and hygiene will be given high priority at the venue.

Covid restrictions still a challenge for COP26

Wednesday 27 October 2021 04:53 , Stuti Mishra

While the COP26 summit is already taking place after a gap of one year, the pandemic restrictions are still affecting the attendance of many countries, especially the ones more vulnerable to climate change.

Border closures, quarantine rules and high travel costs will see small island states and poorer nations sending smaller delegations, with some leaders unable to travel to the summit starting in Scotland on Sunday.

Click here to know which countries will be affected due to the restrictions:

Covid challenges ‘disadvantage’ smaller nations in COP26 climate talks

Good morning

Wednesday 27 October 2021 04:23 , Stuti Mishra

Hello and welcome to The Independent’s coverage of all things COP26.

Follow for the latest climate updates.

Queen pulls out of Cop26

Tuesday 26 October 2021 18:29 , Holly Bancroft

The Queen will not be attending the Cop26 climate summit, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

The 95-year-old monarch, who spent a night in hospital last week, was supposed to travel to Glasgow for an engagement on 1 November.

A Palace spokesperson said: “Her Majesty has regretfully decided that she will no longer travel to Glasgow to attend the evening reception of Cop26 on Monday, 1st November.

“Her Majesty is disappointed not to attend the reception but will deliver an address to the assembled delegates via a recorded video message.”

Here Joe Middleton has the latest details.

The Queen will not attend Cop26 summit in Glasgow next week

Will China’s Xi Jinping attend Cop26?

Tuesday 26 October 2021 18:05 , Joe Middleton

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (Cop26) will finally commence in Glasgow, Scotland, at the end of October, a year after it was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hosted by the UK under the presidency of former business secretary Alok Sharma and in partnership with Italy, the summit at the city’s SEC Centre will bring together the biggest gathering of world leaders ever assembled on British soil over the course of its 12-day run from Sunday 31 October to Friday 12 November.

While the importance of the summit has been heavily hyped and expectation is high that a generation-defining agreement will be signed to rein in greenhouse gas emissions and put the brake on the pace of global heating in line with the goals of the 2015 Paris accord, there is currently a good deal of uncertainty surrounding precisely who will be attending.

Without the enthusiastic cooperation of the influential leaders of some of the planet’s biggest polluting nations, anything agreed at Cop26 will ring decidedly hollow.

The worst blow to Boris Johnson’s ambitions for the gathering so far has been the Kremlin’s announcement that Russian president Vladimir Putin will not be attending.

But perhaps the greatest concern of all though is whether Chinese premier Xi Jinping will fly into Glasgow.

Joe Sommerlad reports.

Will China’s Xi Jinping attend Cop26?

Cop26: How much progress has been made since Cop25 and how far do we have to go?

Tuesday 26 October 2021 17:35 , Joe Middleton

Remember Cop25? If so, it’s probably not for the right reasons. The last UN climate summit, held in Madrid in 2019, was characterised by squabbles among major polluting nations and ultimately a disappointing lack of action.

Now on the cusp of Cop26 in Glasgow – postponed for a year due the Covid pandemic – there is an even narrower window to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, designed to curb even greater climate extremes.

The Independent’s senior climate correspondent Louis Boyle reports.

How much progress has been made since Cop25 and how far do we have to go?

EU and China climate tzars set to meet ahead of Cop26 summit

Tuesday 26 October 2021 17:05 , Joe Middleton

EU green policy chief Frans Timmermans will meet China’s top climate envoy Xie Zhenhua face-to-face for the first time on Wednesday ahead of the Cop26 summit.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is not expected to attend the climate talks and some campaigners are concerned that the world’s biggest CO2 producer does not plan on unveiling a new pledge at the United Nations event in Scotland.

But while Xi has not travelled outside China since before the pandemic, he has made three major climate announcements on the international stage, including a pledge at last month’s UN general assembly to stop funding coal plants abroad.

At their meeting scheduled to take place in London on Wednesday, Xie and Timmermans will “go through the latest developments and see where we all stand in these last few days before the Cop26 officially begins,” an EU official said.

The 27 countries of the EU were among 143 to increase their climate pledges this year, out of the nearly 200 that signed the Paris accord. The EU has committed, in law, to cut net emissions at least 55% from 1990 levels by 2030 and hit net zero by 2050.

China is among the major emitters that has yet to submit a new climate target. It has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2060 and stop increasing its emissions before 2030, although it has not pinned down a date by which its emissions will peak.

Additional reporting by Reuters

UN secretary general Antonio Guterres bemoans ‘leadership gap’ ahead of Cop26 climate talks

Tuesday 26 October 2021 16:44 , Joe Middleton

UN secretary general Antonio Guterres has lamented a “leadership gap” ahead of Cop26 climate talks and said that plans by countries to cut emissions over the next decade left the world on track for a “catastrophic global temperature rise” of 2.7C.

Even with new announcements in the last few days from countries pledging net zero targets ahead of Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow, the world would still see more than 2C of long-term warming, he said.

“We know that humanity’s future depends on keeping global temperature increase to 1.5C by 2030,” he told a press conference on a UN report on the “emissions gap” between action needed to limit temperature rises to globally-agreed goals under the Paris Agreement and what countries have pledged.

“We also know that, so far, parties to the Paris Agreement are utterly failing to keep this target within reach.”

He warned: “The clock is ticking. The emissions gap is the result of a leadership gap.

“But leaders can still make this a turning point to a greener future instead of a tipping point to climate catastrophe.

“The era of half measures and hollow promises must end. The time for closing the leadership gap must begin in Glasgow.”

Additional reporting by PA

SNP transport minister should resign if rail strikes go ahead during Cop26 - Scottish Lib Dems

Tuesday 26 October 2021 16:30 , Joe Middleton

Transport minister Graeme Dey should resign if rail strikes go ahead during Cop26, the Scottish Lib Dems have said.

The RMT union is the final holdout in the action, which is set to disrupt the historic summit coming to Glasgow in less than a week.

Up to 30,000 people will descend on Scotland’s largest city over a two-week period and the strikes would hinder their ability to commute to and from the conference hall.

Mr Dey said on Tuesday he was “not optimistic” of a resolution by the deadline, set for 5pm on Wednesday.

But union leaders described the offer as “pitiful”, claiming it came with conditions that could cost jobs.

Lib Dem transport spokeswoman Jill Reilly said: “We are talking about delegates from around the world being unable to attend the most important climate summit of all time.

“Hotels in Edinburgh and elsewhere are booked out for this conference but their guests are unsure if they will even be able to reach the venue.

“The travelling public have now had six months of reduced services on the railways, it’s not like this has come out of the blue.”

Ms Reilly went on to point to the resignation of former transport secretary Stewart Stevenson, after a failure to prepare for snow disrupted roads.

“A rail shutdown would be a failure of equal magnitude. If the trains don’t run smoothly and on time for the duration of Cop26, then Graeme Dey should resign.

“The eyes of the world will soon be on Scotland. Ministers need to stop grandstanding and hammer out a deal that gets the trains running.”

PA

Consumers can drive climate action – look at the success of Elon Musk’s Tesla

Tuesday 26 October 2021 16:14 , Joe Middleton

People are switching to electric cars, not because governments tell them to, but because they want to buy them, writes Hamish McRae.

Opinion: Consumers can drive climate action – look at the success of Tesla

Biden ‘will be on track’ to deliver climate deal at Cop26 in Glasgow

Tuesday 26 October 2021 16:00 , Joe Middleton

President Joe Biden will be “on track” to deliver on his promise to make the US a leader in fighting climate change when he arrives in Glasgow for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Tuesday.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

Biden ‘will be on track’ to deliver climate deal at Cop26 in Glasgow

Animal Rebellion activists climb Defra building

Tuesday 26 October 2021 15:44 , Joe Middleton

Climate activists in hard hats have scaled a government today and unfurled a banner demanding that countries attending the upcoming UN climate conference invest in plant-based alternatives to meat.

The activists from Animal Rebellion scaled the building which houses the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

The campaigners are an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, which has blocked traffic, disrupted public transport and set up encampments to gain attention and press for stronger action against climate change.

The climbers hung a large yellow banner reading “COP26: Invest in a plant-based future.”

The group said its protest will remain in place until Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledges to urge all world leaders to end meat and dairy subsidies at the upcoming COP26 summit next week in Scotland.

 (PA)
(PA)

Additional reporting by AP

Nicola Sturgeon: Cop26 ‘inevitably' poses risk of transmission of Covid-19

Tuesday 26 October 2021 15:23 , Joe Middleton

Nicola Sturgeon has said that Cop26 will “inevitably” pose a risk of transmission of Covid-19, but that the Scottish Government and UN is working hard to “mitigate” issues.

The First Minister said: “The hosting of Cop26 would always have been a significant challenge for the UK and Scottish governments and Glasgow City Council.

“However, the fact it is happening amidst the global pandemic makes it even more so.

“It is inevitably the case that it poses a risk of increased Covid transmission.

“I want to assure Parliament and the public, however, that the Scottish Government has been working closely with the United Nations and the UK Government to mitigate these risks as far as possible.”

Most delegates will be double vaccinated, those from outside the common travel area will have to show proof of a negative test and those on the red list will have to stay in managed quarantine.

Those in the blue zone will have to carry out daily lateral flow testing and follow hygiene mitigations.

Additional reporting by PA

World heading for catastrophe without bolder climate plans, UN warns

Tuesday 26 October 2021 14:54 , Tom Batchelor

The world is way off course from averting climate disaster, and countries’ new commitments to cutting greenhouse gas emissions – unveiled ahead of the Cop26 climate summit – “fall far short” of what is required to reach net zero by 2050, the UN has warned.

“We know that humanity’s future depends on keeping global temperature increase to 1.5C by 2030,” secretary general Antonio Guterres told a press conference on a UN report on the “emissions gap” between action needed to limit temperature rises to globally-agreed goals under the Paris Agreement and what countries have pledged.

“We also know that, so far, parties to the Paris Agreement are utterly failing to keep this target within reach.”

He warned: “The clock is ticking. The emissions gap is the result of a leadership gap.”

Read the full report below:

World heading for catastrophe without bolder climate plans, UN warns

More people than ever before worried humans are ruining the planet, study suggests

Tuesday 26 October 2021 14:45 , Tom Batchelor

Across the world, people of all ages, gender, educational and cultural backgrounds are overwhelmingly concerned about the climate crisis, research shared exclusively with The Independent shows.

Over the past six years more than 181,000 people in 20 countries have been asked about the climate crisis in the largest study of its kind.

On the cusp of the United Nations Cop26 summit, where global leaders must negotiate more meaningful and critical climate action, the findings reveal that an ever-growing number worry about the damage being done to the planet.

Read the findings here:

More people than ever before worried humans are ruining the planet

What does Cop26 stand for and why does it matter?

Tuesday 26 October 2021 14:20 , Eleanor Sly

Cop26 will finally commence in Glasgow, Scotland, at the end of October, a year on from its postponement because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hosted by the UK under the presidency of former business secretary Alok Sharma and in partnership with Italy, the summit at the city’s SEC Centre will bring together the biggest gathering of world leaders ever assembled on British soil over the course of its 12-day run from Sunday 31 October to Friday 12 November.

What is Cop26? Cop stands for conference of the parties under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This year is the 26th iteration of the annual meeting.

Joe Sommerlad explains below:

What does Cop26 stand for and why does it matter?

Australia announces plan to reach net-zero but controversially refuses to set short-term goals

Tuesday 26 October 2021 14:00 , Eleanor Sly

Australia has promised to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, joining a host of developed countries, as scrutiny increased on its massive fossil fuel sector.

The plan, announced by the government on Tuesday, comes a week before the UN’s Conference of Parties (COP26) summit, where there would have been increased pressure on the country to announce its long-awaited climate action plans.

Prime minister Scott Morrison had already said the country does not intend to put an end to its massive fossil fuel sector. The plan also does not include any emission reduction target for 2030.

Stuti Mishra has more:

Australia announces plan to reach net-zero but refuses to set short-term goals

UK’s Climate Change Committee says UK’s Net Zero Strategy ‘major step forward’

Tuesday 26 October 2021 13:35 , Eleanor Sly

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) has called the UK Government’s Net Zero Strategy a “major step forward” and a “strong example” to bring to the Cop26 climate summit.

Chris Stark, the CCC chief executive wrote: “It puts forward an achievable and affordable vision that will bring net benefits to the UK.

Adding: “The strategy makes big decisions: fully decarbonised electricity by 2035, phaseout of sales of fossil fuel cars by 2030 and [gas] boilers by 2035, and rapid electrification of transport, industry and heating.”

PM congratulates Australia on net zero target

Tuesday 26 October 2021 13:10 , Eleanor Sly

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has praised the news that Australia has committed to reaching net zero by 2050.

Taking to Twitter, he said that the country “joined a growing club” of countries committed to reaching net zero. He added that he was looking forward to welcoming Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison to Cop26 next week.

Who are environmental activist group Animal Rebellion?

Tuesday 26 October 2021 12:50 , Eleanor Sly

  1. So who are Animal Rebellion?

  2. What do they want?

  3. What protests have the group organised recently?

Holly Bancroft explains more here:

Who are environmental activist group Animal Rebellion?

Boris Johnson’s government must make people fly less, say climate advisers

Tuesday 26 October 2021 12:27 , Eleanor Sly

Boris Johnson’s strategy for cutting emissions to net zero is a major step forward – but will fail to reduce demand for flying, the government’s climate advisers have said.

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) said the strategy set out by Mr Johnson’s government last week had left some big gaps, including measures to reduce the number of flights.

The independent committee which advises UK ministers said the new strategy had “nothing to say” on limit the growth in aviation sector or encouraging diet changes away from meat – insisting these steps are crucial in cutting emissions.

Adam Forrest reports:

UK government must make people fly less, say climate advisers

David Attenborough says Britain has ‘moral responsibility’ to ‘act now’ on climate

Tuesday 26 October 2021 12:05 , Eleanor Sly

Sir David Attenborough has issued a warning ahead of Cop26 in Glasgow that leaders must act now or “it’ll be too late” for the planet.

The broadcaster said richer western countries such as the UK have a “moral responsibility” to help refugees displaced by climate change.

“Every month that passes, it becomes more and more incontrovertible, the changes to the planet that we are responsible for that are having these devastating effects,” he told the BBC.

David Attenborough says Britain has ‘moral responsibility’ to ‘act now’ on climate

Cop26 programme: Full schedule for this year’s UN climate conference in Glasgow

Tuesday 26 October 2021 11:35 , Eleanor Sly

Discover the full schedule for Cop26 below:

Full schedule for this year’s Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow

Who is going to Cop26? Putin snubs event in blow to climate talks

Tuesday 26 October 2021 11:19 , Eleanor Sly

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (Cop26) will finally commence in Glasgow, Scotland, at the end of October, a year after it was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hosted by the UK under the presidency of former business secretary Alok Sharma and in partnership with Italy, the summit at the city’s SEC Centre will bring together the biggest gathering of world leaders ever assembled on British soil over the course of its 12-day run from Sunday 31 October to Friday 12 November.

Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, prime minister Boris Johnson, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon and ex-Bank of England governor Mark Carney, a UN climate envoy and Cop26’s financial adviser, will all be there representing Britain, while Italian prime minister Mario Draghi and his environment minister Roberto Cingolani will appear for the co-hosts.

Joe Sommerlad reports:

Who is going to Cop26? Putin snubs event in blow to climate talks

Greta Thunberg: ‘Deeply shameful’ that climate finance delivery plan target missed

Tuesday 26 October 2021 10:55 , Eleanor Sly

Greta Thunberg has called the news that the new climate finance delivery plan target has been missed “deeply shameful.”

The 18-year-old climate activist wrote in a tweet: “They can’t even come up with the bare minimum. This is shameful. Deeply shameful.”

This was in reference to the news that the $100bn target for 2020 climate finance delivery has been missed.

‘All cities have rats’: Council leader defends Glasgow ahead of Cop26

Tuesday 26 October 2021 10:32 , Eleanor Sly

Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken has dismissed concerns about rubbish and rats after reports of street cleaners being bitten by the animals in the run-up to Cop26.

Appearing before the Scottish Affairs Committee on Monday, Councillor Aitken answered questions from MPs about the city’s preparations for the climate summit that will host as many as 30,000 delegates and thousands more activists.

Councillor Aitken told MPs that Glasgow was ready “with caveats”. She said they were technical hold-ups, none of which were “massive” or “enough to cause panic”.

Thomas Kingsley has more:

‘All cities have rats’: Council leader defends Glasgow ahead of Cop26

Sign up to The Independent’s free Cop26 UN climate summit daily briefing newsletter

Tuesday 26 October 2021 10:20 , Eleanor Sly

To sign up for our climate newsletter and the Cop26 special editions click here or enter your email address into the box at the top of the article.

Or see the full article here:

Sign up to The Independent’s free Cop26 daily briefing newsletter

Sir David Attenborough warns: ‘If we don’t act now, it’ll be too late’

Tuesday 26 October 2021 09:59 , Eleanor Sly

Sir David Attenborough is warning that we need to act now to tackle climate change before it becomes too late.

Speaking in an interview for his new series The Green Planet, which will be aired on BBC1 next year, Sir David said: "If we don’t act now, it’ll be too late."

He explained that the richest nations have “a moral responsibility” to help the poorest and said it would be “really catastrophic” if we were to ignore their problems.

He went on to add: "What climate scientists have been saying for 20 years, and that we have been reporting upon, you and I both, is the case - we were not causing false alarms.

"And every day that goes by in which we don’t do something about it is a day wasted. And things are being made worse.”

Some world leaders may not be coming to Cop26 – but it’s not all doom and gloom

Tuesday 26 October 2021 09:40 , Eleanor Sly

November in Glasgow was never going to be fun. But even the most callous pessimists didn’t predict the scale of gloom descending on the Scottish city as 20,000 government and business leaders arrive for the United Nation’s global climate summit next week.

Growing energy crises in Europe, China and India ahead of winter; leaders from major polluters such as China, Russia, Brazil, and Mexico boycotting; scientists warning of environmental devastation without urgent action; and President Biden’s signature climate legislation in tatters. Covid. All set the stage for what could be a major disappointment in a year that was supposed to mark the world’s collective turn toward a green energy revolution.

But looking past the drama of Boris Johnson’s big chance to set post-Brexit Britain’s place at the international table, investors see progress about to move decisively in the form of coordinated financial regulation to prevent the climate crisis from causing another global financial crisis.

David Callaway writes:

Opinion: Some leaders may not be coming to Cop26 – but it’s not all doom and gloom

Greta Thunberg to join Glasgow strike

Tuesday 26 October 2021 09:28 , Eleanor Sly

Climate activist Greta Thunberg has announced that she will be joining the 5 November climate strike in Glasgow, which is due to take place during COP26.

She tweeted: “Climate justice also means social justice and that we leave no one behind. So we invite everyone, especially the workers striking in Glasgow, to join us. See you there!”

Good morning

Tuesday 26 October 2021 09:25 , Eleanor Sly

Hello and welcome to The Independent’s coverage of all things COP26.

Follow for the latest climate updates.

That’s it for today...

Monday 25 October 2021 19:27 , Sam Hancock

That’s it from us on the Cop26 blog for today, thanks for following along.

Be sure to check The Independent’s climate homepage for all the latest news.

We’ll be back tomorrow morning with all the pre-Cop developments.

WaterAid: Late climate crisis fund could ‘derail Cop26’

Monday 25 October 2021 19:25 , Sam Hancock

Let’s get some expert commentary about the new rich countries will be three years late in putting together a long-promised $100bn (£72.6bn) climate crisis fund for poor nations.

Bernard Aryeetey, WaterAid’s global international affairs director, said

“This new plan is just an attempt to hide the fact that developed countries have failed to keep their promise and repay their deadly climate debt to the poorest nations in the world.

“Day in, day out, mothers and fathers are struggling to ensure their children have access to clean water, and to feed and clothe them, because of the devastating impacts of floods and droughts caused by climate change.

“They cannot wait two more years for world leaders to put their money where their mouths are.

“What’s more, the announcement threatens to derail Cop26 once and for all. Because why should developing countries trust in negotiations with richer nations who don’t keep their promises?”

Cop26 on brink as PM admits he’s ‘very worried’

Monday 25 October 2021 19:05 , Sam Hancock

Hopes for a breakthrough on tackling the climate crisis at Cop26 are fading after Boris Johnson admitted he is “very worried” the summit will fail and it was revealed poor nations will not receive the $100bn of help they were promised until 2023 – three years late.

With just six days until the crucial Glasgow gathering, the UN also released fresh alarming evidence that the world is “way off track” in curbing greenhouse gas emissions, reports our deputy political editor Rob Merrick.

“It will be very, very tough, this summit, and I’m very worried because it might go wrong and we might not get the agreements that we need,” the PM admitted to children in a Downing Street presser – while insisting it “can be done”.

Cop26 on brink as PM says he’s ‘very worried’ and climate fund deadline missed

Watch: Meeting on climate a decade ago ‘unthinkable,’ says UK rep

Monday 25 October 2021 18:50 , Sam Hancock

Opinion: ‘Some world leaders may not attend Cop26 – but that’s ok’

Monday 25 October 2021 18:30 , Sam Hancock

David Callaway, the founder of Callaway Climate Insights, writes about some of the world’s most powerful leaders not attending Cop26.

November in Glasgow was never going to be fun. But even the most callous pessimists didn’t predict the scale of gloom descending on the Scottish city as 20,000 government and business leaders arrive for the UN’s global climate summit next week.

Growing energy crises in Europe, China and India ahead of winter; leaders from major polluters such as China, Russia, Brazil, and Mexico boycotting; scientists warning of environmental devastation without urgent action; and President Biden’s signature climate legislation in tatters. Covid. All set the stage for what could be a major disappointment in a year that was supposed to mark the world’s collective turn toward a green energy revolution.

But looking past the drama of Boris Johnson’s big chance to set post-Brexit Britain’s place at the international table, investors see progress about to move decisively in the form of coordinated financial regulation to prevent the climate crisis from causing another global financial crisis.

Read David’s thinking in full here:

Opinon: Some leaders may not be coming to Cop26 – but it’s not all doom and gloom

Watch: PM admits to doubts about success of Cop26

Monday 25 October 2021 18:10 , Sam Hancock

UN tells world leaders to ‘redouble’ efforts after new report

Monday 25 October 2021 17:47 , Sam Hancock

National plans by countries to tackle the climate crisis leave the world on track for temperature rises of 2.7C, the UN has warned.

A report by the UN Climate Change body assessed all the national plans that have been put forward by countries to cut emissions over the next decade as part of efforts to meet international targets to curb dangerous warming.

Published in the run up to Cop26, it confirms that countries are nowhere near what the science says the world needs to be to limit rising temperatures to globally-agreed goals.

UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa urged countries to redouble their climate efforts or face a “destabilised world and endless suffering” as a result of the crisis.

Concerns as MPs vote against amendment to stop sewage dumps

Monday 25 October 2021 17:16 , Sam Hancock

Environmental campaigners have condemned a parliamentary vote against amending a bill to stop water companies dumping raw sewage into Britain’s rivers.

The group Surfers Against Sewage have warned that swimmers along the south coast could be at risk from the pollution, highlighting 20 beaches along the Sussex and Hampshire coast line that already have a risk warning in place.

The group are trying to raise awareness of the risks after an amendment to the Environment Bill was rejected in the House of Commons, reports Holly Bancroft.

Concern grows as MPs vote against amendment to stop sewage dumps

Putin expresses ‘regret’ he can’t make Cop26 during call with PM

Monday 25 October 2021 16:44 , Sam Hancock

Vladimir Putin has reportedly expressed his regret at not being able to attend the Cop26 summit in person, telling Boris Johnson in a phone call he was forced to pull out due to the Covid situation in Russia.

The PM is said to have insisted he hoped the Russian president would commit to bringing forward his country’s net-zero commitment to 2050, in line with other nations.

Mr Putin has so far committed to reaching the target by 2060.

Putin will not attend the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, due to begin in less than a week (AP)
Putin will not attend the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, due to begin in less than a week (AP)

China pledges to cut fossil fuel use below 20% by 2060

Monday 25 October 2021 16:17 , Chiara Giordano

China has decided to cut its reliance on fossil fuel to less than 20 per cent by 2060, according to a cabinet document published by the state media.

The new target, reported by the state-run Xinhua news agency on Sunday, comes just a week before UN climate talks are set to begin in Glasgow, where countries will discuss climate action goals.

The document lays out a host of guidelines the country will undertake to reduce its dependence on coal.

Stuti Mishra has the full details:

China pledges to cut fossil fuel use below 20% by 2060

Boris Johnson jokes about ‘feeding humans to animals’ during press conference for children

Monday 25 October 2021 16:02 , Chiara Giordano

Boris Johnson joked that feeding people to animals could help solve the biodiversity crisis facing the planet during a climate press conference with children.

The prime minister was discussing the challenges facing the natural world with conservation charity WWF UK’s chief executive Tanya Steele.

My colleague Tom Batchelor has more on this story:

PM jokes about ‘feeding humans to animals’ during press conference for children

Levels of planet-warming greenhouse gases reach new high despite Covid lockdowns

Monday 25 October 2021 15:40 , Chiara Giordano

Levels of planet-warming greenhouse gases recorded in the earth's atmosphere reached record levels last year despite lockdowns in countries around the world, according to UN scientists.

Researchers at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide rose by more than the annual average in the past 10 years.

My colleague Matt Mathers has more details:

Levels of planet-warming greenhouse gases reach new high despite Covid lockdowns

Sturgeon warns world leaders of ‘entirely justified anger’ from young people at climate progress

Monday 25 October 2021 15:30 , Chiara Giordano

Nicola Sturgeon has said Cop26 needs to see “significant uplift” in the ambition to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the world’s most polluting countries, and also said the conference must recognise growing levels of anger at inaction, particularly from younger generations.

She also suggested the controversial Cambo oilfield in the North Sea, which has been backed by the UK government, should be reviewed.

Our environment correspondent Harry Cockburn has the full story:

Sturgeon warns of ‘entirely justified anger’ from young on climate

Boris Johnson says he ‘des not want to support new coal mines'

Monday 25 October 2021 15:16 , Chiara Giordano

Boris Johnson has said he does not "want to support new coal mines", as ministers face pressure to prevent a site opening in Cumbria.

Asked at a children's press conference if he will continue to support new coal mines being created in the UK, the prime minister said: "We don't want to support new coal mines but what we want to do is to continue our progress to a zero-carbon future."

Downing Street later insisted Mr Johnson was talking in "broader terms" rather than saying ministers would block the new coal mine in Cumbria. The PM’s official spokesman said: "I think the prime minister was talking in broader terms about our stated aim to phase out the use of coal in the long term.

"There are specific reviews into individual applications that pre-date that and those are ongoing."

Rich world on course to achieve $100bn climate fund for poor nations – but not until 2023

Monday 25 October 2021 14:34 , Chiara Giordano

Rich countries are on course to achieve a long-promised $100bn climate crisis fund for poor nations, a pre-Cop26 study says – but not until 2023.

The target is seen as crucial to winning the trust of developing countries to make their own CO2 cutting commitments in Glasgow next week, but stood $20bn short in 2019.

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Rich world set to achieve $100bn climate fund for poor nations – but not until 2023

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