Cop26: what has happened at the conference today

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The World Leaders’ Summit at Cop26 kicked off on Monday.

Here is what happened at the crunch climate talks today.

– An opening ceremony for the World Leaders’ Summit heard from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, Sir David Attenborough, the Prince of Wales and Barbadian prime minister Mia Mottley among others.

The speeches issued a series of stark warnings, that humanity is already in trouble, that we are digging our own graves, that failure is a death sentence for vulnerable countries and that leaders will be judged with “bitterness and resentment” by future generations if they fail to tackle global warming.

he motorcade of U.S. President Joe Biden
The motorcade of US President Joe Biden heads along the M8 motorway towards the Cop26 summit in Glasgow after he arrived at Edinburgh Airport (Andrew Milligan/PA)

– Around 120 leaders have come to the two-day World Leaders’ Summit which is being held at the beginning of the two-week Cop26 conference.

US President Joe Biden was one of the last leaders to arrive at the summit, turning up in a multi-vehicle motorcade after flying in to Edinburgh following his trip to the G20 summit in Rome.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, meanwhile, arrived in Glasgow by train and on the first day were using electric cars to get to their engagements.

It is not known what type of flight the Prince of Wales used to return from the G20 in Rome to the summit in Scotland.

Boris Johnson however flew in from the Italian capital on a private charter plane which he will use to return to London when the leaders’ summit section of the conference is over.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (centre) meets climate activists Greta Thunberg (left) and Vanessa Nakate (right) during the Cop26 summit
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (centre) meets climate activists Greta Thunberg (left) and Vanessa Nakate (right) during the Cop26 summit (Andy Buchanan/PA)

– Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said world leaders gathering at the summit should feel “bloody uncomfortable” for not “doing enough” to tackle global warming.

She spoke out after meeting teenage activist Greta Thunberg, who was also at the summit today before heading out to youth climate protests outside the “blue zone” where the negotiations are taking place.

Ms Sturgeon said voices such as Ms Thunberg’s are “so important” as they challenge political leaders from across the globe on “the hard realities of our own lack of delivery”.

Greta Thunberg alongside fellow climate activists during a demonstration at Festival Park, Glasgow, on the first day of the Cop26 summit
Greta Thunberg alongside fellow climate activists during a demonstration at Festival Park, Glasgow, on the first day of the Cop26 summit (Andrew Milligan/PA)

– Addressing young protesters in Festival Park in Govan, across the River Clyde from the Cop26 venue, Ms Thunberg said change would not come from the Cop26 conference as she repeated her criticism of the “blah blah blah” of world leaders.

Her comments come after Mr Johnson referenced her in his speech, saying all the promises made by countries under the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change six years ago “will be nothing but blah blah blah, to coin a phrase, and the anger and impatience of the world will be uncontainable”.

The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior makes its way up the River Clyde
The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior makes its way up the River Clyde (Andrew Milligan/PA)

– Climate youth activists on board the Rainbow Warrior were sailing into the heart of Glasgow after officials agreed to allow the ship into the Cop26 restricted zone.

Port authorities wanted to block the famous vessel from entering the area, which bans craft from the stretch of the Clyde next to the SEC conference centre where Cop26 is being held, but on Monday afternoon Police Scotland confirmed the vessel was to be allowed to continue to its destination.

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