Cop26: Key moments that shaped the climate summit

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For two weeks, the eyes of the world have been trained on Glasgow as negotiators desperately tried to thrash out an agreement to stave off the climate crisis.

While delegations haggled behind closed doors, campaigners, a few billionaires and the odd superstar were determined to get in on the action.

But outside the circus of politics, pageantry and protest that was Cop26, here are some of the key moments that made headlines during the talks.

Cop26 – Glasgow
Prime Minister Boris Johnson compared delegates to ‘James Bond’ (Phil Noble/Reuters)

– Boris Johnson tried to inject added urgency to the talks on day one, telling word leaders climate change has already put the earth at “one minute to midnight on that doomsday clock” and comparing them to James Bond trying to diffuse an explosive.

Cop26 – Glasgow
Greta Thunberg demands an end to ‘blah blah blah’ (Danny Lawson/PA)

– Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg warned Cop26 must be “no more blah blah blah” – her words became a catchphrase for protesters throughout the conference.

Cop26 projection battle
Big polluters made pledges on methane (Graeme Eddolls/PA)

– Scores of nations made major commitments to slash methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, by 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels.

Cop26 – Glasgow
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos pledged two billion US dollars to help halt deforestation (Paul Ellis/PA)

– Amazon founder Jeff Bezos pledged two billion US dollars (£1.47 billion) for land restoration in Africa – double what he had originally planned to give, with commentators speculating he upped his donations after prompting by the Prince of Wales.

Cop26 – Glasgow
A coalition of nations pledged to phase out coal (Andrew Milligan/PA)

– Forty countries committed to phasing out coal power, including major coal-reliant economies like Chile and Poland.

Leaders Summit on Climate
Alok Sharma told delegates ‘you are all Swampys’ (Justin Tallis/PA)

– Alok Sharma tried to turn negotiators into activists, comparing baffled delegates to veteran environmental campaigner Swampy – who is famous for occupying trees and tunnels to block infrastructure projects.

Mossmorran petrochemical refinery protest
Emissions are resurging after the pandemic (Jane Barlow/PA)

– Research revealed carbon pollution in 2021 is set to rebound to pre-pandemic levels, after a historic drop of 5.4% in 2020.

Cop26 – Glasgow
Former US president Barack Obama said no-one could be on the sidelines of the climate fight (Jane Barlow/PA)

– Barack Obama slammed China and Russia for lack of engagement, saying “we can’t afford to have anyone on the sidelines” in the climate fight.

Cop26 – Glasgow
John Kerry announced the surprise agreement with China (Jane Barlow/PA)

– China and the US, the world’s two biggest emitters, announced a “joint declaration” on tackling the climate crisis – a surprise move that observers hoped would add momentum to the talks.

Cop26 – Glasgow
The earth is on course for 2.4C of warming (Andrew Milligan/PA)

– Research from Climate Action Tracker showed we are on course for a devastating 2.4C of global warming under current plans – analysts warned targets risk just being “lip service to real climate action”.

Cop26 – Glasgow
A small collection of countries vowed to phase out oil and gas (PA)

– Countries led by Denmark and Costa Rica launched the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance to help phase out production of the fossil fuels – just six nations have joined them, but others have expressed an interest.

Cop26 protests
A small group of countries have pledged to phase out fossil fuels completely (Victoria Jones/PA)

– Language on the “phasing down” of fossil fuels made it in to the final version of the cover agreement – a historic first for climate diplomacy, despite the fact they are the primary driver global warming.

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