Boris Johnson welcomed many heads of state and government, warning them that humanity has “long since run down the clock on climate change” and must act now to tackle the crisis, with the planet now at “one minute to midnight”.
He was followed on stage by naturalist Sir David Attenborough, who told Cop26 delegates “the world is looking to you”.
The 95-year-old broadcaster added: “Perhaps the fact that the people affected by climate change are no longer some imagined future generations but young people alive today, perhaps that will give us the impetus we need to rewrite our story, to turn this tragedy into a triumph.”
However, the first morning was marred by long queues and reports of lengthy delays of up to two hours to pass the summit security lines.
World at ‘one minute to midnight’, warns PM
Cop26 must not become a ‘greenwash summit’, says Miliband
Prince Charles calls for ‘war-like footing’ to tackle climate crisis
Boris Johnson welcomes world leaders
Delays and long queues for those arriving at summit
Cop summit begins with performances in front of world leaders
No 10 points finger at UN for summit queues
‘World is looking to you’, Attenborough tells delegates
Italian PM calls for ‘quantum leap’ in fight against climate change
15:00 , Tom Batchelor
Climate change can “tear us apart”, the Italian PM warned world leaders at Cop26 as he called for a “quantum leap” in the fight against it.
Speaking on the first day of the summit, Mario Draghi urged those involved to build to on the promises made at the recent G20 summit in Rome.
He said the impact of climate change caused by rising temperatures is already “all too evident” in weather disasters and the cost of this is rising.
“Climate change can tear us apart. Thanks to the constant co-operation and dialogue we are making good progress on addressing climate change,” he said.
“Here at the Cop26 we must now go further than we did at the G20.
“We need to speed up our commitment to keep rising temperatures below 1.5C.
“We need to build on the G20 agreement and act faster and more decisively.”
Merkel calls for ‘ambitious’ climate action
14:58 , Tom Batchelor
Angela Merkel has said the next decade will be “decisive” when it comes to global community’s response to the heating planet.
Addressing delegates, the outgoing German chancellor said world leaders should be “more ambitious” with their pledges in order to tackle the worsening crisis.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer mocked for reporting on Cop26 from Edinburgh
14:49 , Tom Batchelor
CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer has found himself on the wrong side of some Scots after tweeting that Cop26 was happening in Edinburgh, instead of Glasgow.
You can read the full report here:
Russia targeting carbon neutrality by 2060
14:42 , Tom Batchelor
Russia has approved a long-term government climate strategy targeting carbon neutrality by 2060.
Moscow has rejected US allegations it was not doing enough on climate change as the Cop26 conference began, despite not sending Vladimir Putin to the summit.
Mr Putin, the leader of the world’s number four greenhouse gas emitter, plans to deliver a recorded message at the Glasgow talks, which he is not attending, and will not be able to speak live, the Kremlin’s spokesman said.
Brazil’s indigenous people ‘must be part of solution'
14:39 , Tom Batchelor
A group representing Brazil’s indigenous people has said the world needs their expertise in protecting the Amazon rainforest to solve the global warming crisis.
The groups - who say they are facing increasing threats from loggers, miners and Brazil’s own climate-skeptic government - told Reuters they had brought 40 envoys to the Cop26 conference in Glasgow, their biggest ever international delegation.
“If there is no protection of indigenous territories and rights, there will also be no solution to the climate crisis, because we are part of that solution,” Sonia Guajajara, head of the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (ABIP), said.
“We need to urgently save our territories to protect the lives of indigenous people and the future of our planet.”
The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest and considered a crucial bulwark against climate change.
Greta Thunberg protesting outside summit
14:26 , Tom Batchelor
Climate activist Greta Thunberg has been pictured outside the summit’s blue zone protesting with other young campaigners.
Ms Thunberg has said she was not officially invited to the conference, but is attending to take part in protests in Glasgow.
On Monday afternoon she was filmed holding up a banner saying: “Enough is enough.”
Greta Thunberg to give press conference on fringes of Cop26 summit
14:13 , Daisy Dunne
The young climate activist Greta Thunberg is expected to speak alongside other climate activists on the fringes of the Cop26 summit at around 3.30pm this afternoon, reports our climate correspondent, Daisy Dunne.
Ms Thunberg will appear alongside young activists from global south countries that are already facing severe impacts as a result of the climate crisis.
It comes after Thunberg and several other young activists penned an open letter to world leaders asking them to finally face up to the climate emergency. More on this soon.
Cop organisers urge delegates not to turn up in person amid ‘high level of attendance’
14:08 , Tom Batchelor
Cop organisers have appealed to delegates to only attend in person when strictly necessary and to take part remotely when possible after reporting a “high level of attendance”.
Earlier on Monday, long queues built up at the security checkpoints, delaying many people’s entry.
ℹ️ UPDATE: There is currently a high level of attendance at the #COP26 venue.
In order to comply with COVID-19 measures, we encourage you to only visit the Blue Zone for as long as necessary and consider making use of the COP Platform where possible.
— COP26 (@COP26) November 1, 2021
Is Greta Thunberg attending the Glasgow summit and will she be protesting?
14:01 , Tom Batchelor
Greta Thunberg arrived in Glasgow on Saturday evening ahead of Cop26 - but says she has not “officially” been invited to the summit.
Prior to her arrival at Glasgow Central after taking the train from London Euston, Ms Thunberg, 18, had recorded an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr in which she said how welcome she was at the gathering of world leaders remained “very unclear”.
Here is more on her involvement in the Cop26 summit:
‘Try harder’, Barbados tells world leaders
13:55 , Tom Batchelor
Barbados leader Mia Mottley has also urged world leaders to “try harder” to prevent climate change.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the PM said: “1.5C is what we need to stay alive - two degrees is a death sentence for the people of Antigua and Barbuda, for the people of the Maldives, for the people of Dominica and Fiji, for the people of Kenya and Mozambique - and yes, for the people of Samoa and Barbados.
“We do not want that dreaded death sentence and we’ve come here today to say ‘try harder, try harder’.
“Because our people, the climate army, the world, the planet, needs our action now - not next year, not in the next decade.”
Barbadian PM calls for world to ‘encircle’ countries not yet doing enough on climate
13:48 , Tom Batchelor
Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley has launched a veiled attack on leaders who have not attended the Cop26 summit.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, Ms Mottley said: “We can work with who is ready to go, because the train is ready to leave.
“Those who are not yet ready, we need to continue to encircle and remind them that their people, not our people, but their citizens need them to get on board as soon as possible.”
Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping both decided not to attend the talks.
Opinion | Boris Johnson is banking on the free market to solve the climate crisis – but it simply isn’t working
13:48 , Tom Batchelor
I have spent the last few months on what is essentially an investigation and independent audit of progress on Johnson’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, or, as Johnson described it last week, “the new Decalogue that I brought down from Sinai last year”, writes film-maker Callum Macrae.
Our film, a Dispatches special, is being broadcast at 8pm tonight, the day that Cop26 really gets down to business. And what quickly becomes clear is that behind Johnson’s penchant for consciously loopy pronouncements lies a consistent, ideologically-rooted strategy which determines and explains almost all of his government’s pronouncements on the crisis: an absolute conviction that this mess can be solved by a dynamic combination of the free market and technology, essentially a carbon-free re-run of the last industrial revolution.
Read more about the programme here:
Welcome to anti-Cop26: The climate denial expo in Vegas where attendees talk anything but science
13:29 , Tom Batchelor
As the world’s leading scientists and climate activists prepare to gather in Scotland for the Cop26 summit, a few hundred people convene 5,000 miles away in Las Vegas for a whole different type of ‘climate’ discussion.
Read the full story here:
‘World is looking to you’, Attenborough tells delegates
13:23 , Tom Batchelor
Sir David Attenborough, addressing delegates, has said working together the world is “powerful enough” to save itself from the worst effects of climate change.
“The world is looking to you,” the 95-year-old naturalist said.
“Perhaps the fact that the people affected by climate change are no longer some imagined future generations but young people alive today, perhaps that will give us the impetus we need to rewrite our story, to turn this tragedy into a triumph.”
He added that “we are after all the greatest problem solvers to have ever existed on earth” and that we “now understand the problem” of how to put climate change into reverse.
US president Joe Biden gave a standing ovation to Sir David following his speech.
Prince of Wales tells Cop delegates to mount a ‘military-style campaign’
13:17 , Tom Batchelor
The Prince of Wales is speaking now, telling delegates that the countries need to “come together to create the environment that enables every sector of industry to take the action required”.
He said: “We know this will take trillions, not billions, of dollars. We also know that countries, many of whom are burdened by growing levels of debt, simply cannot afford to ‘go green’.
“Here, we need a vast military-style campaign to marshal the strength of the global private sector. With trillions at its disposal - far beyond global GDP and, with the greatest respect, beyond even the governments of the world’s leaders - it offers the only real prospect of achieving fundamental economic transition.”
He said a clear strategy is needed to speed up innovative solutions getting to market, along with a reduction in risk to boost private investment and said this framework is offered in his Sustainable Markets Initiative.
85% of climate conferences’ carbon footprint comes from flights
13:08 , Tom Batchelor
Flights were responsible for some 85 per cent of recent COP conferences’ carbon footprints, according to research.
Of the 53,374 tonnes of CO2 produced on average by the COP23, COP24 and COP25 events – held in Bonn, Germany, Katowice, Poland and Madrid, Spain respectively – 45,264 came from air travel.
Accommodation accounted for 4,220 tonnes, 2,135 tonnes came from heat and electricity for the conference venues, 616 from local transport and 1,139 from “other” sources, according to data compiled by the Financial Times.
Read more on the story here:
‘Sirens are sounding’, says UN secretary-general
13:03 , Tom Batchelor
The UN’s secretary-general said it is an “illusion” to think the fight against climate change is being won, as he warned that the “sirens are sounding”.
Antonio Guterres told the Cop26 conference opening session: “Recent climate action announcements might give the impression that we are on track to turn things around.
“This is an illusion. The last published report on Nationally Determined Contributions showed that they would still condemn the world to a calamitous 2.7 degree increase.
“And even if the recent pledges were clear and credible - and there are serious questions about some of them - we are still careening towards climate catastrophe.
“Even in the best-case scenario, temperatures will rise well above two degrees.
“So, as we open this much anticipated climate conference, we are still heading for climate disaster.”
He added: “Our planet is talking to us and telling us something. And so are people everywhere. Climate action tops the list of people’s concerns, across countries, age and gender,” he said.
“We must listen - and we must act - and we must choose wisely. On behalf of this and future generations, I urge you: Choose ambition. Choose solidarity. Choose to safeguard our future and save humanity.”
International Maritime Organisation under pressure to go climate neutral by 2050
13:00 , Tom Batchelor
Denmark’s prime minister has said the country and several others, including the UK and US, are calling on the International Maritime Organisation to contribute to climate action by adopting “a climate-neutral 2050 target as well as ambitious intermediary targets in 2030 and 2040”, Reuters reports.
It sends “a clear signal to our partners in the public and private sectors around the world that a greener future for shipping is both necessary but also possible. It is time to act to ensure a greener future,” Mette Frederiksen said in a statement.
“Climate-neutral shipping plays a crucial role in achieving the international climate goals and has the potential to support a massive upscaling of the use of renewable energy for the use of green fuels, which are central to the necessary energy transition also in emerging economies and developing countries,” she said.
Ms Frederiksen will present the initiative later on Monday in Glasgow together with the US special climate envoy, John Kerry, and the Marshall Islands’ head of delegation at Cop26, Bruce Bilimon.
There they will launch a joint statement calling for shipping to be climate neutral by 2050 and stressing the importance of political action now.
Future generations ‘will not forgive us if we fail to take action’, says Johnson
12:52 , Tom Batchelor
Boris Johnson has said future generations will not forgive today’s political leaders if they fail to agree to meaningful action at the Glasgow summit.
The prime minister said: “The children who will judge us are children not yet born, and their children, and we are now coming centrestage before a vast and uncountable audience of posterity and we mustn’t fluff our lines or miss our cue, because if we fail, they will not forgive us.
“They will know that Glasgow was the historic turning point when history failed to turn.
“They will judge us with bitterness and resentment that eclipses any of the climate activists of today.
“And they will be right.”
‘Packed outside of the World Leaders Summit Opening Ceremony’
12:49 , Tom Batchelor
Our senior climate correspondent Louise Boyle tweets:
— Louise Boyle (@LouiseB_NY) November 1, 2021
Watch live as Boris Johnson speaks to Cop leaders
12:45 , Tom Batchelor
You can watch Boris Johnson’s speech live here:
PM references Thunberg’s ‘blah blah blah’ criticism
12:42 , Tom Batchelor
Boris Johnson has said all the world’s promises on the climate will amount to “blah blah blah” unless Cop26 is “the moment where we get real about climate change”.
The PM was referencing criticism of his government by the environmental activist Greta Thunberg in September.
Here is that story:
‘We need to act now’: Boris Johnson addresses delegates at start of Cop26
12:39 , Tom Batchelor
Boris Johnson has compared the fate of the planet to James Bond trying to stop a ticking bomb, telling world leaders that the world is “roughly in the same position”, except the “tragedy is that this is not a movie and the doomsday device is real, and the clock is ticking”.
Addressing delegates, he said people should not ignore scientists warnings about the impact on the food system, severe weather and the loss of cities.
“We need to act now,” he said.
No 10 points finger at UN for summit queues
12:33 , Andrew Woodcock
Downing Street pointed the finger of blame at the United Nations for the chaotic arrangements which led to thousands of delegates waiting for an hour or more in slow-moving queues to get into the Cop26 venue this morning, reports our political editor, Andrew Woodcock.
Asked if Boris Johnson was embarrassed by the scenes, a No 10 spokesperson said: “The security arrangements and accreditation for Cop are mandated by the UN and managed in partnership between the UN and Cop26 operational staff.
“You’ll be aware that there are thousands of delegates arriving on site each day, and we’re working closely with our partners like the UNFCC to minimise wait times as much as possible during busy times whilst we ensure that we keep safe entry for those who wish to access the site.”
Cop summit opened with Scottish smallpipes performance
12:31 , Tom Batchelor
A 22-year-old Scottish smallpipes player from the Isle of Skye has opened the Cop26 summit, with world leaders now seated in the audience ahead of the first address from Boris Johnson.
A short film is also being played as well as a poem called Earth to Cop.
The Prince of Wales will speak before world leaders are invited onto the stage later in the afternoon.
World’s worst polluters accused of Facebook greenwashing campaign using ‘dark ads’
12:27 , Tom Batchelor
The word’s leading carbon polluters, such as ExxonMobil and Shell, have been accused of spending millions of dollars on “dark” Facebook adverts to influence the debate over the climate crisis and renewable energy at the most critical of moments.
As more than 100 global leaders and business heads gather in Glasgow to try to set ambitious targets to cut the emission of CO2 and move the world towards renewable energy, some of the worst emitters of greenhouse gases have been accused of “greenwashing” their reputations and trying to influence debates over fossil fuels.
The data collated by a group made up of artists, technology experts and lawyers, has identified at least 1,700 “dark ads” or pieces of sponsored content, from 2021 alone.
Read the full report here:
US president brings with him large motorcade
12:24 , Tom Batchelor
Johnson greets Biden and Guterres on stage
12:18 , Tom Batchelor
Boris Johnson has greeted Joe Biden and UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres on stage before he delivers his opening remarks to delegates.
The men have now left the stage and the UK prime minister is expected to speak shortly.
‘We can’t drink oil’: Leaders must commit to ending new fossil fuel projects at Cop26, says Vanessa Nakate
12:11 , Tom Batchelor
World leaders must commit to ending all new fossil fuel projects at the Cop26 climate summit, young climate activist Vanessa Nakate has said.
The Ugandan environmentalist told The Independent that plans to tackle the climate crisis must not leave room for more oil and gas development.
Read the full report here:
Summit opening delayed by 15 minutes
12:05 , Tom Batchelor
Boris Johnson was due to open the conference at midday with an initial address to world leaders.
However it is now understood that the PM’s speech to delegates has been delated by at least 15 minutes. It is not clear what has caused the delay.
Here is what he is expected to say:
Nearly 1 million sign climate letter backed by Thunberg
12:02 , Tom Batchelor
Youth climate activists including Greta Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate, Dominika Lasota, and Mitzi Tan have written an open letter to Cop26 leaders which has attracted more than 900,000 supporting signatures from people around the world.
The letter, launched with the global citizens movement Avaaz, calls on world leaders to “face up to the climate emergency,” and lays out a five point plan to deliver a climate safe future.
Greta Thunberg said: “Right now world leaders are meeting for historic climate talks – but pledges without real action won’t cut it anymore. We are catastrophically far from the crucial goal of 1.5C, and yet governments everywhere are still accelerating the crisis, spending billions on fossil fuels.
“We urge you to face up to the climate emergency and keep the precious goal of 1.5C alive with immediate, drastic, annual emission reductions unlike anything the world has ever seen. There is still time to avoid the worst consequences if we are prepared to change.”
Gen Z climate activists on how we can save the planet
11:59 , Tom Batchelor
For members of Gen Z, it’s almost impossible to recall a time when the climate crisis was not a looming reality.
They grew up with a ticker-tape of bad news scrolling before their eyes: warnings of record-breaking floods, wildfires and heatwaves that are now coming to pass.
So it’s perhaps no surprise that this generation, which roughly encompasses young people under 25, is leading the way in confronting the climate emergency.
Here is how some of them are doing it:
Papua New Guinea delegate calls on US and China to show leadership
11:55 , Tom Batchelor
Kevin Conrad, a negotiator from Papua New Guinea who also chairs the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, has said he is watching the big carbon polluting nations.
“I think it’s really important for the United States and China to show leadership as the two largest emitters,” he said.
“If both of them can show it can be done, I think they give hope to the rest of the world.”
Scientists say the chances of meeting the goal to keep global temperatures from rising by more than 1.5C this century are slowly slipping away.
The world has already warmed by more than 1.1C and current projections based on planned emissions cuts over the next decade are for it to hit 2.7C by the year 2100.
Amazon’s Bezos to join Prince Charles for Cop event
11:51 , Tom Batchelor
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will join the Prince of Wales at a Cop26 event promoting the greening of north Africa, Clarence House has confirmed.
Charles was pictured having an informal chat with the billionaire businessman and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez on Sunday night following the G20 summit in Rome.
It is understood they met to discuss Mr Bezos’s charitable body’s commitment to nature ahead of a Cop26 event in Glasgow promoting the Great Green Wall.
The Prince of Wales has been involved in fighting climate change and protecting our beautiful world far longer than most. We had a chance to discuss these important issues on the eve of #COP26 — looking for solutions to heal our world, and how the @BezosEarthFund can help. pic.twitter.com/7zBNnfCav7
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) October 31, 2021
The Great Green Wall is an Africa-led initiative supported by French President Emmanuel Macron which aims to combat desertification by creating a stretch of green and productive landscapes across the width of north Africa.
Rubbish litters streets of Glasgow in bin collection strike
11:48 , Tom Batchelor
Glasgow’s bin collectors and street cleaners have walked out on strike amid a row between a union and the city council.
GMB members walked out at one minute past midnight on Monday following the collapse of last-ditch talks between the union and Glasgow City Council on Sunday evening.
The planned strike action was previously called off on Friday after a new pay offer from council umbrella body Cosla, and the GMB said it would suspend the strike for two weeks to consult with members.
However, following talks on Sunday, the GMB said strike action would go ahead.
More on the story here:
Biden disembarks Air Force One
11:48 , Tom Batchelor
Joe Biden has disembarked Air Force One in Edinburgh, where he will be staying, and will soon make his way to Glasgow for the summit.
Meanwhile Jill Biden, the US First Lady, is attending events in the Italian city of Naples. The couple were in Italy over the weekend for the G20 meeting.
Putin won’t address summit live, says Kremlin
11:42 , Tom Batchelor
Vladimir Putin will deliver a recorded message to the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow, the Kremlin said on Monday, but there are no arrangements for the leader of the world’s fourth biggest greenhouse gas emitter to address the summit live.
Russia announced last month that Mr Putin would not attend in person. Moscow said at the time it would try to work out a way for him to speak by video conference, but Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday this would not be feasible.
“It is impossible to join (the meetings) in Glasgow through a video conference,” Mr Peskov told reporters. “Still, a conference on forestry and land use management will be held in Glasgow as part of the climate change summit, and the president has already recorded an address to the participants of that conference.”
Sturgeon meets campaigners Thunberg and Nakate
11:41 , Tom Batchelor
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has met Greta Thunberg at Cop26.
The Swedish environmental activist arrived in Scotland on Saturday to attend the climate summit.
On Monday morning, Ms Thunberg along with fellow campaigner Vanessa Nakate, from Uganda, met with the first minister, who tweeted: “The voices of young people like â¦@GretaThunbergâ© and â¦@vanessa_vashâ© must be heard loudly and clearly at #COP26 - the next few days should not be comfortable for leaders, the responsibility to act must be felt.”
The voices of young people like @GretaThunberg and @vanessa_vash must be heard loudly and clearly at #COP26 - the next few days should not be comfortable for leaders, the responsibility to act must be felt. pic.twitter.com/bHVwUVxmci
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) November 1, 2021
Ms Thunberg has previously been critical of the Scottish government’s climate policy, saying that the country was “not a leader on climate change”, as the first minister had previously stated.
Scotland has pledged to cut emissions by 75 per cent by 2030 and be net zero by 2045, but the last three years of targets have been missed.
‘Cold water only’ at Cop
11:36 , Tom Batchelor
— Jim Pickard (@PickardJE) November 1, 2021
CNN cover Cop26 Glasgow summit ... from Edinburgh
11:31 , Tom Batchelor
CNN anchor Wolf Blitz has tweeted a photo of the impressive backdrop to his Cop26 set – featuring Edinburgh Castle.
The veteran broadcaster said he was “reporting from Edinburgh in Scotland where 20,000 world leaders and delegates have gathered”.
Twitter users were quick to point out that Glasgow is 40 miles west of the Scottish capital.
I’m now reporting from Edinburgh in Scotland where 20,000 world leaders and delegates have gathered for the COP26 Climate Summit. COP, by the way, stands for “Conference of the Parties.” It’s the 26th time they have gathered to discuss and take action on this critical issue. pic.twitter.com/BGTAeU5cBy
— Wolf Blitzer (@wolfblitzer) November 1, 2021
Opinion | Caroline Lucas: No wonder Boris Johnson is saying it’s ‘touch and go’ for a successful Cop26
11:26 , Tom Batchelor
This summit is our best chance of avoiding climate breakdown, writes Green MP Caroline Lucas.
There is always the chance that, at the eleventh hour, world leaders will show that it is possible to pull together in the face of a crisis which threatens us all, that they will not only agree to much more ambitious emissions cuts, they will also make them with far greater urgency.
But whatever happens, failure is not the end of the fight against climate change. It just makes the challenge more difficult. For all of us who are determined that our planet has a healthy future well beyond our lifetimes, the campaign will continue.
Read her full article here:
‘Two-hour delays’ to enter summit
11:20 , Tom Batchelor
More on the long queues which have caused delays for delegates attempting to enter the main Cop26 venue in Glasgow, with some reporting having to queue for two hours before managing to gain access.
More than 25,000 people have descended on Scotland’s largest city for the international climate talks, and pictures on social media have shown hundreds waiting outside the main gates to the venue.
Delegates have to go through airport style security once inside.
Made it. I'm now in the little bit of Glasgow that is United Nations territory for the next 11 days (their UN badged cops actually guard the cop)
— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) November 1, 2021
Biden arrives in Scotland
11:09 , Tom Batchelor
Joe Biden, the US president, has touched down in Scotland ahead of his attendance at the Cop26 summit.
Mr Biden arrived at Edinburgh airport and will make his way to Glasgow before addressing delegates at around 1pm.
US President Joe Biden has touched down in Scotland.
Air Force One landed at Edinburgh Airport minutes ago. He’ll now make his way to Glasgow to join world leaders at #COP26
— Hope Webb (@imhopewebb) November 1, 2021
Bloomberg push to close quarter of world's coal plants
10:59 , Tom Batchelor
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, has announced a new effort to close a quarter of the world’s coal plants within four years.
In support of the UN Secretary-General’s call to phase out coal power by 2030 for the OECD and EU27 and by 2040 everywhere else, the former politician’s Bloomberg Philanthropies charity has announced a campaign to work to close 25 per cent of the world’s 2,445 remaining coal plants and all 519 proposed coal plants by 2025.
“Coal is enemy number one in the battle over climate change, because it causes one-third of all carbon emissions,” said Mr Bloomberg.
“Over the last decade, Bloomberg Philanthropies has helped shut down two-thirds of coal-fired power plants in the US and half in Europe – and that work continues.
“But around the world, too many coal plants are driving climate change and making people sick, so we are expanding our efforts to 25 more countries and setting an ambitious new goal: working to close a quarter of the world’s coal plants by 2025 and cancel all proposed coal plants by that year, too.
“Just as we have been succeeding in the US and Europe, with the help of strong partners on the ground, we are determined to succeed globally.”
Glasgow side streets ‘choked up’ with idling Cop26 cars
10:48 , Tom Batchelor
For all government minister claims of wanting to reduce emissions, the number of motor vehicles that have descended on Glasgow suggests the UK – and the rest of the world – has a long way to go when it comes to sustainable urban transport.
Some of Glasgow’s cycle lanes have apparently been upended in order to make room for the summit.
And now a Channel 4 News correspondent reports that the streets surrounding the conference have been turned into a makeshift car park, with many vehicles “idling”.
— Ciaran Jenkins (@C4Ciaran) November 1, 2021
UK to back $1bn World Bank green loan to India - report
10:36 , Tom Batchelor
Boris Johnson is set to announce a sovereign guarantee for a $1bn World Bank loan for India to develop green infrastructure, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.
The announcement is likely to be made during the United Nations Cop26 summit.
“The UK’s biggest finance offer to India at Cop26 will be a $1bn sovereign guarantee for additional World Bank lending for green infra,” said one of the sources. They declined to the named as they were not authorised to talk to the media on the subject.
Spokespeople for the Indian and UK governments did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Reporting by Reuters
Biden tests negative for Covid ahead of Cop26 summit
10:24 , Tom Batchelor
Joe Biden tested negative for Covid on Sunday, a White House spokeswoman said, with the US president due to speak at Cop26 later today.
The spokeswoman, speaking to reporters on board Air Force One on Monday, said the PCR test was taken as part of entry requirements for attendance at the climate conference in Glasgow.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki tested positive for Covid on Sunday, saying in a statement she had last seen President Biden on Tuesday.
Delays and long queues for those arriving at summit
10:11 , Tom Batchelor
Journalists attempting to access the Cop26 have complained of long queues and in one instance security guards apparently seeking to prevent people from taking photos of the backlog.
— Adam Boulton (@adamboultonSKY) November 1, 2021
It continues if/when you actually get to Glasgow. Security now trying to stop people taking photos of the massive, barely moving queues. Total chaos. pic.twitter.com/4Yd5IqU9Mb
— Ben Kentish (@BenKentish) November 1, 2021
Independent climate correspondents ready for Cop26
10:02 , Tom Batchelor
The Independent’s climate correspondents, Daisy Dunne and Louise Boyle, are in Glasgow where they will be reporting live on the summit and providing a daily newsletter.
Good morning from Glasgow! Ready for #COP26 @daisydunnesci and I will be here for the next two weeks to bring you news and analysis (and a daily newsletter!) at @indyclimate pic.twitter.com/ap4D7kpvMm
— Louise Boyle (@LouiseB_NY) November 1, 2021
Boris Johnson welcomes world leaders
09:50 , Tom Batchelor
Boris Johnson has begun welcoming world leaders to the Glasgow summit.
Archbishop of Canterbury says tackling climate change is a ‘moral issue'
09:39 , Tom Batchelor
The Archbishop of Canterbury has said tackling climate change is a moral issue.
Explaining what he hopes to achieve by being in Glasgow, the Most Rev Justin Welby said he is there to listen, particularly to the countries that are most affected, and to encourage those who are making progress.
Asked if tackling climate change is a moral issue, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It is absolutely a moral issue.
“This is our neighbours all around the world, those who are already suffering catastrophic impacts, this is life or death.”
He told the programme: “Success in Glasgow is that it gives confidence to the poorest in the world and to voters in the global north that this is achievable.
“That’s what success looks like - that steps have been taken that mean that we will get to the 1.5 degrees target. That is doable.”
The Independent launches petition calling on world leaders to act on climate
09:30 , Tom Batchelor
The Independent has launched a petition calling on world leaders to take meaningful action on the climate crisis immediately.
To join the fight in helping to encourage world leaders to hit our climate targets, you can sign the petition below:
‘Military-style campaign’ needed to tackle climate crisis, says Prince Charles
09:19 , Tom Batchelor
Prince Charles is to call for a “military-style campaign” to cajole the private sector into making the changes needed to address urgent climate issues.
The Prince of Wales will open the Cop26 summit with a speech welcoming world leaders, just as he did in Paris in 2015 at Cop21.
The 72-year-old royal, who will be accompanied by his wife Camilla, has spent decades campaigning for better protections for the planet.
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China’s Xi Jinping to address Cop with written statement
09:06 , Tom Batchelor
Chinese President Xi Jinping will address the climate conference on Monday in the form of a written statement, according to an official schedule.
Mr Xi’s statement will be uploaded to the official conference website following addresses by other world leaders.
According to the list of speakers released by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Mr Xi is the only leader to address the “First Part of the High-Level Segment for Heads of State and Government” in a written statement.
China is the world’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions. However, Mr Xi has not left China since the Covid pandemic began in 2020 and had not been expected to attend the conference in person.
Sturgeon ‘shares’ Johnson’s Cop26 pessimism
08:58 , Tom Batchelor
Nicola Sturgeon has said she “shares” Boris Johnson’s pessimism of a positive outcome to the climate talks at Cop26.
Scotland’s first minister told Sky News: “The prime minister is right to be pessimistic at this stage – I share his pessimism.
“We’ve all got to put the pessimism to one side and put our shoulders to the wheel.
“The UK, having the presidency of this Cop, has a particular responsibility to corral the leaders, to bring them together, to encourage them to do more than they are currently committed to do.
“There’s a big gap on emissions, a big gap on climate finance - so much, much work to be done, and I will do everything I can to push it in the right direction.”
Erdogan skips Cop26 over security issue - report
08:50 , Tom Batchelor
Turkey’s president, Tayyip Erdogan, cancelled plans to attend Cop26 after the UK failed to meet his demands for security arrangements, two Turkish officials have told Reuters.
Mr Erdogan returned to Turkey from a G20 summit in Rome instead of travelling to the climate summit in Glasgow, and the Turkish presidency gave no reason for his return.
One official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there were protocol issues over the president’s planned attendance at the meeting. Another Turkish official said UK authorities had not met Turkey’s requests over protocol and security, Reuters reported.
“The president took such a decision because our demands regarding the number of vehicles for security and some other security related demands were not fully met,” the senior official told the news agency.
‘Touch and go’ whether Cop26 will succeed, says Truss
08:39 , Tom Batchelor
Liz Truss has said it is “touch and go” whether Cop26 will succeed as she called on world leaders to go further on net-zero pledges.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We need to make those commitments much more concrete, we need to make them much more deliverable, we need more action by 2030.
“There’s a lot of detailed negotiation that needs to take place, there are going to be some tough decisions that need to be made by world leaders attending the conference, and we’re by no means there yet - it really is touch and go.”
Truss opposed to carbon ‘meat tax'
08:24 , Tom Batchelor
Liz Truss has said she would not support a “meat tax” on foods with a high-carbon footprint, which is hailed as one way to reduce the environmental impact of the food chain.
She told Sky News: “I wouldn’t support a meat tax.
“I think it’s really important that we support our fantastic British farming industry and I think it’s important that rather than using the stick to encourage people to become more climate friendly we use the carrot, if that’s not mixing metaphors with meat.
“And we actually make a climate-friendly lifestyle more affordable for people.”
Johnson offers extra £1bn for climate crisis fund, but only if UK economy bounces back
08:14 , Tom Batchelor
Boris Johnson is pledging to put an extra £1bn into a climate crisis fund for poor nations – but only if the UK economy bounces back from Covid.
The cash would fund programmes for developing nations to cope with the devastating impact of climate change, helping to protect nature and supporting a transition to clean and green energy.
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Truss: UK ‘putting a lot of pressure’ on Russia and China
07:59 , Tom Batchelor
Liz Truss has said the UK is “putting a lot of pressure” on Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping amid their absence in person at Cop26.
“Both of those leaders are sending senior delegations to Glasgow so there will be representation in person here in Glasgow,” she told BBC Breakfast.
“The prime minister has spoken to both Vladimir Putin and President Xi, we’re putting a lot of pressure on those countries.
“Because in order to tackle climate change it needs to be global action and those countries are high emitters of carbon dioxide.”
She also defended world leaders flying on private planes to Glasgow.
The foreign secretary said: “I think everybody who has ever done a Zoom call knows that they are quite useful for some things but when you really get into crunch negotiations, when you want to look somebody in the eye and talk to them face-to-face you do need to meet in person, and this is really critical.
“World leaders are going to have to make some tough decisions about what’s going on in their own countries, they’re going to have to commit to things they didn’t necessarily want to when they arrived at the conference and that’s why it’s really important that we do have people face-to-face.”
World at ‘one minute to midnight’, says PM
07:46 , Tom Batchelor
Boris Johnson, who will welcome leaders to Glasgow for the Cop26 talks as they get underway on Monday, will tell them that humanity has “long since run down the clock on climate change”.
“It’s one minute to midnight and we need to act now,” he will say. “If we don’t get serious about climate change today, it will be too late for our children to do so tomorrow.”
He is also expected to say: “We have to move from talk and debate and discussion to concerted, real-world action on coal, cars, cash and trees.
“Not more hopes and targets and aspirations, valuable though they are, but clear commitments and concrete timetables for change.
“We need to get real about climate change and the world needs to know when that’s going to happen.”
Cop26 must not become a ‘greenwash summit’, says Miliband
Sunday 31 October 2021 22:46 , Tom Batchelor
Cop26 must not become a “greenwash summit” or a “climate delay summit”, Ed Miliband has said.
Labour’s shadow energy secretary, speaking at the premiere of The Green Planet, a new television series by Sir David Attenborough, said: “We know what the task is, this decade - to halve global emissions.
“Now Glasgow may not get all the way there but we have to get as far as we possibly can.
“And that’s going to require tough conversations with some leaders who are not doing enough.
“The experts tell us no G20 country is doing enough, so everybody’s got to step up.
“We don’t want a greenwash summit, we don’t want a climate delay summit, we want a climate delivery summit.”
Prince Charles calls for ‘war-like footing’ to tackle climate crisis
Sunday 31 October 2021 22:29 , Tom Batchelor
The Prince of Wales will argue that a “war-like footing” is needed to tackle the climate crisis, as he opens the Cop26 summit.
Charles is expected to call for a “vast military-style campaign” to address urgent environmental issues.
The royal, who has spent decades trying to raise awareness of the growing crisis, will speak at the opening ceremony of the major conference in Glasgow on Monday.
He is expected to stress the urgency of dealing with the climate crisis, saying: “We have to put ourselves on what might be called a war-like footing.”
He will go on to urge leaders across the globe to systematically engage with business to solve the climate problems the world faces.
He is expected to say: “We need a vast military-style campaign to marshal the strength of the global private sector. With trillions at its disposal.”
How green are climate summit’s key sponsors?
Sunday 31 October 2021 22:14 , Tom Batchelor
The sponsors of the Cop26 climate summit have made bold pledges to get to net zero, but an investigation by The Independent has uncovered a substantial – and often hidden – reliance on controversial carbon offsets to get there, which environmentalists have branded “a license to keep polluting” and “a greenwashing scam”.
These 11 firms – Microsoft, Unilever, Sky, SSE, Scottish Power, Sainsbury’s, Reckitt, National Grid, Hitachi, GSK, and NatWest Group – have had their logos plastered all over the website of the biggest climate change event of the year, and inside its Glasgow venue, with each company hyped as a leader in their sector trailblazing the way “towards net zero”.
Last year they generated £260bn in revenue, but collectively pumped out more than 375m tonnes of carbon.
Here is the story:
‘Get in line, or get out of the way’
Sunday 31 October 2021 21:55 , Tom Batchelor
India Logan-Riley, an Indigenous climate activist from New Zealand, has delivered a more message for negotiators and world leaders at the summit’s opening ceremony.
“Get in line, or get out of the way,” the campaigner said.
Sadiq Khan welcomes mayors and local leaders to London for climate meeting
Sunday 31 October 2021 21:29 , Tom Batchelor
On the eve of #COP26, I welcomed to London some of the many mayors and local leaders who share my commitment to a greener, more resilient world.
Together, we represent millions of citizens. Tomorrow, we’ll make those citizens’ voices heard by international leaders in Glasgow. pic.twitter.com/AK1hMaPXnl
— Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (@MayorofLondon) October 31, 2021
What is planned for the first full day of the summit?
Sunday 31 October 2021 21:14 , Tom Batchelor
Following the procedural opening of the Cop26 on Sunday, to enable work to begin quickly, Monday and Tuesday will be the World Leaders Summit with the presence of royalty and more than 100 heads of state or government.
The World Leaders Summit provides all heads of state or government with the opportunity to set the stage for Cop26.
UN official unable to attend due to Covid 'vaccine inequity’
Sunday 31 October 2021 20:59 , Tom Batchelor
Dr Musonda Xoliswa Mumba, a Zambian-born environmentalist, living in Nairobi, Kenya, who works for the United Nations, is among those unable to attend because of what she called Covid “vaccine inequity”.
I will NOT be at COP26 for personal reasons linked to #VaccineInequity towards Africa BUT as #COP26 starts today my children & I are watching & HOPE that you leave them a #LivingPlanet 🌎🙏🏾🙌🏽👇🏾✊🏾Following deliberations & participating Virtually. pic.twitter.com/7nHe9Ui2g3
— Dr. Musonda Xoliswa Mumba (@MumbaMusondam) October 31, 2021
Biden says Russia and China ‘didn’t show up' on climate needs
Sunday 31 October 2021 20:44 , Tom Batchelor
Joe Biden has said it is “disappointing” that Russia and China “basically didn’t show up” with commitments to address the scourge of climate change ahead of Cop26.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are not expected to attend the two weeks of meetings in Glasgow, but they are sending senior officials.
“The disappointment relates to the fact that Russia ... and China basically didn’t show up in terms of any commitments to deal with climate change. And there’s a reason why people should be disappointed,” the US president said.
He added: “I found it disappointing myself.”
Alok Sharma: 'We will succeed, or fail, as one’
Sunday 31 October 2021 20:29 , Tom Batchelor
Alok Sharma, the Cop president, outlined the urgent need for action in a statement marking the opening of the summit.
He said: “We can move the negotiations forward. We can launch a decade of ever-increasing ambition and action.
“Together, we can seize the enormous opportunities for green growth, for good green jobs, for cheaper, cleaner power.
“But we must hit the ground running to develop the solutions we need. And that work starts today. We will succeed, or fail, as one.”
Attenborough documentary premieres in Glasgow
Sunday 31 October 2021 20:15 , Tom Batchelor
Sir David Attenborough’s latest landmark natural history series is having its premiere in Glasgow, showing viewers the hidden world of plant life.
The Green Planet uses groundbreaking filming techniques to show viewers the intricate lives of plants and the ecosystems that flourish around them.
The global premiere is taking place in Glasgow on Sunday evening, as the city hosts the Cop26 summit on tackling climate change.
Sir David and Game Of Thrones star Maisie Williams are among those who will be in the audience.
In his latest television production, the renowned natural historian takes an active role in front of the camera, describing the way plants thrive around the world.
Speaking ahead of the showing, he said: “It is quite fitting that The Green Planet will receive its premiere at Cop26, and I’m pleased that I could be in Glasgow to see it with an audience.
“For years plant life has been largely ignored when talking about climate change, but as viewers will see from watching the series, the green ecosystem is at the heart of all life on earth and thus it’s vital that we tackle biodiversity and climate change together.”
Sharma says ‘biggest emitters recognise urgency of accelerating climate action’ after G20
Sunday 31 October 2021 19:59 , Tom Batchelor
Responding to the G20 meeting, Cop26 President Alok Sharma said: “On the eve of Cop26, it is encouraging that the biggest emitters in the world have recognised the urgency of accelerating climate action in this crucial decade.
“The science is clear and G20 countries have responded by committing to set plans consistent with mid-century net zero emissions, and enhancing their 2030 targets, to keep 1.5 degrees within reach.
“It’s very positive to see the G20 agreement to end international coal financing this year. Make no mistake, we are choking off the future of coal. And I welcome countries committing to work together to move to cleaner energy.
“The G20 also recognised the progress on delivering the 100bn, but I appreciate we will need to make more progress on finance at Cop26. I will continue to make this a key priority.
“As we welcome G20 and other world leaders to Cop26 in Glasgow tomorrow, the world is looking to them to build on these commitments and deliver the ambitious climate action the world needs.”
Oxfam criticises lack of G20 bold action to tackle climate change
Sunday 31 October 2021 19:43 , Tom Batchelor
Charity Oxfam was one of many groups that registered their disappointment with the outcome of the G20 meeting, calling the Rome summit a “missed opportunity” full of “vague promises and platitudes” that failed to deliver badly needed concrete action.
“Despite the amazing coffee in Rome, G20 leaders must have been drinking decaf, as their collective results were muted, unambitious, and lacking concrete action plans,” said Oxfam’s Senior Advisor, Jörn Kalinski.
“This G20 was supposed to be a key global moment for shaping effective, innovative and equitable responses towards a post-Covid world, but world leaders failed to come together and deliver the necessary action to the historic crisis still unfolding.”
The charity said the G20 “should have provided the lightning bolt that the Cop26 climate talks so desperately need. Instead, they responded with vague promises and platitudes”, and the meeting was a “missed opportunity to re-invigorate the $100-billion climate finance target that should have been met last year”.
Mr Kalinski added: “Confirming the 1.5C goal of the Paris Agreement was a minimum requirement. Without a promise to revise their lacklustre national climate plans to be in line with this goal, it is meaningless.
“The planet is on fire, and we are running out of time. It is now critical that Cop26 agrees to send all countries back to the drawing board to scale up their climate plans immediately, and not in five years’ time.”
Draghi: ‘Dreams are not only alive but they are progressing'
Sunday 31 October 2021 19:25 , Tom Batchelor
G20 countries made progress towards tackling the growing threat of global warming, Italian PM Mario Draghi said on Sunday, joining Emmanuel Macron in giving an upbeat assessment of the summit.
Mr Draghi, acting president of the G20, told reporters that for the first time all member states had agreed on the importance of capping global warming at the 1.5 degrees Celsius level that scientists say is vital to avoid disaster.
“We made sure that our dreams are not only alive but they are progressing,” he said in a closing news conference, brushing aside criticism from climate activists that the G20 had not gone nearly far enough in trying to resolve the crisis.
“G20 leaders have made substantial commitments ... It is easy to suggest difficult things. It is very, very difficult to actually execute them,” he added, saying he thought countries would continuously improve on their climate initiatives.
G20 was a ‘success’, says Macron
Sunday 31 October 2021 19:10 , Tom Batchelor
Emmanuel Macron said the G20 summit in Rome has been “a success” that delivered results, especially on climate change issues, “despite many division”.
The French president said the two-day summit provided an opportunity “to revive convergence” among the world’s largest economies ahead of the much larger United Nations climate conference in Glasgow that got underway as the G20 meeting ended on Sunday.
“Now, all the work will focus on getting additional efforts from China, from other emerging countries, from Russia, in order to keep going in the right direction,” Mr Macron said.
“Indeed, we must get the G20 economies to do more on the coal energy in their country’s energy mix. That’s the next step,” he added. “We didn’t reach it here ... That was not realistic.”
Glasgow bin collection and street cleaner strikes to go ahead
Sunday 31 October 2021 18:57 , Tom Batchelor
Bin collection and street cleaner strikes will go ahead on Monday as Glasgow hosts world leaders, amid a row between a union and Glasgow City Council.
The GMB union told the Glasgow City Council chief executive, Annemarie O’Donnell, that members of the city’s cleansing service will strike for a week from a minute past midnight on Monday.
The planned strike action was previously called off on Friday after a new pay offer from council umbrella body Cosla.
Then, the GMB said it would suspend the strike for two weeks to consult with members.
On Sunday, GMB Scotland secretary, Louise Gilmour, accused Glasgow City Council of having “failed to give our members the proper time and space to consider the 11th hour offer from Cosla”.
She said there is “too much bad faith among members” towards the council.
Johnson lashes out at world leaders for failing to make climate pledges needed
Sunday 31 October 2021 18:41 , Tom Batchelor
Boris Johnson has lashed out at world leaders for failing to make the commitments needed to halt the climate emergency, as he spoke at the close of the G20 summit.
A visibly frustrated prime minister admitted the Rome gathering had fallen short of what was required to put the Cop26 summit on course for success in Glasgow.
Promises made to tackle the climate crisis are “starting to sound hollow”, Mr Johnson told a press conference – when the “solution is clear”.
Here is the full story:
Glasgow criticised for lack of cycling routes during Cop26
Sunday 31 October 2021 18:25 , Tom Batchelor
We have spent millions at #COP26 for security and police! 😳
We have also been ignoring people campaigning for cycling to be accessible for #COP26. 😶
Yes, this is “signed” diversion route, why they couldn’t have space to allow cycles is a mystery! 🙄 pic.twitter.com/eLilSDfWzh
— Thomas O. Cornwallis (@UrbanistTOC) October 31, 2021
Covid vaccine issues preventing Cop access, claim activists
Sunday 31 October 2021 18:10 , Tom Batchelor
Climate campaigners say lack of access to coronavirus vaccines has hampered those most affected by climate change from attending the Cop26 conference.
As the global climate summit formally opened in Glasgow on Sunday, campaign groups claimed it was the most exclusionary to date and this would hit the decisions made.
Speaking at a press conference in the blue zone of the summit, Dorothy Guerrero, of Global Justice Now, said the refusal to give more manufacturers, particularly in developing countries, access to produce the vaccine is part of the reason some were unable to attend.
She said: “It is not a crime coming from a developing country or a poor country.
“You’re already saddled by the fact that your country was affected already for many decades, and you are the least responsible for this climate change.
“And yet you could not come here and raise your voice in this important meeting simply because you don’t have access to the vaccine and hence you can’t attend the Cop.”
‘If Glasgow fails, the whole thing fails’: Boris Johnson warns as climate summit kicks off
Sunday 31 October 2021 17:59 , Tom Batchelor
Boris Johnson has issued a frank warning about the prospects of global leaders tackling the climate emergency, saying: “If Glasgow fails, the whole thing fails”.
The prime minister’s gloomy remarks — as the Cop26 summit kicks off — came as he described current commitments from countries across the globe as “drops in a rapidly warming ocean”.
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