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Cop26 news – live: PM returns to Glasgow amid ‘inadequate’ negotiations as world ‘on course for 2.4C heating’

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Boris Johnson is heading back to the Cop26 summit to try to kick-start the troubled negotiations, amid a fresh warning that they are on course to fail.

The prime minister was expected to return to Glasgow at the end of the week – but will now travel, by train, on Wednesday to encourage “ambitious action” to halt the climate emergency.

the visit comes after a new report from the Climate Action Tracker found that nations’ plans for how they will slash emissions by the end of this decade would result in 2.4C of heating by 2100.

Earlier, fresh analysis suggested up to one billion people could be facing deadly levels of heat stress if global warming reaches 2C above pre-industrial levels.

Currently, 68 million people around the world are affected by heat stress. But a group of academics and Met Office scientists estimate that under a 2C scenario the number of people living under conditions of heat stress could increase 15-fold.

Read More

‘A screaming siren’: Nations’ short-term plans would result in 2.4C of global heating, analysis finds

One billion ‘face dangerous heat if warming hits 2C’

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

Cop26 09/11/2021

  • Boris Johnson heads back to summit to kick-start ‘inadequate’ negotiations

  • ‘Screaming siren’: Nations’ short-term plans would result in 2.4C heating, analysis finds

  • One billion ‘face dangerous heat if warming hits 2C’

  • Still a ‘mountain to climb’ at Cop26, Sharma says

  • Sturgeon: Women must be at centre of climate fight

Ask Me Anything: Caroline Lucas to answer your questions on the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow

20:00 , Emily Atkinson

On Thursday 11 November at 4pm GMT, Caroline Lucas MP will join our climate correspondent, Daisy Dunne, to answer your questions on the Cop26 climate summit and what must happen to get the world on track to meeting its climate goals.

All you have to do is register to submit your question in the comments in the article below. If you’re not already a member, click “sign up” in the comments box to leave your question.

Ask Me Anything: Caroline Lucas answers your questions on the Cop26 climate summit

Extinction Rebellion block Glasgow Street in Rubber Dinghy

19:07 , Emily Atkinson

Extinction Rebellion climate activists have blocked St Vincent Street street by sitting in an inflatable rubber dinghy while covered in fake blood.

An XR band also struck up outside a branch of the bank Santander, where graffiti has been sprayed on the wall.

Police officers stand in front of a branch of Santander on St Vincent Street, Glasgow, where graffiti has been sprayed on the wall, as Extinction Rebellion protest outside.

Police Scotland closed the street and at 5.45pm tweeted: “Two protesters are locked on to a device as part of a protest at St Vincent Street, Glasgow.

“We are removing them for their own safety and the safety of the wider public.”

Police arrested three people as the protest ended just after 6pm.

Police officers stand in front of a branch of Santander on St Vincent Street, Glasgow, where graffiti has been sprayed on the wall, as Extinction Rebellion protest outside. (PA)
Police officers stand in front of a branch of Santander on St Vincent Street, Glasgow, where graffiti has been sprayed on the wall, as Extinction Rebellion protest outside. (PA)

AOC arrives in Glasgow for Cop26 focus on women’s equality

18:00 , Emily Atkinson

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has arrived at Cop26 as part of a Congressional delegation to join the event on gender equality at Cop26 on Tuesday.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez shared details of her journey to Scotland on her Instagram, saying it was her first ever trip with a “codel” - congressional delegation.

She flew in from the US in a military aircraft, posting: “Despite the craziness and media frenzy, I was still a waitress just three years ago.

“So I still have moments in my life where it hits me that I’m actually in Congress. This was one of those moments.”

Posting a photo of the coronavirus test she took upon arrival in the UK, she said: “Shout out to the NHS, I wish we had you at home. We need #medicareforall.”

AOC makes her way through Cop26 (Louise Boyle/ The Independent)
AOC makes her way through Cop26 (Louise Boyle/ The Independent)

Extinction Rebellion performs Scottish ceilidh dance outside Cop26 venue

17:34 , Emily Atkinson

Icelandic glacier melting more rapidly than it can reocover

17:20 , Emily Atkinson

The Breidamerkurjokull glacier in Iceland is now melting faster over summer than it can recover during the winter months, experts have said.

A six week long time-lapse video, captured by Dr Kieran Baxter, a lecturer at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, revealed just how quickly the glacier is now retreating.

He said: “Footage like this should act as a wake-up call that we cannot ignore the signs any longer.

“Climate change is already having dire consequences around the world and we have to take responsibility for that.”

Dr Baxter added: “The paths we choose now, including the decisions made at Cop26, will have a huge influence on the climate impacts that we will have to deal with in the future.

“The volume of ice melt that we are seeing in Iceland is just one of the indicators that show us the scale of those impacts.”

Politician gives Cop26 speech knee-deep in sea

16:38 , Emily Atkinson

Scotland’s Justice secretary defends ‘kettling’ of Cop26 protestors

16:37 , Emily Atkinson

Keith Brown has described Police Scotland’s tactics during the climate summit in Glasgow as “proportionate” following accusations that officers had been “kettling” peaceful protesters earlier this week.

He said: “I am satisfied that they have tried extremely hard to make sure that they have facilitated protests and that their response has been proportionate.”

“I am satisfied from all the conversations I’ve had with Police Scotland that they have tried to be as proportionate as possible to facilitate protests and certainly to work within the bounds of legislation set for them by this Parliament.”

Mr Brown added: “The police refer to that as moving containment and it also said that where they’ve done this is because - in one example - the protesters that had sat down in front of the march and were stopping the rest of the march from taking place and presenting a danger to the public.”

It comes after 21 protesters were arrested during Saturday’s march from Kelvingrove Park to Glasgow Green. Activists who had chained themselves to the King George V Bridge were also forcibly removed.

Breaking: Boris Johnson heads back to summit to kick-start ‘inadequate’ negotiations

16:04 , Emily Atkinson

Boris Johnson is heading back to the Cop26 summit to try to kick-start the troubled negotiations, amid a fresh warning that they are on course to fail.

The prime minister was expected to return to Glasgow at the end of the week – but will now travel, by train, on Wednesday to encourage “ambitious action” to halt the climate emergency.

It is unclear whether Mr Johnson hopes to intervene on any particular sticking point in the talks, which are due to end on Friday.

More to follow

Boris Johnson heads back to Cop26 to kick-start ‘inadequate’ talks

Nearly three-quarters of Americans suffer eco-anxiety

15:50 , Emily Atkinson

A survey has revealed that more Americans than ever are fearful of the ravages of man-made climate change – causing many to suffer anxiety or depression, Samuel Webb reports.

Yale University’s Climate Change in the American Mind survey found that an all-time record 70% of Americans are now very or somewhat worried about global warming.

The full story is available here:

Nearly three-quarters of Americans suffer eco-anxiety

Green council leader sorry for flight to Cop26 from Brighton

15:27 , Emily Atkinson

Councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty, the leader of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Green group, has described his flight from Gatwick to Glasgow to protest against climate change at Cop26 as a ‘major failure of judgement’.

After completing the 460-mile journey, Cllr Mac Cafferty made a speech on cutting carbon emissions and appeared at a protest march, led by Greta Thunberg, calling for world leaders to stop temperatures rising.

Samuel Webb has the full story here:

Green council leader sorry for flight to Cop26 from Brighton

Still a ‘mountain to climb’ at Cop26, Sharma says

15:00 , Matt Mathers

There is still a mountain to climb before countries can reach a consensus on key issues at the Cop26 climate summit, our climate correspondent Daisy Dunne reports.

“We are making progress at Cop26 but we still have a mountain to climb over the next few days,” UK minister and Cop president Alok Sharma told a press briefing held on Tuesday.

“The time has now come to find consensus on areas of political divergence and we have only a few days left.”

Mr Sharma confirmed that the UK presidency will publish the first draft of the cover text for the final agreement from Glasgow overnight.

“It will likely require negotiating teams to consult their leaders and capitals,” he said – a hint that the draft may push countries to go further to keep hopes of limiting global heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels alive.

It comes after a stark analysis found that, even when new commitments made in Glasgow are taken into account, global greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 are expected to be double what would be necessary to limit global heating to 1.5C. More to follow soon.

The impacts of the climate crisis are not gender-neutral

14:55 , Matt Mathers

The rapidly-changing climate is exacerbating and deepening existing gender inequalities — and women and girls are bearing the biggest burden, writes Natalia Kanem.

Read Natalia’s full piece here:

Opinion: The impacts of the climate crisis are not gender-neutral

Sturgeon: Women must be at centre of climate fight

14:40 , Matt Mathers

Scotland's first minister has told the Cop26 UN climate summit that the voices of women must be at the centre of helping to tackle climate change.

Nicola Sturgeon said more women and girls needed to be in decision-making roles as she said the situation where a minority of the 120 world leaders earlier who addressed the summit in Glasgow were female "must change".

Women are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, as they form a large majority of the world's poor, often depend on small-scale farming for their livelihoods and can comprise 80 per cent of those displaced by climate-related disasters.

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon attends the Cop26 summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow for the opening of the Gender Day event. Picture date: Tuesday November 9, 2021. (PA)
Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon attends the Cop26 summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow for the opening of the Gender Day event. Picture date: Tuesday November 9, 2021. (PA)

Speaking on Tuesday as she chaired a panel at an event focusing on advancing gender equality in climate action, Ms Sturgeon said: "There is no doubt we must ensure that climate change is a feminist issue.

"We must make sure that the experiences of women and girls across the world, so often disproportionately impacted by climate change, are understood as we devise the solutions.

"And we must make sure that the voices of women are at the centre of creating and implementing the solutions to climate change."

British designers showcase sustainable practices at fashion show

14:25 , Matt Mathers

A number of British fashion houses including Burberry, Stella McCartney and Mulberry have taken part in a fashion show at Cop26.

On Tuesday, 9 November, the British Fashion Council hosted “GREAT Fashion for Climate Action”, an event which showcased how brands have adapted their work to increase sustainability and reduce their contribution to the climate crisis.

My colleague Saman Javed reports:

British designers showcase sustainable practices in Cop26 fashion show

‘Screaming siren’: Nations’ short-term plans would result in 2.4C heating, analysis finds

14:02 , Matt Mathers

Countries’ short-term climate plans are still far off what is needed to meet the Paris Agreement’s aspiration of keeping temperatures at 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, a new analysis concludes.

Our climate correspondent Daisy Dunne reports:

Nations’ short-term plans would result in 2.4C heating, analysis finds

Climate action a matter of ‘justice and equality’, says Nancy Pelosi as she and AOC arrive in Glasgow

13:53 , Matt Mathers

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nancy Pelosi have arrived at Cop26 as part of a Congressional delegation, as the climate change summit focuses on women's equality.

The Democratic congresswoman and the US Speaker of the House will join Nicola Sturgeon and others at an event on gender equality on Tuesday.

Ms Pelosi is joined by a group of 21 US politicians who have travelled to the conference in Glasgow.

Addressing the conference on Tuesday, she said this was the largest congressional delegation ever to have attended a climate change conference.

Ms Pelosi said addressing climate change was a matter of "justice and equality".

She said: "We come here fresh from advancing the most ambitious and consequential climate and energy legislation of all time in our country."

Ms Pelosi also introduced the First Minister, who went on to chair a panel discussion on gender equality and climate change.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez shared details of her journey to Scotland on her Instagram, saying it was her first ever trip with a "codel" - congressional delegation.

She flew in from the US in a military aircraft, posting: "Despite the craziness and media frenzy, I was still a waitress just three years ago.

"So I still have moments in my life where it hits me that I'm actually in Congress. This was one of those moments."

Posting a photo of the coronavirus test she took upon arrival in the UK, she said: "Shout out to the NHS, I wish we had you at home. We need #medicareforall."

Watch live as ‘Little Amal’ puppet meets climate activists at Cop26 in Glasgow

13:40 , Matt Mathers

Sir Patrick Vallance says ‘climate change greater threat than Covid’

13:25 , Matt Mathers

The most senior scientific adviser to the UK government, Sir Patrick Vallance, has said climate change is a bigger problem than the Covid-19 pandemic.

He told the BBC: “The reason I say it is a bigger problem is because in terms of the overall effect on humanity, if this is not stopped it is a bigger, bigger challenge to the way we live and lives will be lost.”

Samuel Webb has more details below:

Sir Patrick Vallance says ‘climate change greater threat than Covid’

ICYMI: How Glaswegians view the global climate summit on their doorstep

13:10 , Matt Mathers

‘We’re selling an awful lot more whisky than pints of Tennent’s’ one bar owner tells our senior climate correspondent Louise Boyle.

Read Louise’s full article here:

Cop26: How Glaswegians view the global climate summit on their doorstep

Climate activist barricades himself inside car at world’s largest coal port

12:45 , Matt Mathers

A climate activist has barricaded himself inside a reinforced car on a railway leading into the world’s largest coal port.

The activist, who only gave his name as Jarrah, has locked his arm into a metal part encased in concrete in a hole in the ground on the tracks leading to the Port of Newcastle on the East Coast of Australia.

Samuel Webb reports:

Climate activist barricades himself inside car at world’s largest coal port

UK health secretaries pledge commit to net zero

12:10 , Matt Mathers

The UK's four health secretaries have committed to achieving net zero in the health service.

Health secretaries in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland made the pledge as part of Science and Innovation Day on day nine of the crucial talks in Glasgow.

The programme is orchestrated by the UK government, the World Health Organisation, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and healthcare NGOs.

No time frame was given for all the UK's health services to reach the net zero goal, but NHS England set out plans last year hit it by 2040, with an aim of an 80 per cent reduction between by 2028 and 2032.

It has pledged to go net zero across its entire supply chain by 2045.

The government has so far committed £280 million to decarbonising the NHS estate in England.

The effects of global warming such as extreme weather, high temperatures, food and water insecurity and infectious disease were described by the Department of Health as the "biggest health challenge of this century".

Health and social scare secretary Sajid Javid said: "As a health community, we cannot simply sit on the sidelines - we must respond to climate change through urgent action, with global collaboration at its core."

The 47 countries that have joined the Cop26 Health Programme so far have vowed to take "concrete steps" towards creating climate-resilient health systems.

ICYMI: Cop26 will be the whitest and most privileged ever – it should be a source of great shame to everyone

11:45 , Matt Mathers

Our best guarantee against a climate apartheid world is for richer countries in the global north to take radical action now, writes Labour MP Diane Abbott.

Read Diane’s full piece here:

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

UK to invest £210m in nuclear reactor research

11:25 , Matt Mathers

Britain is investing some 210 million pounds ($285 million) in small nuclear reactor research as the government seeks alternatives to fossil fuels amid fears over rising gas prices.

The investment, which will be matched with some 250 million pounds($340 million) from the private sector, comes amid hope the small modular reactors could be in use by the 2030s. Such reactors would have the potential to be less expensive and more easily moved, supporters say.

The recipient of the government funds, Rolls-Royce SMR, estimates that each small modular reactor it hopes to build could be capable of powering 1 million homes.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the U.K. to deploy more low-carbon energy than ever before and ensure greater energy independence," business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said.

Interest in atomic power has grown along with concerns that the world is reducing greenhouse gas emissions too slowly. But environmentalists have long eschewed nuclear power, citing the lingering issue of what to do with nuclear waste.

1.5C should be ‘non-negotiable’, top government science adviser warns

11:01 , Matt Mathers

It is crucial that the goal to limit temperature rises to 1.5C is kept alive, Sir Patrick Vallance has warned.

Speaking at Cop26, the government's chief scientific adviser said the goal, which aims to limit the most dangerous impacts of global warming, is not negotiable, although he acknowledged it will be very tough to meet.

In a press conference at Cop26, Sir Patrick said: "It's crucial that the 1.5C is kept alive. I don't think this is a negotiable thing. It has to happen."

He pointed to announcements that have been made by countries in the 10 days at the Cop26 conference so far, including on curbing methane emissions, on deforestation and funding for agricultural innovation.

"These are all important steps in the right direction. I hope we will see more over the course of this week." he said.

He added: "This is tough, 1.5C is really tough, it's not an easy target."

“Behaviour change is part of this, and some of that is down to what we do as individuals and some of it is what needs to happen to make things easier for us.

“We can’t assume it’s going to be dramatic personal behaviour change that’s going to be the solution to this unless we make some way to of making that easier so that the green choice is actually the easy choice.”

Tim Peake: Space exploration needed to tackle climate change

10:45 , Matt Mathers

Astronaut Tim Peake has said he is "disappointed" that space travel is starting to be seen as luxury tourism for the super-rich, and warned we will never tackle climate change without it.

Major Peake made the comments at the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Asked how he feels about space travel becoming the preserve of billionaires, he said: "I personally am a fan of using space for science and for the benefit of everybody back on Earth so in that respect I feel disappointed that space is being tarred with that brush."

But he said humans do not face a choice between space exploration and tackling climate change, adding that the widely reported figure that one rocket launch emits more than 300 tonnes of carbon is false.

Astronaut Tim Peake attends ‘In conversation: The science behind Cop’ during the Science and Innovation Day of the Cop26 summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow. Picture date: Tuesday November 9, 2021. (PA)
Astronaut Tim Peake attends ‘In conversation: The science behind Cop’ during the Science and Innovation Day of the Cop26 summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow. Picture date: Tuesday November 9, 2021. (PA)

Major Peake said: "It is important to get the facts right as well - rocket fuel, some of the most efficient rocket fuel is hydrogen and oxygen.

"(Jeff Bezos's) Blue Origin is using that, so it is not 300 tonnes of carbon, there is no carbon, it is water vapour - if you burn hydrogen and oxygen it's water vapour.

"Now water vapour in itself has problems, I am not trying to defend it or deny it, but we also have to get the facts right about what people are doing."

Major Peake was only the sixth British person to go on board the International Space Station, and famously ran the 2016 London Marathon from its treadmill.

Analysis: climate is changing behaviour – and business must react

10:30 , Matt Mathers

The Covid pandemic brought huge changes to how we live. Now the push for net zero will require the same and government must help consumers make the switch, writes Phil Thornton.

Read Phil’s full piece here:

Climate is changing behaviour – and business must react

Watch: Follow live as climate think tank holds news conference at Cop26

10:04 , Matt Mathers

Full report: Cambo 'puts 100 species at risk'

09:36 , Matt Mathers

The Cambo oil field project could jeopardise hundreds of species including protected deep sea sponges and "contribute to the climate crisis", environmental groups have warned.

Environmentalists said pipelines to export the oil from the Cambo field would cut through approximately 22 miles of the Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt, a UK Marine Protected Area.

It is home to rare deep-sea sponges, known as "cheese-bottoms" by fishermen, and ocean quahogs, a type of clam that can live for hundreds of years, making it one of the oldest living creatures on earth.

A review from the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (Elaw) warns that the Cambo project "could jeopardise hundreds of species over several decades, as well as livelihoods".

Activists from Friends of the Earth during a demonstration calling for an end to all new oil and gas projects in the North Sea, starting with the proposed Cambo oil field, outside the UK Government’s Cop26 hub during the Cop26 summit in Glasgow. Picture date: Sunday November 7, 2021. (PA)
Activists from Friends of the Earth during a demonstration calling for an end to all new oil and gas projects in the North Sea, starting with the proposed Cambo oil field, outside the UK Government’s Cop26 hub during the Cop26 summit in Glasgow. Picture date: Sunday November 7, 2021. (PA)

As Cop26 UN climate change talks take place in Glasgow, environmental groups are calling on the UK Government to say no to Siccar Point Energy's Cambo proposal, in which Shell has a stake.

Tessa Khan, director of Uplift said: "These critical climate talks have two goals: enormous global cuts to carbon emissions and the protection and restoration of the natural world.

"And yet, just a couple of hundred miles north of Glasgow, Cop26's hosts are considering doing the complete opposite.

"This new oil field will contribute to the climate crisis while potentially damaging a sensitive underwater world. Everyone loses except the oil companies.

"The UK Government must protect its seas, lead the world beyond oil and gas and say no to Cambo."

Sixteen marine protection and climate groups, including Greenpeace UK, WWF UK, the Marine Conservation Society and Friends of the Earth Scotland, have written to the UK Government's offshore oil and gas environmental regulator, Opred, asking it to include marine impacts when assessing the Cambo drilling application.

Full report: One billion ‘face dangerous heat if warming hits 2C’

09:30 , Matt Mathers

One billion people could be facing deadly levels of heat stress if global warming reaches 2C above pre-industrial levels, new research has found.

My colleague Celine Wadhera has the story:

One billion ‘face dangerous heat if warming hits 2C’

Full report: Obama calls for action on pledges made at summit

09:28 , Matt Mathers

Former president Barack Obama attended Cop26 yesterday, bringing political weight to the climate summit as the second week of meetings on the world’s biggest problems get underway.

Mr Obama played a major role in the delivery of 2015’s Paris climate agreement – widely regarded as a major diplomatic and environmental success.

Our environment correspondent Harry Cockburn has more details below:

Obama brings political clout to second week of climate conference

Good morning

09:25 , Matt Mathers

Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of the Cop26 summit in Glasgow.

We’ll bring you updates from the crucial talks as the day develops.

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