Cop26 summit 'last hope' to limit global warming, says Alok Sharma

·2-min read
Emissions from a Corus steel plant at Redcar on Teeside, UK. - Getty Images
Emissions from a Corus steel plant at Redcar on Teeside, UK. - Getty Images

The international climate change summit Cop26 is the "last hope" to limit global warming to 1.5C, its president-designate will say on Friday.

Alok Sharma will call for countries to follow in the UK’s path by ending their coal power generation during a speech in Glasgow, where the UN summit is due to take place in six months.

He will say that the summit “is our last hope of keeping 1.5 degrees alive. Our best chance of building a brighter future.”

The summit is considered to be the most important of the annual climate meetings since 2015, which led to the Paris Agreement, which aims to keep warming to 1.5C.

The November summit provides a deadline for countries to bring new targets to meet the commitment in the next 10 years.

Last month, the UK announced it would cut emissions by 78 percent by 2035 compared to their peak in 1990. Most countries are expected to announce their targets in the months leading up to the summit, leaving the UK without a clear headline success at the end of the two-week negotiations.

But Mr Sharma will make clear tomorrow that a global pledge to transition away from coal power will be one of the main aims of the summit. “Because if we are serious about 1.5 degrees, Glasgow must be the COP that consigns coal to history,” he will say.

It is still unclear how much of the summit will take place in person, amid concerns over vaccine disparity and possible restrictions on international travel during the pandemic.

While the Government wants to see negotiations happen in Glasgow, the final decision will be taken by the UN body on climate change.

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