Italian prime minister calls for ‘quantum leap’ on climate change

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Climate change can “tear us apart”, the Italian Prime Minster warned world leaders at the Cop26 climate summit as he called for a “quantum leap” in the fight against it.

Speaking on the first day of the world leaders’ summit at the UN conference in Glasgow, 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.

Cop26 – Glasgow
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) greets Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi at the Cop26 summit (Alastair Grant/PA)

“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.”

He called for action on climate finance, with the public and private sectors working together in new ways.

He urged multilateral development banks, including the World Bank, to make the available money “useable for a good effort”.

Mr Draghi added: “This Cop26 must be the start of a new momentum, a quantum leap in our fight against climate change.

“And our youth must be at the centre of the process.”

He said young people have “done us a service” by bringing climate agenda to the front of political debate, adding: “In Glasgow, here, we need to make them proud”.

He concluded: “Future generations will judge us for what we achieve or fail to achieve.

“We must involve them, listen to them and above all learn from them.”

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