The key quotes of the day from Cop26

·3-min read

“We are in roughly the same position, my fellow global leaders, as James Bond today – except that the tragedy is this is not a movie and the doomsday device is real. The clock is ticking to the furious rhythm of hundreds of billions of pistons and furnaces and engines with which we are pumping carbon into the air faster and faster … and quilting the Earth in an invisible and suffocating blanket of CO2, raising the temperature of the planet with a speed and abruptness that is entirely man-made” – Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“I shouldn’t apologise, but I do apologise for the fact the United States, the last administration, pulled out of the Paris Accords and put us sort of behind the eight ball a little bit” – US President Joe Biden apologises for Donald Trump’s actions.

Greta Thunberg at Cop26 in Glasgow
Greta Thunberg alongside fellow climate activists during a demonstration at Festival Park, Glasgow, on the first day of Cop26 (Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)

“Is this how our story is due to end – a tale of the smartest species doomed by that all-too-human characteristic of failing to see the bigger picture in pursuit of short-term goals?” – Naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.

“So, I can only urge you, as the world’s decision-makers, to find practical ways of overcoming differences so we can all get down to work, together, to rescue this precious planet and save the threatened future of our young people” – The Prince of Wales.

“I am sure that the decisions taken in Glasgow will safeguard the future of generations to come and give them a safe and prosperous life” – India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, demands developed countries make one trillion US dollars available as climate finance.

“We say no more blah blah blah, no more exploitation of people and nature and the planet. No more exploitation. No more blah blah blah. No more whatever the f*** they are doing inside there” – Greta Thunberg.

“I unequivocally apologise for the words I used when trying to emphasise the gravity of the situation facing us at COP26. It’s never right to make comparisons with the atrocities brought by the Nazis, and I’m sorry for the offence caused to Jews by these words” – the Archbishop of Canterbury in a tweet, after he suggested failure by leaders to act would be possibly more grave than leaders who ignored warnings about the Nazis in the 1930s.

Greenpeace ship at Cop26 in Glasgow
The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior makes its way up the River Clyde on the first day of Cop26 in Glasgow (Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)

“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” – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“It’s ridiculous to think that climate talks could be held without the most affected people there and it’s positive that the police and port authorities have changed their minds” – Activists Jakapita Faith Kandanga, Edwin Namakanga, Maria Reyes and Farzana Faruk Jhumu, from communities most affected by climate change, who are onboard the Rainbow Warrior, sailing into the heart of Glasgow.

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