Boris Johnson ‘Touch and Go’ If COP26 Climate Summit Will Be a Success
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it is “touch and go” whether global climate talks taking place in the U.K. in a week will be a success.
“It’s going to be very, very tough, this summit,” Johnson said while taking questions from children in London on Monday. “I’m very worried, because it might go wrong and we might not get the agreements that we need.”
Johnson has staked considerable political capital on using the United Nations COP26 summit in Glasgow to put the U.K. at the forefront of global efforts to tackle climate change. But it’s not clear if he can persuade richer countries to fulfil their promise to ramp up climate finance to $100 billion a year to help poorer nations cut carbon emissions and deal with global warming.
His comments come ahead of a UN report on Monday to gauge progress toward climate finance commitments. At the heart of COP negotiations is the issue of fairness, given that economies which industrialized first are now demanding that developing nations do more to cut emissions.
As a raft of countries have submitted new climate pledges ahead of the summit, the UN also publishes a separate report Monday setting out just how effective they will be at limiting global warming. The aim is to keep temperature rises well below 2 degrees Celsius, and preferably to 1.5 degrees.
During the event with schoolchildren, Johnson also attacked “big, famous drinks companies” including Coca-Cola Co. which he said “are producing the overwhelming bulk of the world’s plastics.”
“We’ve got to move away from that and we’ve got to find other ways of packaging and selling our stuff, because it’s ending up in the ecosystem,” he said. “Recycling doesn’t begin to address the problem. What you’ve got to do is stop the production of plastic.”
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