COP26 to go ‘right down to the wire’ says expert
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World leaders and activists have gathered in Glasgow for the climate change summit but as the conference enters its last 24 hours, the EU has been accused of negotiating against the tougher proposals.
According to Politico Playbook, larger European nations are also accused of “doing little to help convince the hardline countries to soften their positions”.
Politico’s Karl Mathiesen said: “The rumbles in the corridors at the COP26 climate talks have been growing all week: Where is the EU?
“Europe’s traditional role in the UN climate process has been to drive the conversation on ambition both inside and outside meeting rooms.
“As talks enter their final 24 hours, it’s still one of the most forthright backers of a strong deal in Glasgow.
“But according to green groups, diplomats, observers and allies, the EU in Glasgow has appeared ineffective, constrained and at times looked inept.”
The departure of German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also raised concerns there will be a vacuum of EU leadership on climate change.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged his counterparts to “pick up their phones” and tell their COP26 negotiating teams to agree a deal to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
He said: “The negotiations are getting tough. With only a few days left, there is still a huge amount to do.
“You cannot now sit on your hands as the world asks you to act ‑ because the world knows what a mess our planet is in.”
At a COP26 news conference, the Prime Minister said the summit had brought the world “closer than it has ever been to signalling the beginning of the end” of climate change.
He described it as “the greatest gift we can possibly bestow on our children and our grandchildren and generations unborn”.
He added: “At COP26, in these final days, we just need to reach out together and grasp it.”
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And he asked his fellow leaders: “Will you help us do that? Will you help us grasp that opportunity? Or will you stand in the way?”
Mr Johnson said failure to agree a significant deal would be “colossal ‑ an absolute disaster for the planet”.
He added: “It’s clear that after a surge of really positive, game-changing announcements last week ‑ on methane, on finance, on forests in particular ‑ we are now firmly in the hard yards, the nuts and bolts of international climate diplomacy.
“The line is in sight, but if we’re going to get there we need a determined push to get us over the line.
“We need to be more ambitious and we need more credible plans.
“We have to bridge the gap between where we are and where we need to be if we’re going to cut emissions in half by 2030.
“We need to pull out all the stops.”
The Prime Minister continued: “The world has heard leaders from every country, continent, stand here and acknowledge the need for action.
“The world will find it absolutely incomprehensible if we fail to deliver that. And the backlash from people will be immense and…long-lasting.
“We all agree what needs to be done, we just need the courage to actually get on and do it.”
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