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UK News

PM warns all countries must ‘do more’ in fight to tackle global warming


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Boris Johnson has warned that all countries are “going to have to do more” in the fight to tackle global warming.

Speaking on the second day of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, the prime minister said “coalitions of support” are being created to help countries, including China, which “find it most difficult to transition away from fossil fuels”.

The PM said there is “still a very long way to go” in tackling climate change, but that he is “cautiously optimistic” that progress is being made at the conference.

Recalling a football reference he made before the G20 meeting in Rome where “team world” were 5-1 down in a match against climate change, the PM said humanity has “pulled back a goal, or perhaps even two”.

He added: “I think we are going to be able to take this thing to extra-time, because there’s no doubt that some progress has been made.”

Mr Johnson also warned that world leaders must not “think in any way that the job is done” and that the battle to keep global warming lower than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels is a “team game”.

“I think everybody’s working very hard together to keep 1.5 alive,” he said.

More on Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson i Press Afternoon press conference at cop26
Image: Earlier on Tuesday, Downing Street said climate talks at the conference were beginning to gather ‘significant momentum’

The prime minister also dismissed suggestions that the country could hold a referendum on the government’s net zero plans.

“I think this country has probably had enough referendums to be going on with for a while, that’s my general view on the matter,” he said.

Addressing reporters, the PM dismissed concerns that Chinese President Xi’s absence from the summit has hampered its chance of success, saying it “doesn’t mean the Chinese are not engaging”.

Mr Johnson said China has already made “a substantial commitment” in pledging to move to net zero by 2060 or before, but added that more “commitments” are needed.

“China has fantastic power to make change in the way it runs its economy, they’ve committed to no new financing of overseas coal, that’s a big change already, you’re starting to see the impact of that Chinese decision to stop financing coal overseas in the whole Asia Pacific region already, ” he said.

The PM added that developed countries should meet their promise to send 100 billion dollars (£74 billion) a year to less developed nations faster.

“I think that the 100 billion is still something that we’re pushing for earlier. We’re going to get it by 2023. But we need to see more,” he said.

“I thought that what Japan had to say was great. But this isn’t over. We need further action from countries around the world. And we’re certainly going to keep the pressure up.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Downing Street said the COP26 climate change talks were beginning to gather “significant momentum” after a series of announcements were made.

The UK government were encouraged by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to slash India’s carbon emissions by 2030 and described a declaration by 110 countries – including Brazil – to halt and reverse the process of deforestation a “massive success”.

Elsewhere, a vast number of countries signed up to a US-EU initiative to cut methane emissions by 30% by the end of the decade, in what is seen as one of the fastest ways of reducing the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

“I think we are starting to see some significant momentum over the past day and a half as we see some real tangible commitments announced,” a UK government spokesman said.

“What is vital is that we continue to use the entire two weeks of COP to push forward to get success at all levels.

“The prime minister will remain closely involved in that work over the next two days. A large number of cabinet ministers will be involved as well.”

The spokesman also acknowledged there would still be some difficult negotiations to come, including on climate finance.

The positive outlook from UK officials was later echoed by US climate envoy John Kerry who said: “We’ve already achieved an enormous amount at COP, in ambition, money, a whole bunch of new initiatives.”

The COP26 climate summit in Glasgow began on Monday and will continue until 12 November.

Ahead of the conference, the PM expressed his frustration and little progress being achieved on climate issues at the G20 summit in Rome last weekend ahead of the Glasgow conference.

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Written by: Rother Radio News

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