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COP26 : Those Who Have Done The Least To Cause This Problem Are Being The Hardest Hit

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After greeting around 120 world leaders Boris Johnson opened the conference, telling delegates that “If we don’t get serious about climate change today, it will be too late for our children to do so tomorrow,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told leaders at the start of the COP26 summit.  Mr Johnson said the conference in Glasgow “must mark the beginning of the end” of climate change. He was speaking to leaders from 120 countries ahead of tense talks.

Veteran broadcaster and environmentalist Sir David Attenborough also spoke to the leaders, and was given a standing ovation by US President Joe Biden.

Alongside a dramatic soundtrack and a video showing striking images of the planet, Sir David said: “Today, those who have done the least to cause this problem are being the hardest hit – ultimately all of us will feel the impacts, some of which are now unavoidable.” “We are already in trouble,” he told them – but said he hoped they would be motivated by a “desperate hope” rather than fear.

When Joe Biden took to the stage in Glasgow to deliver his speech to COP26, he made sure to underline one thing. Just as he did at his news conference last night in Rome at the G20, he wanted to set out his green credentials; American leadership on climate change. He can point to a gargantuan spending bill about to go before Congress, which has an eye-watering $555bn (£400bn) for clean energy credits and incentives. It will be the biggest investment in US history to tackle global warming. But, but, but – this legislation hasn’t yet been passed because he’s not sure he’s got the votes. One of the most significant proposals – a programme that would reward power companies for moving away from fossil fuels and penalising those who don’t – was nixed by a Democratic senator from West Virginia coal country, Joe Manchin.

COP 26

India plans to reduce its emissions to net zero by 2070

India plans to reduce its emissions to net zero by 2070, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told the COP26 climate summit. Mr Modi said his country had “spared no efforts in fulfilling its duty” to combat climate change.

Unlike other major economies, this is the first time India has made such a pledge. A key goal of the Glasgow summit, however, is for all countries to commit to net zero by 2050. Net zero, or becoming carbon neutral, means not adding to the amount of greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere.

In contrast, China has announced plans for carbon neutrality by 2060, while the US and EU aim to hit net zero by 2050.

Activist Greta Thunberg told youth protesters outside the venue that politicians were “pretending to take our future seriously”. Climate change activist Greta Thunberg has been highly critical of global leaders over their action to limit global warming. But speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr ahead of the COP26 climate summit, she said she was still hopeful – but that “massive changes” were needed.

President Xi of China – the world’s largest emitter of carbon – chose not to attend COP26 and instead sent a written statement with no new announcement

Elsewhere, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby apologised after making a comparison between a failure to tackle climate change and the failure to tackle the actions of Nazi Germany.

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