'We've pulled two goals back in the fight against climate change': PM hails COP26 talks

2 November 2021, 18:15 | Updated: 3 November 2021, 05:20

By Emma Soteriou

Boris Johnson has hailed progress over the first two days of COP26 – believing humanity is starting to level the score against climate change.

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The PM previously described the situation as being 5-1 down in a football game but after agreements on methane and deforestation were thrashed out in Glasgow, he thinks humans are fighting back in the bid to stop environmental catastrophe.

"We’ve pulled back a goal or perhaps even two – and I think we are going to take this thing to extra time because there is no doubt that some progress has been made," Mr Johnson said in a press conference on Tuesday.

Almost 100 countries signed a pledge to cut their methane emissions by 30 per cent by the end of the decade.

Meanwhile, over 100 countries - including Brazil - pledged to stop and reverse deforestation by 2030, backed by £8.75 billion of public funding and £5.3 billion in private investment.

Read more: COP26: Dozens of countries sign up to slash methane emissions

Read more: Jeff Bezos tells COP26 trip to space made him realise how 'fragile' planet is

World leaders originally aimed to reach $100 billion of climate finance a year by 2020, in efforts to limit global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels by assisting developing countries.

However, the target was pushed back 2023 after the goal was missed, with the Prime Minister saying further action was still needed from countries around the world.

Mr Johnson acknowledged that, despite developed countries being delayed in reaching their $100 billion target, they were gradually 'ticking boxes' after having come together at the event.

He recognised the progress already made, with leaders creating 'coalitions of support' for developing countries to move away from use of fossil fuels.

Read more: Joe Biden caught 'taking micro nap' as he listens to COP26 speeches

Mr Johnson also echoed Joe Biden's calls to build back a better world moving forward, as more countries came on board with plans.

World leaders gathered at the UN summit to find ways to tackle the ongoing climate crisis, with Mr Johnson having said the event would be "a turning point for humanity".

The latest global action plan against climate change was introduced under the Paris Agreement, which set out plans for countries to reach net zero by 2050, while also staying within 1.5C of pre-industrial temperature levels.

The Prime Minister previously warned that the world risked saying "goodbye to whole cities" if the temperature of the globe continued to rise.

However, a major blow to Mr Johnson's plans came on Monday when India decided to target net zero for 2070 - two decades after other countries.

It came as Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping were among those deciding not to attend the event in person, instead choosing to send over other senior representatives for the conference.