PM: COP26 is 'world's moment of truth' and leaders must 'seize the moment'

30 October 2021, 22:30 | Updated: 30 October 2021, 22:55

Boris Johnson has said he hopes COP26 will bring the "beginning of the end" of global warming
Boris Johnson has said he hopes COP26 will bring the "beginning of the end" of global warming. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

COP26 will be the "world's moment of truth", Boris Johnson has said, as he urged leaders to "seize the moment" and use the Glasgow summit to put a stop to climate change.

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The Prime Minister, who is due to travel to the summit in Glasgow from the G20 in Rome on Sunday evening, said he wanted world leaders to unite and "mark the beginning of the end of climate change".

"COP26 will be the world's moment of truth," said Mr Johnson.

"The question everyone is asking is whether we seize this moment or let it slip away.

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"I hope world leaders will hear them and come to Glasgow ready to answer them with decisive action.

"Together, we can mark the beginning of the end of climate change - and end the uncertainty once and for all."

A key aim of the COP26 summit is to urge countries to advance their net-zero commitments to the middle of the century, through a number of measures such as phasing out coal, switching to electric cars, and planting trees.

Downing Street said there is also a need to finalise the Paris Agreement at the summit, and developed nations are being urged to provide money - 100 billion US dollars between them per year - to help poorer nations deal with climate change.

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The Prime Minister has previously not struck an optimistic tone in the lead-up to the summit, repeating in interviews that he still rated the chances of success in Scotland as no more than six out of 10.

Downing Street said COP26 will be one of the biggest events the UK has ever hosted, with 25,000 delegates expected from 196 countries and the European Union.

Sir David David Attenborough, the COP26 People's Advocate, will be among those to address world leaders as British environmental advocates.

On Monday evening the Prime Minister will host a reception to welcome world leaders to Glasgow, alongside the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall.

The Queen will address the delegates in a pre-recorded video after she was told by doctors to avoid the summit and rest following a hospital visit last week.

Read more: Thousands of activists gather in Glasgow for 'opening ceremony' of COP26 protests

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Arrivals have already started in Glasgow, with hundreds of activists and politicians from Europe arriving on Saturday evening in a specially chartered climate train known as the Rail to COP.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg also arrived on Saturday night, having taken a train from London Euston after taking part in a demonstration in the capital on Friday.