Ed Miliband: COP26 needs to be a 'global embarrassment mechanism'

1 November 2021, 08:17

By Asher McShane

Shadow business secretary Ed Miliband explained the purpose of COP26 this morning on LBC, saying the climate summit needs to be viewed as an "embarrassment mechanism" to shame countries into taking action on climate change.

Mr Miliband told Nick Ferrari at Breakfast that we need to be "straight and candid" about what needs to be done for the climate to stop the "very, very scary" consequences of not halving global emissions by the end of the decade.

"Whatever happens here in Glasgow, we need to tell that truth," he said. "We need to force world leaders to negotiate on the basis of that truth and I hope that's what the Prime Minister does in the next couple of weeks."

READ MORE: 'It's one minute to midnight': PM's climate warning as COP26 gets under way

"People will wonder what's the point of this summit. The point is it's a sort of global embarrassment mechanism.

"It's like putting world leaders on the spot to say - are you going to step up?"

Boris Johnson today said that humanity has "run down the clock" on climate change and must get serious about action.

In a speech later he is expected to urge countries to move from talk and debate to concerted real-world action.

He will call for action on phasing out coal power, protecting and restoring forests, providing finance for countries to tackle climate change and boosting electric vehicles.

The Prime Minister is also pledging an extra £1 billion in climate finance to support developing countries by 2025 if the economy grows as forecast and the UK's aid budget returns to the 0.7% of GDP level.

The UK Government has faced criticism for cutting the aid budget, in the run-up to the talks where delivery of a long-promised 100 billion US dollars a year by 2020 for poorer countries to develop cleanly and cope with climate impacts is a key issue for developing nations.

Ahead of the Cop26 summit, a report revealed that developed countries would not mobilise the 100 billion dollar goal for public and private finance until 2023.

The UK doubled its promised climate aid to £11.6bn over five years in 2019 and the new announcement would bring that to £12.6bn if it is delivered.

Separately the UN has warned that plans by countries to cut climate-warming emissions in the next decade were not enough to put the world on track to limit warming to 1.5C, beyond which increasingly severe extreme weather, rising seas and damage to crops, health and wildlife will be felt.