Queen tells COP26 leaders 'we're doing this not for us but for our children'

1 November 2021, 20:14 | Updated: 2 November 2021, 05:03

By Emma Soteriou

The Queen has told world leaders at COP26: "We are doing this not for ourselves but for our children."

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She sent a video message for leaders instead of appearing in person after being advised by doctors to rest for two weeks.

Addressing delegates, The Queen said everyone should "rise above the politics" and come together to tackle the crisis for future generations.

"In the coming days, the world has the chance to join in the shared objective of creating a safer, stabler future for our people and for the planet on which we depend," she said.

"None of us underestimates the challenges ahead: but history has shown that when nations come together in common cause, there is always room for hope.

"Working side by side, we have the ability to solve the most insurmountable problems and to triumph over the greatest of adversities."

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The head of state added: "I, for one, hope that this conference will be one of those rare occasions where everyone will have the chance to rise above the politics of the moment, and achieve true statesmanship.

"It is the hope of many that the legacy of this summit - written in history books yet to be printed - will describe you as the leaders who did not pass up the opportunity; and that you answered the call of those future generations.

"That you left this conference as a community of nations with a determination, a desire, and a plan, to address the impact of climate change; and to recognise that the time for words has now moved to the time for action.

"Of course, the benefits of such actions will not be there to enjoy for all of us here today: we none of us will live forever. But we are doing this not for ourselves but for our children and our children's children, and those who will follow in their footsteps."

World leaders have gathered in Glasgow for the COP26 summit in a bid to tackle the ongoing climate crisis, which has seen extreme weather conditions impact countries across the globe.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson led calls on Monday for countries to take climate action in order to reach net zero emissions by the middle of the century.

However, he has already faced multiple blows with Russia and China among the countries not attending in person and India pushing its goals back two more decades to 2070.

The event comes after the Queen had her first hospital overnight stay in eight years on 20 October, where preliminary tests were carried out.

She was pictured driving around the Windsor estate for the first time on Monday since being told to pause her official visits.

The monarch is only carrying out light duties for the following weeks, limiting herself to desk-based work such as virtual audiences.