Boris Johnson says G20 net zero plan is ‘too vague’ and progress is ‘not enough’

Cop26: Greta Thunberg mobbed by activists as she arrives in Glasgow

The long-awaited climate summit Cop26 is opening today, with delegates continuing to arrive in Glasgow.

World leaders, advisers and scientists will come together in the Scottish city tomorrow to commit to reducing carbon emissions in hopes of avoiding a climate catastrophe.

G20 leaders have been accused of failing to beef up climate commitments after a statement issued was by the group pledging to only “enhance when necessary” plans to cut carbon emissions by 2030 – the cut-off point for averting disaster, scientists say.

It sets no date for phasing out the fossil fuel. There is also no deadline for ending fossil fuel subsidies, which have soared since the easing of the Covid pandemic.

Speaking at the end of the G20 meeting in Rome, Boris Johnson admitted that the commitment was “too vague” and said the existing pledges were “not enough”.


Attenborough documentary premieres in Glasgow

Sir David Attenborough’s latest landmark natural history series is having its premiere in Glasgow, showing viewers the hidden world of plant life.

The Green Planet uses groundbreaking filming techniques to show viewers the intricate lives of plants and the ecosystems that flourish around them.

The global premiere is taking place in Glasgow on Sunday evening, as the city hosts the Cop26 summit on tackling climate change.

Sir David and Game Of Thrones star Maisie Williams are among those who will be in the audience.

In his latest television production, the renowned natural historian takes an active role in front of the camera, describing the way plants thrive around the world.

Speaking ahead of the showing, he said: “It is quite fitting that The Green Planet will receive its premiere at Cop26, and I’m pleased that I could be in Glasgow to see it with an audience.

“For years plant life has been largely ignored when talking about climate change, but as viewers will see from watching the series, the green ecosystem is at the heart of all life on earth and thus it’s vital that we tackle biodiversity and climate change together.”

Sir David Attenborough attends the premiere of Green Planet at the Glasgow IMAX cinema in the Green Zone at Cop26 in Glasgow


Tom Batchelor31 October 2021 20:15


Sharma says ‘biggest emitters recognise urgency of accelerating climate action’ after G20

Responding to the G20 meeting, Cop26 President Alok Sharma said: “On the eve of Cop26, it is encouraging that the biggest emitters in the world have recognised the urgency of accelerating climate action in this crucial decade.

“The science is clear and G20 countries have responded by committing to set plans consistent with mid-century net zero emissions, and enhancing their 2030 targets, to keep 1.5 degrees within reach.

“It’s very positive to see the G20 agreement to end international coal financing this year. Make no mistake, we are choking off the future of coal. And I welcome countries committing to work together to move to cleaner energy.

“The G20 also recognised the progress on delivering the 100bn, but I appreciate we will need to make more progress on finance at Cop26. I will continue to make this a key priority.

“As we welcome G20 and other world leaders to Cop26 in Glasgow tomorrow, the world is looking to them to build on these commitments and deliver the ambitious climate action the world needs.”

Tom Batchelor31 October 2021 19:59


Oxfam criticises lack of G20 bold action to tackle climate change

Charity Oxfam was one of many groups that registered their disappointment with the outcome of the G20 meeting, calling the Rome summit a “missed opportunity” full of “vague promises and platitudes” that failed to deliver badly needed concrete action.

“Despite the amazing coffee in Rome, G20 leaders must have been drinking decaf, as their collective results were muted, unambitious, and lacking concrete action plans,” said Oxfam’s Senior Advisor, Jörn Kalinski.

“This G20 was supposed to be a key global moment for shaping effective, innovative and equitable responses towards a post-Covid world, but world leaders failed to come together and deliver the necessary action to the historic crisis still unfolding.”

The charity said the G20 “should have provided the lightning bolt that the Cop26 climate talks so desperately need. Instead, they responded with vague promises and platitudes”, and the meeting was a “missed opportunity to re-invigorate the $100-billion climate finance target that should have been met last year”.

Mr Kalinski added: “Confirming the 1.5C goal of the Paris Agreement was a minimum requirement. Without a promise to revise their lacklustre national climate plans to be in line with this goal, it is meaningless.

“The planet is on fire, and we are running out of time. It is now critical that Cop26 agrees to send all countries back to the drawing board to scale up their climate plans immediately, and not in five years’ time.”

Tom Batchelor31 October 2021 19:43


Draghi: ‘Dreams are not only alive but they are progressing’

G20 countries made progress towards tackling the growing threat of global warming, Italian PM Mario Draghi said on Sunday, joining Emmanuel Macron in giving an upbeat assessment of the summit.

Mr Draghi, acting president of the G20, told reporters that for the first time all member states had agreed on the importance of capping global warming at the 1.5 degrees Celsius level that scientists say is vital to avoid disaster.

“We made sure that our dreams are not only alive but they are progressing,” he said in a closing news conference, brushing aside criticism from climate activists that the G20 had not gone nearly far enough in trying to resolve the crisis.

“G20 leaders have made substantial commitments … It is easy to suggest difficult things. It is very, very difficult to actually execute them,” he added, saying he thought countries would continuously improve on their climate initiatives.

Tom Batchelor31 October 2021 19:25


G20 was a ‘success’, says Macron

Emmanuel Macron said the G20 summit in Rome has been “a success” that delivered results, especially on climate change issues, “despite many division”. 

The French president said the two-day summit provided an opportunity “to revive convergence” among the world’s largest economies ahead of the much larger United Nations climate conference in Glasgow that got underway as the G20 meeting ended on Sunday. 

“Now, all the work will focus on getting additional efforts from China, from other emerging countries, from Russia, in order to keep going in the right direction,” Mr Macron said.

“Indeed, we must get the G20 economies to do more on the coal energy in their country’s energy mix. That’s the next step,” he added. “We didn’t reach it here … That was not realistic.” 

Tom Batchelor31 October 2021 19:10


Glasgow bin collection and street cleaner strikes to go ahead

Bin collection and street cleaner strikes will go ahead on Monday as Glasgow hosts world leaders, amid a row between a union and Glasgow City Council.

The GMB union told the Glasgow City Council chief executive, Annemarie O’Donnell, that members of the city’s cleansing service will strike for a week from a minute past midnight on Monday.

The planned strike action was previously called off on Friday after a new pay offer from council umbrella body Cosla.

Then, the GMB said it would suspend the strike for two weeks to consult with members.

On Sunday, GMB Scotland secretary, Louise Gilmour, accused Glasgow City Council of having “failed to give our members the proper time and space to consider the 11th hour offer from Cosla”.

She said there is “too much bad faith among members” towards the council.

Tom Batchelor31 October 2021 18:57


Johnson lashes out at world leaders for failing to make climate pledges needed

Boris Johnson has lashed out at world leaders for failing to make the commitments needed to halt the climate emergency, as he spoke at the close of…

Read More: Boris Johnson says G20 net zero plan is ‘too vague’ and progress is ‘not enough’

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