The highly anticipated COP26 climate change summit starts on Sunday in the Scottish city of Glasgow.
Delegates from around 200 countries will be there to announce how they will cut emissions by 2030 and help the planet.
The first day will see a report on the state of the climate released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
As the world warms from man-made fossil fuel emissions, scientists warn that urgent action is needed to avert a climate catastrophe.
The interim WMO report from climate scientists will compare this year’s global temperatures so far with those of previous years.
Extreme weather events linked to climate change, including heat waves, floods and forest fires, are intensifying. The past decade has been the hottest on record and governments agree on the need for urgent collective action.
The UN rally is one of the largest summits the UK has ever hosted and has been delayed for a year due to the pandemic. COP stands for “conference of the parties” and is the 26th conference of its kind.
Most of the leaders will arrive late Sunday evening. Many are on their way from another summit, the G20, to Rome.
Sunday is largely a ceremonial opening day, with various speeches by people including Abdulla Shahid, president of the UN General Assembly and Maldives foreign minister. The low-lying islands of the Maldives are threatened by climate change due to rising sea levels.
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Countries in every region of the world will have representatives in Glasgow ready to discuss their plans to reduce emissions by 2030.
All agreed in 2015 to make changes to keep global warming “well below” 2 ° C from pre-industrial levels, but since then, as extreme weather events intensify, climate scientists have urged nations to aim for 1.5 ° C to limit the risk of environmental damage. disaster.
At the G20 in Rome, a draft communiqué stated that leaders will pledge to take urgent action to achieve these goals. But already a key commitment to deliver $ 100 billion a year in climate finance to developing countries has already been pushed forward to 2023.
COP26 Climate Summit – The Basics
- Climate change is one of the most pressing problems in the world. Governments must promise more ambitious gas cuts for warming if we are to prevent greater global temperature rises.
- The Glasgow Summit is where change could happen. You have to watch out for the promises made by the world’s biggest polluters, such as the United States and China, and whether the poorest countries are getting the support they need.
- All our lives will change. The decisions made here could impact our work, how we heat our homes, what we eat and how we travel.
Read more about the COP26 Summit here.
‘Moment of Truth’
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said COP26 will be the “world moment of truth” and urged leaders to make the most of the two-week conference.
“The question everyone is asking is whether to seize this moment or let it slip away,” he said on Saturday.
The UK has set a target for all of the nation’s electricity to come from clean sources by 2035 and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. But some experts have said that this is not achievable with current policies. government.
Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon met indigenous people of the Americas in Glasgow on Saturday and said the Scottish government “will do all it can” to help the poorest nations and communities who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
The heads of state will be joined by some of the world’s leading climate activists, including Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg, who was assaulted as she arrived on a “climate train” on Saturday night.
The specially chartered train that arrived from Amsterdam also had around 500 passengers on board including delegates from the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Germany, as well as 150 young activists and members of the European Parliament.
Many participants and activists are taking the train to Glasgow as it is a more sustainable way to travel than by plane.
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