Glasgow climate conference: “It’s a minute to midnight”


Status: 01.11.2021 10:21 a.m.

Political celebrities arrive in Glasgow on the second day of the climate conference. Expectations are high, but so are the burden – also because the G20 summit failed to send a strong signal for more climate protection.

“Ambition, action and acceleration” – under this heading Boris Johnson wants to speak to the heads of state and government today at the climate conference. The British host of COP26 wants to promote more ambition, concrete action – and to accelerate action for climate protection. The British prime minister is likely to advocate a faster phase-out of coal and a quicker switch to e-mobility.

197 nations negotiate for two weeks at the UN climate conference in Glasgow on the further implementation of the Paris climate protection agreement of 2015. It provides for the limitation of global warming to well below two degrees, ideally 1.5 degrees, compared to the pre-industrial age.

COP26: Are the heads of state and government setting the course for more climate protection?

Valerie Krall, ARD London, daily news 09:55 a.m., November 1, 2021

“Played too long for too long with the climate”

Johnson wants to start an attempt to keep the 1.5-degree target alive, i.e. to ensure that there is still the possibility of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. However, the current climate protection projects in the federal states are not sufficient for this. “It is one minute before midnight and we have to act now,” Johnson will appeal to the participants of the COP 26 according to excerpts from speeches distributed in advance. Mankind played for a long time with the climate.

Before the negotiations on more climate protection really begin, it will first be solemn: with speeches by dozens of heads of state and government, the summit will enter its second day. In addition to Johnson, UN Secretary General António Guterres and the British heir to the throne, Prince Charles, also address the plenary. Chancellor Angela Merkel also made a statement on behalf of Germany in the afternoon.

Putin and Xi are not coming to Glasgow

The presidents of Russia and China, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping will not be there. This means that the leaders of two countries that are among the largest greenhouse gas emitters in the world are missing from the climate conference. After all, Xi has announced a written statement. It is eagerly awaited whether the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will announce more ambitious climate targets for his country in the afternoon. This could increase the pressure on China.

The COP26 started yesterday with urgent appeals. The climate conference is the “last” hope to reach the 1.5 degree target, said its President Alok Sharma. IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva warned in an Internet article about the “great threat to macroeconomic and financial stability” posed by climate change and called for more ambitious measures from everyone.

However, the G20 summit in Rome at the weekend in Rome did not provide the COP26 with the signal that many would have wished for. The G20 group, which is responsible for 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, was only able to agree on a minimal consensus.

The goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial age was confirmed, but a target date was not given. Even with the desired CO2 neutrality, the states could not agree on a specific date. This is now to be achieved “by or around the middle of the century”.

Disappointment after the G20 summit

UN Secretary General Guterres expressed his disappointment: “I am leaving Rome with unfulfilled hopes – but at least they are not buried,” he wrote on Twitter.

The renowned German climate expert Mojib Latif was also pessimistic after the G20 summit. “I have the feeling that the world is simply refusing to fight climate change,” said the expert in the joint Morning magazine from ARD and ZDF.

He therefore has little hope of a positive result in Glasgow. “We mustn’t forget, this is the 26th World Climate Conference. They have been sitting together for over a quarter of a century and really haven’t achieved anything,” said the Kiel scientist. Greenhouse gas emissions continued to rise. So he doesn’t expect anything. In the end there will be “fine words again, but nothing will be decided on concrete measures,” said Latif.

Progress is a question of will and leadership, said Johnson, slightly annoyed, yesterday. “If Glasgow fails, the whole thing fails,” he said. Today he now has the chance to show leadership and willpower himself.

With information from Imke Köhler, ARD-Studio London, z. Currently in Glasgow

COP26 – Heads of State and Government at the World Climate Summit

Imke Köhler, ARD Glasgow, October 31, 2021 8:29 pm


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