UK PM warns that securing climate pledges before the COP26 session will be difficult

Image credit: PeakNews

The UK Prime Minister has stated that getting other countries to sign up to financial and environmental commitments ahead of the crucial COP26 climate change summit in November is a “six out of ten” possibility.

Boris Johnson is in the United States for a United Nations summit, where he will call on world leaders to take “concrete action” on the matter. However, he stated that persuading friends to fulfil their commitment of providing $100 billion per year to underdeveloped countries to reduce carbon emissions would be “difficult.” In Glasgow, the United Kingdom is holding COP26.

With more than a hundred international leaders arriving in New York this week for the UN General Assembly, Mr. Johnson will use a series of high-level meetings to galvanise action.

“I think getting it all done this week is going to be a stretch,” Mr. Johnson told reporters during his flight. But I give it a six out of ten chance of being completed by COP.

According to OECD numbers released this week, industrialised countries “collectively failed” to meet their $100 billion (£73 billion) objective in 2019, with only $79.6 billion in climate finance mobilised in 2019.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has not yet committed to attending the summit, according to COP26 president Alok Sharma, who is accompanying the PM. Mr. Sharma had “some terrific chats” with his Chinese counterparts about the things they wanted to achieve, according to Mr. Johnson.

After social media posts surfaced showing her previously disputing climate change, Mr. Johnson insisted that incoming International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan would do an “excellent job.”

“I don’t want to discourage you, but you could find some statements I made about climate change in some of my publications from 20 years ago that weren’t fully supportive of the current struggle,” he remarked.

Mr Johnson will also go to Washington, where he will meet for the first time with US Vice President Joe Biden at the White House. The prime minister is expected to fight for the reintroduction of UK-US travel, as Mr Biden’s administration has kept the ban in place despite other travel restrictions being relaxed.

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