Boris Johnson praises people of Glasgow following COP26 summit

The Prime Minister acknowledged the disruption experienced by people living in the city during the summit.

Boris Johnson praises people of Glasgow following COP26 summit UK Parliament via Parliament TV
The Prime Minister gave a statement to the House of Commons on Monday on COP26.

Boris Johnson has given a “big, big thank you” to the people of Glasgow for their part in hosting COP26.

The Prime Minister, who was suffering from a croaky-voice, made the remarks as he gave a statement in the House of Commons on Monday.

Acknowledging the disruption in the city during the summit, he told Glaswegians “we could not have done it without you”.

Johnson spoke after COP26 came to a conclusion over the weekend, and rejected suggestions that the summit had been a failure.

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On Sunday, the Prime Minister mistakenly said that the COP26 summit had been held in Edinburgh.

Praising all those who worked on the ground at the SEC in Glasgow, volunteers, police, public health authorities and the Scottish Government, Johnson credited the welcome offered by those living in Glasgow.

“I want to say above all a big, big thank you to the people of Glasgow,” he told Parliament.

“Who had to put up with so much disruption in their city and to welcome the world all the same.

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“And I say to the people of Glasgow, we could not have done it without you.”

As he reflected on the outcomes from the summit, Johnson indicated that the goal of limiting global temperatures “cannot be achieved overnight”.

He said: “Is there still more to do? Well of course there is, and I’m not for one moment suggesting that we can safely close the book on climate change.

“I fact, I can think of nothing more dangerous than patting ourselves on the back and telling ourselves that the job is done.

“Because this job will not be complete until the whole world has not only set off on the goal to reach net zero, but arrived at that destination.

“A goal that even with the best of intentions from all actors cannot be achieved overnight.”

The Prime Minister accused “countries that really should know better” of “dragging their heels” about their commitments to the Paris Agreement.

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He said: “While COP26 has filled me with optimism about our ability to get there, I cannot now claim to be certain that we will.

“Because we have seen some countries that really should know better dragging their heels about their Paris commitments.

“But, if, and it is still a massive if, they make good on their pledges, then I believe that Glasgow will be remembered as the place where we secured a historic agreement and the world began to turn the tide.

“Before Paris, we were on course for four degrees of warming. After Paris, that number fell to a still catastrophically dangerous three degrees.

“This afternoon, after the Glasgow climate pact, it stands at close to two. It’s still too high, the numbers are still too hot, the warming is still excessive.

“But, it’s closer than we have ever been to the relative safety of 1.5 degrees and now with an all-new road map to help us get there.”

Johnson hailed Glasgow as a success in keeping the 1.5 degrees target alive.

He concluded: “The success of the Glasgow climate pact lies not just in the promises, but in the move that the whole world has now made from setting abstract targets, to adopting the nuts and bolts programme of work to meet those targets and to reduce CO2 emissions.

“We’re now talking about the how rather than the what and getting into a habit of cutting CO2 that is catching on not just with governments and businesses, but with billions of people around the world.

“And it is for that reason that I believe COP26 in Glasgow has been a success and that 1.5 is still alive and that is something I believe that every person in our United Kingdom can and should take immense pride in.”

The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: “We all know that the Glasgow Climate Pact is far from everything it should be, but it does contain many positives that must be built on.

“Whether or not it succeeds now depends entirely on whether countries deliver on the commitments they made.

“That is the only way to truly keep the 1.5 degree target alive.”

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