COP26 summit ‘last hope’ at limiting global warming to 1.5C

Alok Sharma to make speech ahead of November 1-12 meeting that will bring world leaders together to tackle the issue.

COP26 summit ‘last hope’ at limiting global warming to 1.5C STV News

COP26 will be “our last hope” at limiting global warming to 1.5C, the president of the Glasgow summit will say in a speech on Friday.

Alok Sharma will speak outside Glasgow ahead of the November 1-12 meeting which will bring world leaders together to tackle the issue.

He will also say that the conference must consign coal to history.

“This is our last hope of keeping 1.5C alive. Our best chance of building a brighter future. A future of green jobs and cleaner air,” he is expected to say.

“I have faith that world leaders will rise to the occasion and not be found wanting in their tryst with destiny.

“That, in six months time, when we are packing up and going home, we will be able to say that at this critical juncture, each of us took responsibility. That we chose to act. And that we kept 1.5C alive.”

A full member of Cabinet, Sharma was appointed president for the conference by Boris Johnson in January.

In his speech, he will say he enlisted the help of his daughters in creating a message to deliver to world leaders.

He will say: “Their response was simple: ‘please, tell them to pick the planet’. And that’s the message I want to leave you with today. A message from my daughters. A message from future generations.

“This is our moment. There are no second chances. Let’s pick the planet.”

Sharma will add that Glasgow “must be the COP that consigns coal to history”.

Kate Blagojevic, head of climate at Greenpeace UK, welcomed Sharma’s commitment to the 1.5C goal but said more action was needed.

“The UK can’t claim climate leadership overseas whilst at home the Government continues to entertain a new coal mine in Cumbria or maintains the planning block on English onshore wind,” she said.

“With only six months left the clock is ticking, if the Government wants to be climate leaders it’s time they act like it.”

Ahead of the speech, UK Government minister for Scotland David Duguid said the conference would be “a crucial opportunity for all parts of the UK, and indeed all nations globally, to work together to create a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future for our children”.