The COP26 climate summit has started today in the Scottish city of Glasgow amid heavy presence of world leaders and environment organisations and activists.
The US, British, French, Indian and Maldivian leaders have earlier arrived in Scotland to attend the UN conference on the climate crisis.
The biggest names, including US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, India’s PM Narendra Modi, France’s President Emmanuel Macron and Ibrahim Solih, president of the hard-hit Maldives, will take the stage on the opening session.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has welcomed more than 120 world leaders in Glasgow. The summit is held with the stark warning: “It’s one minute to midnight, and we need to act now.”
Johnson kicks off the Glasgow summit, having admitted to a “road to Damascus” conversion to the threat of climate change.
“It’s one minute to midnight and we need to act now,” Johnson was due to tell them in his keynote speech, according to Downing Street. “If we don’t get serious about climate change today, it will be too late for our children to do so tomorrow.”
Pope Francis has earlier urged world leaders to take “radical decisions” at next week’s global environmental summit.
The Pope talked of crises including the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and economic difficulties. He further urged the world to respond to them with vision and radical decisions. He also called not to “waste opportunities” that the current challenges present.
“We can confront these crises by retreating into isolationism, protectionism and exploitation. Or we can see in them a real chance for change, he further said.
Earlier, an UN-appointed panel of experts said that the earth is getting so hot
that temperatures in about a decade will probably blow past the most ambitious threshold
set in the Paris accord.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the report as a “code red” for humanity.
He stressed that it “must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels before they destroy the planet.”