Climate pledges must be delivered on, says Cop26 president Alok Sharma

Countries must meet the commitments they made in the Cop26 talks last week, said conference president Alok Sharma as the deal draws to a close.

The UN climate talks enter their second week with the arrival of the ministers for the political phase of the negotiations, while on Monday there will also be a focus on helping poorer countries deal with climate change.

It comes after leaders and countries signed a number of initiatives last week, from fighting deforestation to curbing coal power to cutting methane to prevent dangerous global warming.

Mr Sharma said it was not easy to find consensus among nearly 200 countries – which is necessary for an agreement under the UN climate system – but progress over the past week showed a “constructive spirit” among negotiators.

The announcements that countries made last week are not necessarily included in their national plans of action for this decade, which will lead the world far away from achieving the internationally agreed target of limiting global warming to 1.5 ° C in order to prevent the avoid worst effects of climate change.

The negotiators are trying to come up with a “cover decision” from Glasgow that will outline how countries will bridge the gap between emission reduction action plans for this decade and what is needed to avoid a temperature rise of more than 1.5 ° C. will close.

Countries at risk are urging nations to reconsider their plans known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) annually to fill the gap, but others are opposed to accelerating the process out of its five-year cycle.

Mr Sharma said: ‘Here in Glasgow we have a unique opportunity to achieve a historic result and I am committed to bringing countries together to reach an agreement that means we will see more action to do this in this decade help to keep the temperature limit of 1.5 ° C within reach. “

He said the negotiations were urgently needed and warned, “Last week countries made commitments that will all help protect our planet, but they must be respected and held accountable.”

Ensuring that countries increase their ambitions this decade is one of the issues to be debated, along with funding and funding for poorer countries to develop cleanly and deal with the climate impacts, and funding for them to cover losses and Cope with damage.

Ministers also need to draft the final parts of the Paris Agreement, in which countries agreed in 2015 to limit temperature rise to “well below” 2 ° C or 1.5 ° C to prevent the worst effects of warming – to make it work.

On Monday morning, the countries will meet to update the presidency on the past week and the progress of the negotiations.

Over the weekend, Greenpeace activists accused Saudi Arabian negotiators of attempting to block the “cover decision” – a final statement from Cop26 that could include a commitment to accelerate action to meet the 1.5C target – and the Stop adaptation efforts.

Meanwhile, the UK, hosting the summit on Monday, is focusing on helping developing countries adapt to climate change and address the losses and damage caused by rising sea levels, increasingly violent storms, droughts and forest fires.

As part of its focus, the UK government has announced it will invest nearly £ 300 million to help the most vulnerable countries combat the effects of rising temperatures.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan

Foreign Trade Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan will convene a ministerial meeting with ministers from at least 26 countries and regions, including the US and the European Commission.

Ms. Trevelyan, the UK government’s advocate for adaptation and resilience at Cop26, will urge nations to do more to help developing countries while announcing a financial commitment from Westminster.

A report by Christian Aid warns that some of the most vulnerable countries could suffer an average of 64% of their economies by 2100 under current policies to combat climate pollution.

Mr Sharma said Monday would see the most vulnerable nations in the spotlight – which would still have the negative consequences of rising temperatures if pollution stopped tomorrow – throughout the negotiations.

“You and future generations will not forgive us if we fail to deliver in Glasgow.”

As the talks begin in week two, former US President Barack Obama – a veteran of the failed UN climate summit in Copenhagen and the successful Paris meeting that secured the world’s first comprehensive climate treaty – will be in Glasgow at a number of events .

This includes a speech detailing progress in the five years since the Paris Agreement came into force, highlighting the leadership role of young people around the world, and calling on governments, the private sector, philanthropy and civil society to act more decisively.

He will also meet young leaders attending Cop26 to discuss how their generation is leading the fight against climate change.

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