PM calls on world to 'pull out all the stops' in final days of COP summit

Negotiators from around the world are rushing to finalise a deal to make COP26 a success, ITV News Correspondent Rachel Younger reports

Boris Johnson has urged world leaders to "pull out all the stops" in the closing days of the COP26 summit, as negotiators race to make a deal on a range of vital issues.

The climate change summit in Glasgow opened last week with many of the world leaders attending.

Some landmark deals have already been signed but a number of criticisms have been levelled too with teenage activist Greta Thunberg branding it two weeks of "blah, blah, blah".

Boris Johnson is leaving Westminster to make his way to talks at the COP26 climate conference

Before the conference had even begun, the leaders of both Russia and China chose not to attend, while many others - including Mr Johnson - sounded gloomy about keeping the prospect of limiting global warming to the agreed 1.5C alive.

Negotiators from 197 countries are still trying to reach a deal on a common time frame for national commitments on emissions reductions and agreed methodology for countries to report on their climate action.

The COP26 climate conference - what you need to know

What is COP26? When and where will it be?

Each year, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meets at what is called the Conference of the Parties (abbreviated as COP) to discuss the world's progress on climate change and how to tackle it.

COP26 is the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties summit which will be held in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November.

Who is going?

Leaders of the 197 countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty that came into force in 1994 - are invited to the summit.

These are some of the world leaders that will be attending COP26:

  • US President Joe Biden, climate envoy John Kerry, climate adviser and former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, and 10 other US cabinet officials.

  • Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison. In the days leading up to COP26, Mr Morrison committed Australia to a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Prince Charles, Prince William, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge are also attending. The Queen has withdrawn from visiting after being advised by her doctors to rest - she will address the conference virtually instead.

China's President Xi Jinping, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, and President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil are among the leaders that have decided not to travel to Glasgow.

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What is it hoping to achieve?

1. Achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels - Countries are being encouraged to set ambitious 2030 emissions targets. They are also encouraged to accelerate the phase-out of coal, clamp down on deforestation, speed up the switch to electric vehicles and encourage investment in renewables.

2. Protect natural habitats and communities from climate change disasters

3. Finances for a greener future - In 2009, developed countries were asked to keep to their promises to contribute at least $100 billion (£72.5 billion) per year by 2020 to protect the planet. In 2015, it was agreed that the goal would be extended to 2025.

However, new analysis shows the goal is unlikely to have been met last year and is on track to fall short in 2021 and 2022.

4. Getting all countries and organisations to work together to tackle the climate crisis

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These are important technical points needed to ensure words become action.Other key issues involve funding for nations most vulnerable to climate change.

The prime minister said: “Negotiating teams are doing the hard yards in these final days of COP26 to turn promises into action on climate change.

 “There’s still much to do. Today I’ll be meeting with ministers and negotiators to hear about where progress has been made and where the gaps must be bridged.

“This is bigger than any one country and it is time for nations to put aside differences and come together for our planet and our people.

 “We need to pull out all the stops if we’re going to keep 1.5C within our grasp.”

Mr Johnson is expected to hold a press conference in Glasgow later on Wednesday.

He will also meet representatives from around the world alongside UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.A draft of agreed proposals is expected to be published on Wednesday morning, with further discussions going on into the weekend.

Many government's have agreed to phase out coal from their energy grids at COP Credit: PA

A “High Ambition Coalition” of vulnerable countries and others including the US and Europe countries is calling for nations to submit action plans in line with limiting temperatures to 1.5C in the next year and long term plans to meet the target by 2023, though there is pushback from other countries.

Finance for developing countries is also key to the talks.

Robin Mace-Snaith, lead climate analyst for aid agency CAFOD, said: “We have to get new, additional, and needs-based loss and damage finance and a system to deliver it to vulnerable communities in low-income countries.

“At the same time, there needs to be a place in the UN climate process to formalise these discussions, so countries can be held accountable for their promises.”

“With the PM due to be back on Wednesday at Cop, we hope he gets this over the line and delivers the action needed on loss and damage.”

The Prime Minister will be joined by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Glasgow, where he will meet with heads of delegations and other groups.