Failure to deliver Cop26 pledges would amount to ‘monstrous self-harm’, says Sharma

The minister will use a speech on Monday to urge countries to accelerate climate action despite the current global challenges

Sophie Wingate
Monday 16 May 2022 10:50
Cop26 President Alok Sharma is to mark six months since the conclusion of the conference with a speech in Glasgow (Jane Barlow/PA)
Cop26 President Alok Sharma is to mark six months since the conclusion of the conference with a speech in Glasgow (Jane Barlow/PA)

Failure to honour promises made at Cop26 would be an “act of monstrous self-harm”, Alok Sharma is to warn world leaders six months after the climate conference.

The Government minister is to urge countries to accelerate action to tackle dangerous global warming in a speech on Monday in Glasgow, where he presided over the talks last November.

Even as the world confronts Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, energy and food security challenges and the ongoing effects of the pandemic, Mr Sharma is set to call on governments to demonstrate that “though the world has changed, our resolve has not”.

The Cop26 President will say: “The current crises should increase, not diminish, our determination to deliver on what we agreed here at Cop26, and honour the Glasgow Climate Pact.

“We need every nation to pick up the pace.”

The Met Office has warned the world has a 50-50 chance in the next five years of temporarily exceeding the 1.5C global warming limit which countries pledged to meet in the Paris Agreement in 2015 and confirmed in Glasgow.

Reports from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) science body have warned the window to limit temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, the threshold beyond which the worst impacts will be felt, is rapidly closing.

Cop26 President Alok Sharma , right, with UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres at the climate summit in Glasgow (Jane Barlow/PA)

Mr Sharma is expected to say this “demonstrates unequivocally that the window of time we have to act is closing fast, that we must urgently adapt and reduce emissions, because current targets are not enough”.

Countries must revisit and strengthen their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) this year under the Glasgow pact, he will remind leaders.

As well as setting out progress since Cop26 in his speech, which will be livestreamed, Mr Sharma will reveal his vision for the second half of the UK’s presidency before this year’s climate talks, Cop27, in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh.

Last week, Mr Sharma led a climate meeting in Denmark with Egypt’s foreign affairs minister which brought together more than 40 countries to assess action needed to deliver key Cop26 commitments.

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