COP26: No 10 celebrates ‘significant momentum’ in Glasgow climate talks

Crucial UN climate change talks are beginning to take “significant momentum” with a series of key announcements, Downing Street has said.

After a series of increasingly sharp warnings from Boris Johnson about the cost of failure for the planet’s future, No. 10 struck a remarkably more optimistic tone on day two of COP26 in Glasgow.

British officials were particularly encouraged by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to cut India’s carbon emissions by 2030, with half of its energy coming from renewable sources.

They also welcomed a statement from 110 countries – including Brazil – to halt and reverse the deforestation process.

Meanwhile, dozens of countries have signed a US-EU initiative to reduce methane emissions by 30% by the end of the decade, in what is seen as one of the fastest ways to reduce greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.

Johnson’s official spokesman said persuading countries like Brazil to “stop cutting down rainforests” was a “massive success”, while India’s ambitious commitments would significantly reduce emissions.

“I think we’re starting to see some significant momentum over the last day and a half as we see some real tangible commitments announced,” the spokesman said.

“The crucial thing is that we continue to spend a full two weeks of Cop pushing forward to succeed at all levels.

“The Prime Minister will remain closely involved in that work over the next two days. A large number of Cabinet Ministers will also be involved.”

The spokesman acknowledged that there were still some difficult negotiations ahead – especially on climate finance.



US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the COP26 summit in Glasgow
US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the COP26 summit in Glasgow

There is pressure on developed nations to do more if they are to achieve the delayed goal of giving $ 100 billion (£ 73.4 billion) a year to developing countries to support green development and mitigate the inevitable effects of global warming.

There are also calls for richer nations to move forward with climate finance, with Mr Modi demanding that developed countries make a trillion US dollars available “as soon as possible today”.

“This is not an easy thing to do. It is not a given either. There will be some very difficult negotiations in the coming days,” the spokesman said.

“We are not complacent. This is by no means a done deal.”

COP26 climate talks continue in Glasgow until 12 November.

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