Boris Johnson told to get grip of UK climate strategy before Cop26

(The Guardian, 12 Apr 2021) ‘Worrisome’ policy decisions could undermine UK leadership and the talks themselves, say senior climate experts.

Boris Johnson must urgently take control of the UK’s presidency of vital UN climate talks, amid a shower of green policy setbacks and growing concern over the lack of a coherent all-government climate strategy, senior international figures have said.

The Cop26 climate summit is viewed as one of the last chances to put the world on track to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, of holding global heating well below 2C, and preferably no more than 1.5C, above pre-industrial levels. There are just over six months left before the crunch talks are scheduled to begin in Glasgow in November.

Major figures in the global climate talks, including veteran diplomats, scientists and respected campaigners, have expressed concern to the Guardian that while the UK is making progress on agreement at Cop26, a series of missteps by the government is in danger of undermining the UK’s leadership and the success of the talks.

Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief who led the 2015 Paris climate agreement, warned: “There have been recent decisions in the UK that are not aligning with the ambition of the net zero target. It is worrisome. There are raised eyebrows among world leaders watching the UK.”

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The Guardian, 12 Apr 2021: Boris Johnson told to get grip of UK climate strategy before Cop26