Boris Johnson to return to Cop26 in final push for climate action

UK PM will encourage ambitious targets as summit reaches final days

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will return to Cop26 on Wednesday, as the president of the climate summit warned that negotiators still faced “a mountain to climb” towards a goal of capping global warming at 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels.

“The Prime Minister is going up to meet negotiators, to get an update on progress in the talks and encourage ambitious action in the final days of the negotiations,” a spokesman for Mr Johnson said.

He attended along with world leaders the first two days of the Glasgow summit earlier this month.

Cop26 president Alok Sharma said officials would soon publish the first draft of the “cover decision,” which summarises the commitments of more than 190 countries, in a bid to focus minds in the three days remaining.

“The time has now come to find political consensus on the areas of divergence and we have only a few days left,” he said.

“We are making progress at Cop26 but we still have a mountain to climb over the next few days. And what has been collectively committed to goes some way, but certainly not all the way, to keeping 1.5°C within reach. The gap in ambition has narrowed.

“Now the world needs confidence that we will shift immediately into implementation, that the pledges made here will be delivered, and that the policies and investment will swiftly follow.”

Mr Sharma said the cover decision would likely require negotiator to consult their leaders and capitals. He asked them to do so with urgency.

Current analysis suggests that countries’ plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade will put the world on track for 2.4°C of global warming.

Updated: November 9th 2021, 5:14 PM