UK PM urges countries to ‘pull out all stops’ in last days of Cop26

Boris Johnson made the call as negotiators are to scrutinise the first draft of a 'cover decision'

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged countries to “pull out all the stops” in the final days of Cop26, to limit dangerous global warming.

Mr Johnson was speaking before returning to the Glasgow summit on Wednesday, where negotiators are ready to scrutinise the first draft of a “cover decision” – a negotiated outcome to the talks that aim to increase climate action.

Negotiators are also trying to reach agreement on technical parts of the global climate treaty, the Paris Agreement, including common timeframes for national commitments on emissions reductions and ways for countries to report on their progress, to help turn pledges into action.

There are also negotiations on providing finance for developing countries to cope with climate change and address the issue of loss and damage to people, livelihoods, land and infrastructure caused by effects of global warming in poorer nations.

“Negotiating teams are doing the hard yards in these final days of Cop26 to turn promises into action on climate change," Mr Johnson said.

“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 1.5°C within our grasp.”

The Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, seeks to limit global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and preferably 1.5°C.

The draft cover decision is being published into Wednesday morning, with delegations expected to be in contact with their leaders to discuss what their position will be, especially those from countries whose leaders did not attend the world leaders' summit, such as China and Russia.

Countries are preparing for the final days of negotiations, with Nick Mabey from climate think tank E3G suggesting “a high ambition outcome is still on the table”, and that momentum is with those countries pushing for more ambitious action.

A “High Ambition Coalition” of vulnerable countries and others, including the US and European states, is calling for nations to submit action plans in line with limiting temperatures to 1.5°C in the next year, and long-term plans to meet the target by 2023.

There is opposition from other countries to the call.

Finance for developing countries is also key to the talks.

“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," said Robin Mace-Snaith, lead climate analyst for the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development.

“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.”

Mr Johnson will be joined by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Glasgow, where he will meet heads of delegations and other groups.

Updated: November 9th 2021, 11:05 PM